Jaguars The Big Cats Of The Americas

by bev-owens

The biggest of the cats in the Americas are the Jaguars. These powerful cats of the jungle have long been revered and respected.

A Symbol Of Strength And Beauty

The Jaguar

Jaguars are really a most beautiful cat and are the largest of the big cats in the Americas. They are often the symbol of power and strength because they have survived in the jungles for centuries. Jaguars typically will live near water and are actually very good at swimming and fishing. They are just as comfortable in the trees as they are on the ground and can be found in Northern Mexico, Central America, the north and central sections of South America, and the Amazon basin.

Jaguars are of the Panthera Onca species and can live as long as 12 years in the wild. Captive Jaguars have survived as long as 20 years. They are carnivores and typically feed on deer, cattle, monkeys, fish, snakes, and armidillos.

Jaguars In MesoAmerica

Recently I wrote about the totem of the Jaguar on one of my blogs. As I researched for my post I discovered that the Jaguar was considered sacred and highly revered in MesoAmerican cultures. The indigenous peoples of the Pre-Columbian societies observed the agility and power of the jaguar and found ways to incorporate it into their belief systems. The totem of Jaguar is connected to the lessons of integrity.

The Maya, Aztecs, and other cultures saw the jaguar as a link to the spirit world. The Maya, in particular, saw the daytime as a time of the living and of the earth. Night was a time of the ancestors and the spirit world. Because the jaguar is so adept at hunting during the night, they saw this big cat as a way to have a relationship to the spirit world.

The rulers of the Maya actually wore jaguar skins as a part of their dress and some even took the jaguar as a part of their ruling name as Jaguar Paw, Bird Jaguar, and others.

Some cultures even considered the jaguar as the god of fertility.

Ancient Image Of A Jaguar Warrior

Aztec Jaguar Warrior
Aztec Jaguar Warrior

Could A Jaguar Roam In Dreams?

The Mayans believed that this mighty big cat did roam in their dreams. The spirit of jaguar was beleived to come into a person's dreams looking to see if there was any shameful and dishonest behavior. Reminding the person how important it was to live a life with impeccability.

A great book with Jaguar Facts

The book featured at the left was written with the education of children in mind. Adults can learn some really fascinating facts about the Jaguar from the book, also. Reading the basic facts about an animal will most times encourage us to find more in depth information.

Weekly Reader has been educating children for several decades.

Jaguars (Animals That Live in the Rain Forest)
Weekly Reader Early Learning Library
Only $9.15
Updated: 01/30/2015, bev-owens
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Did you learn something different today about the biggest cat of the Americas, the Jaguar?

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Lauren on 01/11/2012

Interesting! I'm always fascinated by these wild animals and eager to learn about them.

TerriRexson on 08/03/2011

My boys are fascinated by big cats of all kinds. We usually hear about the African and Indian cats though, I tend to forget that there are big cats in the Americas.

ForestBear on 08/02/2011

Yes I did learn something new. I love all kinds of cats and the jaguar is absolutely beautiful! Very interesting, Thank you for sharing

Jimmie on 07/28/2011

I've always loved cats -- housecats as well as the big cats. Love, love, love the Jaguar!

lakeerieartists on 07/28/2011

I am interested in all of the big cats, but jaguars are still a very big mystery to me. Really interesting.

nightbear on 07/27/2011

Such a beautiful animal. What a majestic creature. Those posters are unbelievable. Thank you for your work Bev.

sheilamarie on 07/27/2011

I watched a TV program about jaguars last week and was fascinated to see how they moved along the Amazon river bank and swam, too. They are surely beautiful creatures!

petunia on 07/27/2011

I did not realize that some cultures consider the Jaguar the god of fertility!
The jaguars are so beautiful. One of our granddaughter's most favorite animals!

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