Jaguar, the most powerful bite of all felines



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Jaguar, the most powerful bite of all felines

The area where the jaguar lives extended from the south of the United States to northern Patagonia, thus including Central America and part of South America; today, however, it has disappeared in a large part of its ancient range, and today it survives mainly in the Amazon basin.

Jaguars mostly live in dense forests preferably near lowland rivers, where there is more shelter and greater abundance of prey. However, these animals can also live in more arid habitats. In Argentina, for example, they live in more open land, hiding in reeds or in thickets.

In the southern United States, where jaguars have always been rare, they have been seen in rugged, forested, mountainous areas about 2500m above sea level. Jaguars can also be found in the mountains in Colombia. Its skull, the most voluminous in proportion to the body among all the great felids, makes its bite the most powerful, always of the same size, of its family.

This is perhaps at the origin of a unique peculiarity of the jaguar. It prefers to kill large prey by biting the head rather than the throat or the nape of the neck.

Jaguar, the most powerful bite of all felines

The long canines penetrate into the thinnest and most delicate points of the skull and disassemble it, causing immediate death in the prey in a similar way to the classic bite to the neck of the other big felids that separates the cervical vertebrae causing the same instant killing effect.

measured is 105 kg / cmq (1500 psi). Often the jaguar attacks fairly large anacondas and caimans and is not intimidated by larger animals, even when approached directly. Its massive skeleton moved by a robust musculature makes it the strongest of all the big cats of the same size: a 70 kg individual can drag a 360 kg prey into the dense jungle, with many obstacles, and larger specimens are able to carrying heifers up a tree.

The jaguar is also an adept climber, although not as good as the leopard due to its larger size, and can spend several hours of its day in the trees. Jaguars also hunt for deer, monkeys, sloths, birds, large rodents, such as capybaras and agutes, peccaries, and also deal with tapirs, animals that reach the weight of a small horse. They have a varied diet, because sometimes they feed on fish, which they grab from the water with their paws.