The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas and the third largest in the world. Adults weigh between 100 to 250 pounds (45 to 113kg) with large adults weighing over 350 pounds (158kg)
In America melanistic jaguars are called 'black panthers'. In Africa and Asia black panthers are melanistic leopards.
The "black panther" is not classified as an individual species but rather used as general name for melanistic jaguars and leopards.
Of all the cats in the world the jaguar has the most powerful jaws which can push a wopping 2000 pounds (907kg) of pressure!
Unlike most cats that kill their prey by a bite to the neck, jaguars kill by a bit to the skull with their powerful jaws.
The name 'Jaguar' derives from the native American word meaning "he who kills with one leap" or "the beast that kills its prey with one leap".
This powerful cat can reach a top running speed of 50 mph (73km/h).
Of all the big cats jaguars are least likely to become man-eaters, possibly due to their elusiveness. Old, sick or injured jaguars may turn to hunting humans if hunting natural prey becomes too difficult.
The Asian leopard is considered the jaguars closest relative as it is believed that earlier jaguars came from parts of Asia when both North America and Asia were still joined.
Jaguars are on top of the food chain where they occur with their only enemies being other jaguars and man.
The jaguar unlike most other cats are not afraid of water and will even hunt while swimming for prey such as alligators and anacondas! Other prey species include deer, monkeys, capybara, peccary, birds, frogs and fish.
Jaguars have very keen eyesight, up to six times better than humans.