Jaguars, also known in South America as painted onça, are a wild cat species and the only extant members of the genus Panthera native to the Americas. The Jaguar is the largest cat species in the Americas and the third-largest after the tiger and the lion. This spotted cat closely resembles the leopard, but is usually larger and sturdier.
Jaguars are solitary animals and live and hunt alone, except during mating season. The male's home range is between 19 and 53 square miles and often overlaps with the smaller home ranges of multiple females. A male aggressively protects his home range and resident females from other males. It ranges across a variety of forested and open terrains, but its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, swamps and wooded regions. The jaguar enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. As a keystone species it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating prey populations.
The jaguar has an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats. This allows it to pierce the shells of armored reptiles and to employ an unusual killing method: it bites directly through the skull of prey between the ears to deliver a fatal bite to the brain.
- Secret symbol: Rope
- Number: 1
In the Milton Bradley board game, the Jaguar has a danger card. Rolling a Rope on the rescue die within 1 second will defeat the Jaguar threat.
In the episode Gift, Van Pelt was in the process of tracking a Jaguar with the intention of making paper weights with its paws. However, his hunt was interrupted by the arrival of the Stalker, who hosted the Jaguar up and cast the cat aside with ease to employ Van Pelt's services.
In the video game version of Jumanji, Jaguars replace Lions as the main big cats of Jumanji, even having a colossus shrine dedicated to them and a game focal point known as the Jaguar's Eye.
Near the game's completion, Van Pelt decided to wait for the adventurers at the Jaguar Statue. Using his ability to control the Jaguars, he captures Shelly Oberon (Bethany) and tried to use him as leverage against Bravestone (Spencer) to get the eye, however, he is thwarted when Mouse Finbar (Fridge) arrives riding an elephant, with the eye in his hand, which takes out Pelt's jaguars.