Lara - Jaguars
Scientific Classification: Panthera onca

Explanation of scientific classification:
-Panthera = name of the big cats family
-Onca = name of species
Jaguars also belong in the category Felidae (family of cats). Even though this is not a scientific classification, the term ''big cats'' are used to describe larger felines. Usually, the members of the Panthera species are referred to big cats. These are jaguars, leopards, tigers and lions. Sometimes cougars (mountain lions), cheetahs, snow leopards and clouded leopards are also included in this group. In conclusion, jaguars, leopards, tigers and lions are the largest felines. The order of the size is tiger as first, second lions, followed by leopards and jaguars. In short, the jaguars are the third largest felines in the world. Unlike others, those in the name Panthera can roar. In short, jaguars can roar, though their roars are not as strong as a tiger's and lion's and are like a repetitive cough.


Objectives 1 & 2:

√ = Check
Choose a well researched animal

Explore wiki space

Make a bibliography

Describe role of decomposer

Put examples of decomposers with pictures

List other animals and organisms in your animal's habitat

Describe your animal's habitat

Draft out a food web

Make poster and take picture and paste in your science wiki page

Define Ecosystem

Find jaguar book

Animal: Jaguars
-A lot of resources (well researched)
-Near threatened!

What is threatening jaguars:
Deforestation is the biggest threat to jaguars. Deforestation means cutting down forests and using their materials as resources for other objects. Since the rainforests are really lush in greenlife and plantlife, there is a lot of deforestation there, which destroys the jaguar's habitat.

My animal is a jaguar. Jaguars live in the rainforest in South America and Mexico. The normal weight range for jaguars is 56 - 96 kilograms (124 - 211 pounds). A big male can weigh 159 kilograms (350 pounds), and the smaller jaguars can weigh 36 kilograms (80 pounds). Males are usually 10 - 20% larger than females.
There are rainforests in South America, Africa, Mexico, India, Eastern Asia, and almost all of Indonesia, though jaguars only live in the rainforests in South America and Mexico. Rainforests in the world are located in the tropics, in a band around the equator. Here is a map of where the jaguars live in the world:

The tropical rainforests of the Earth are located in the tropics, which is a band around the equator from 23.5˚ N (also known as The Tropic of Cancer) to 23.5˚ S (The Tropic of Capricorn). These are between the red lines in the map below.
Screen_shot_2012-05-23_at_11.21.02_AM.png Even though these areas are named the tropics, not all of the land there is a tropical rainforest. Some areas are too cold (mountaintops) and some areas are too dry (deserts). In some places that are not a tropical rainforest there may be a lot of rain, but it falls seasonally and the long dry season that is longer than the wet season prevents a tropical rainforest from developing.

Why are jaguars living in the rainforest?
Jaguars live in the rainforest because the temperature is perfect for them, and since the jaguar has a wide diet, there are a lot of animals in the rainforest. Also, since jaguars really love water, and there is a lot of water in rainforests. Jaguars could not have lived anywhere else in the world because the temperature would have either been too hot or too cold or they might not have been able to find enough food or they would not have enough water.

Recent jaguar spottings
As well as South America and Mexico, recently, jaguars have been spotted in the United States, too. Scientists' theory is that it si global warming. A way I can relate to that is because South America and Mexico's temperature is already quite hot, and with global warming added to that, it is too hot for the jaguars to survive for long, which makes their life span in the wild shorter. That might be the reason jaguars are moving north toward America.

Fast Facts
Type: Mammal
Diet: Carnivore
Average life span in the wild: 12 to 15 years
Size: Head and body, 1.5 to 1.8 m; tail, 70 to 91 cm
Weight: 45 to 113 kg
Protection Status: Near Threatened

Food chains

A food chain is a system of survival. A food chain is what eats what and what eats it. A food chain has components such as the producer, decomposer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, and quandary consumer. A food chain is really fragile and if one part of a food chain becomes extinct, it would lead to the extinction of the other animals in the food chain. For example, in the food chain below, if the eagle becomes extinct, then the population of the rats would increase, which would lead to the extinction of bugs, which would mean way too much plants. Then, since the rats don't eat plants, they will become extinct, too, which would mean that there would only be plants left.

Food webs

A food web is very much like a food chain, except that it involves many linked food chains. For example, in a food web, more than one animal can be feeding on one organism. Everything in a food web is interconnected, just like a food chain. A food web is less fragile than a food chain, since not one thing affects everything, but just like in a food chain, if an animal of a food web becomes extinct, it would affect the whole web.
For example, in the food web below, if the deer becomes extinct, it would only affect the cougar, but since the cougar also eats the elk, it would not have much of a difference. Also, if both the deer and the elk become extinct, then it would only affect the cougar, not the whole food web.

General Information

There are also jaguars with black fur, called black panthers. This black panther is very rare, the rareness of the black panther is 6% out of an average population. Sometimes they are so dark that they appear to be spotless, but their spots (rosettes) can be seen on closer inspection.

-They are a type of big cats
-They are the only Panthera species found in America (Wikipedia)
-Jaguars are the third largest felines (belonging to the cat family, after the tiger (largest) and the lion(second largest) (Wikipedia)
-Jaguars love the presence of water and love to swim, along with the tiger (Wikipedia)
-The jaguar is a predator at the top of the food chain (Wikipedia)
-Even though the jaguar is nearly threatened to become extinct, it's range is still really wide, because it was seen in the mythology of various American cultures, like the Mayans and the Aztecs. (Wikipedia)
-Jaguars used to be really common all throughout America, but now they are found only in particular regions, mostly in the Amazon (National Geographic)
-As I have said before, unlike many other members of the cat family, jaguars love the water, and actually they are pretty good swimmers. (National Geographic)
Basic Facts
-Type: Mammal
-Diet: Carnivores (meat-eaters)
(National Geographic)
-Most jaguars have the color of tan/orange, and they are black spotted (called rosettes) (Myself and also National Geographic)
-When they are in the water, they hunt down mostly alligator-like creatures (National Geographic)
-Even though above, jaguars are great opportunists, and they would eat anything they could catch, which is why their diet is really wide (more than 80 species in their diet)
-Jaguars also eat other animals such as deers, tapirs, etc. (National Geographic)
-Jaguars have big heads and powerful jaws (
-The patterns on them are called ''rosette'' patterns because they are shaped like roses (National Geographic and also
-The Jaguar makes their homes in forests, rainforests, etc. (All the websites up until now)
-Sometimes, jaguars also tend to make homes near the water. (Myself and National Geographic)

These beautiful but yet powerful predators were also included in ancient Native American cultures. For example, the name ''jaguar'' comes from the Native American word ''yaguar'', meaning ''he who kills with one leap''. (


Questions to research for later:
How my animal adapts to it environment? (Michael Ng)
How does my animal fit into a food web or a food chain? (Michael Ng)

Vocabulary list is a Google Docs document

Objective 3:

Role of decomposer:
Decomposers decompose rotten fruits and dead animals by first eating the skin and flesh, working into the interior parts to hasten it's decay, for example, worms, and they also help recycle. Without decomposers, the nutrients would not come back to the environment, which would mean that wast would be gathering at a very high speed. If there were no decomposers, very soon, the earth would be covered with a deep swarm of flies. Fortunetely, decomposers eat dead plants and animals, which means that the nutrients inside them can be reused(recycled). Decomposers such as ants, earthworms, fungi and bacteria are microscopic animals, which means that they cannot be seen without a microscope.

An example of a decomposer is an ant. Ants decompose dead animals and plants, while they also help recycle.

Worms, bacteria, and fungi are decomposers, too.

Animals and organisms in my animal's habitat
(My animal: jaguar habitat: rainforest)

The Rainforest:
The rainforest is a kind of forest that is more tropical than the regular woods/forest and it rains a lot in rainforests. The world's biggest rainforest, the Amazon, is in Brazil, South America. Half of the world's animal species are found in rainforests. The rainforest animals are really colorful, and there are certain fruits and flowers (and plants and trees) that are only found in rainforests. The jaguars live in the rainforest. Jaguars are great opportunists, and they would eat anything they could catch. Following that, there are a lot of species of animals that are in the jaguar's diet, over 80. There are also rainforests in Africa and Mexico as well as Brazil. Africa is also a home to savannas. Jaguars, though, only live in the rainforests in South America and Mexico.
Draft of foodweb:
Trees & leaves: Producers
Berries: Producers
Bananas: Producers
Bugs: Decomposers & Omnivores
Lizards: Primary Consumers & Carnivores
Birds: Secondary Consumers & Omnivores
Monkeys: Secondary Consumers & Omnivores
Snakes: Secondary Consumers & Carnivores
Jaguar: Tertiary Consumers & Carnivores

Definition of ecosystems:
An ecosystem is a system of a community of organisms that live in a habitat/environment. Ecosystems also include non-living factors as well as living factors. Non-living factors can be rocks and conditions.

Definition of environment:
Air, water, soil, heat, organisms, basically everything in our surrounding area. Once again, environment can include non-living factors as well as living factors.

- Only one line, can be better, limited.

Definition of habitat:
A place where an organism is able to live and grow. Also, the habitat can also include non-living and living factors.

Difference between environment and habitat:
A habitat is just a part of the environment where a specific organism can grow and live, while environment is everything that surrounds us.

Difference between environment and ecosystem:
An environment is every element in our surrounding area, while an ecosystem is the system of how a community of organisms live in an environment.

Here is my poster:

Objective 4a:

Jaguars in the rainforest
Jaguars live in the rainforest. When jaguars want to rest, they usually go up on trees to sleep and rest. Sometimes when they are hunting they might go up on trees, too, because it is a good place to look down on their prey. Jaguars are great opportunists and will eat whatever they can catch; that is why there are a lot of animals included in their diet. Rainforests get a lot of rainfall, which is a type of condition. Due to this, rainforests are usually pretty wet, but they can be hot at some times too. Rainforests are found in Africa, Mexico and the biggest one, The Amazon, is found in Brazil, though jaguars only live in the rainforests in South America and Mexico. Here is a picture of a jaguar up on a tree:


These are the conditions in my animal's habitat: temperature, light, rainfall, water, sun radiation, and soil.

Objective 4b:

General description of ecosystem:
An ecosystem is the system of how a community of organisms adapt and live in an environment.

The ecosystem of plants in my animal's habitat:

My animal's ecosystem is in the rainforest. This can be connected to a food chain or a food web. My animal's ecosystem includes temperature, light, rainfall, water and sun radiation as conditions, and it has a community of sea organisms, land organisms, and air organisms, including non-living factors. There are sea organisms because there are quite a lot of lakes and rivers in the rainforest, and it gets a rainfall amount of 50 to 260 inches a year. Some non-living factors are conditions, and rocks and soil. Here is a picture of the ecosystem of the rainforest plants, and their job. One of their jobs is that their shadow helps the predators hide and get ready to attack the prey.


Non-living conditions of the jaguar's environment
Non-living conditions
Rainfall of 50-260 inches a year
The plant life is really lush - hiding places for the jaguar
Solar radiation of 3 to 5 kWh per square meter a day
The plants get nutrients from the sun which means that they will be healthy - since there are many plants, this makes really good canopies and hiding places for the jaguar
Average temperature is about 25˚ Celsius (77˚ Fahrenheit)
This temperature is a good temperature for survival of animals in the rainforest, including the jaguar
Amount of light
Because the thickness of the canopy of the rainforest is really thick, only 2% of the sunlight reaches the forest's floor. This means that the ground would be dark, which makes good hiding places for jaguars hunting.
Amount of water(lakes/rivers)
Since the rainforest gets a lot of rain, the water fills in the holes and valleys, which makes rivers and lakes. Some rainforests are home to one of the largest rivers in the world. This much water would mean that wherever the jaguar goes to hunt, there would be enough water.
About 2.5 to 5 cm deep topsoil
The only reason the plant life is so lush is because the plants restore the nutrients in themselves rather than geting it from the soil

Objective 5:

Features of Adaptation:
Spotted skin color
Is a good source of camouflage
Sharp teeth and claws
Help them catch prey very easily
Long tails
Help them balance while running, making sharp turns, and climbing
Rough padded paws
Help add traction while running and climbing
The flow chart below shows the types of adaptations for the jaguar.

*One other thing for internal; the jaguars also have strong senses.

Objective 6:

Definition of diurnal: Belonging to daytime, only coming out in daytime.
Definition of nocturnal: Done, occuring, or coming out at nighttime.

Are Jaguars Diurnal or Nocturnal?:
Jaguars are sometimes described at nocturnal, looking at their night vision, although their abilities are the same in nighttime and daytime. They would better be described as crepuscular, which means that the time that they are most effective is around dawn and dusk.

Objective 7:

Description of the season my animal is living in
Jaguars live in the rainforest, which is tropical. Tropical areas are like a season of their own, and there is no major difference between when the actual 4 seasons come and go. In the rainforest, it is very hard to tell when the 4 seasons come and go, because usually the temperature stays the same. Still, a way to tell when it is an equinox, is by how much rain it gets, because that is when it is the hottest, and also when it is the wettest.

Warm climate and wet climate describes the rainforest. The average temperature in the rainforest is above 20˚ C. Frosts never appear in rainforests. Rainfall variety is wide from minimum 250cm of rain to 450cm of rain per year. This is explained as a range from 8 to 14 feet of rain per year.
Unfortunetely, this is the tropical climate, and not precisely the rainforest, but these are climates for the wet areas of the tropics, which are usually rainforests, and the rainforests are tropical.

Weather according to the Earth's movements:
Because the Earth tilts 23.5 degress as it rotates around the sun, at some point in the year (June 22nd in the North, December 22nd in the South), the sun will be directly overhead one of these lines. At some point, called the equinoxes, the sun will be directly overhead the equator.
At this time, the solar radiation is really intense, causing the surface of the Earth to warm up the most. This warmth leads to a lot of evaporation, and as the warm, moist air rises it cools down since it gets higher, and then falls back to the rainforest as rain. This is why the warmest areas of the planet, which is that band around the equator, also tend to be the wettest, which allows rainforests to develop. That is why rainforests are in that band around the equator.

Objective 8:


Types of symbiosis:
Description of parasitism: Parasitism is is a non-mutual relationship between two different species of organisms where one organism, which is the parasite, benefits for itself, only at the expense of the other organism, which is the host.

Description of mutualism: Mutualism is the way of how two organisms of different species interact with each other; each organism benefits from mutualism.

Description of commensalism: Commensalism is a type of relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits, but the other is neutral - which means that there is no harm done to it, but it does not benefit, either.

Examples of the relationships of parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism of the jaguar:
The jaguar does not participate in any symbiosis, but it is a keystone predator, which means that it helps limit the population of other animals. Since the jaguar eats a wide variety of animals, it is a vital keystone predator with a fundemental job of limiting animal species to stay at their healthy level. This. Also related to the ecosystem because the animals are at their healthy level of population which is a good thing for ecosystem.

Objective 9:

Features of the jaguar that identifies it as a species:

- The jaguars have spots called rosettes because they are shaped a lot like roses. These can be mistaken easily with a leopard's. The difference is that the jaguar's rosettes are larger and fewer with lines inside them.
- Short but stocky limbs. Also something that can be confused with a leopard's. The leopard's limbs are usually longer.
- A rounder head compared to a leopard's.
- A compact and strong muscular body.
- Jaguars living in rainforests can be smaller and darker compared to the ones living in open areas.
- A base coat of tan or yellow color, but the color may change from reddish-brown to black.
- Once again, as saying, rosettes are black as a source of camouflage.
- These rosettes may be like single rings or formed of several spots.
- The spots on the head and neck are solid and those on the tail merge to form rings.

- Strong senses
- Good night vision

- Feed on over 80 species of animals
- Carnivores

Objective 10:

Jaguars like to live alone in the wild because they are strong enough to protect themselves. In the mating season, though, the girls start noticing the boys, and the boys start to notice the girls. After a cub is born, the male goes away and the female does all the parenting. Cubs are born blind and gain eyesight after two weeks. After the cubs are

Objective 11:


-Jaguar - mammal - vertebrate
-Bugs - vertebrates
-Birds - vertebrate
-Monkeys - mammal - vertebrate
-Snakes - vertebrates
-Lizards - vertebrates
-Crocodiles - vertebrates
-Sloths - mammal - vertebrates
-Fish - vertebrates
-Trees - vertebrates
-Flowers - vertebrates
-Leaves - vertebrates
-Plants - vertebrates
-Fungi - vertebrates
-Berries - vertebrates
-Frogs - vertebrates
-Gorillas - vertebrates
-Orangutans - vertebrates
-Pirahnas - vertebrates
-Bacteria - invertebrate
-Worms - invertebrate
-Jellyfish - invertebrate
-Starfish - invertebrate

Objective 12:

Able to walk and run
Able to hold or carry something
Helps us think and make decisions
Able to live
Blood veins
Able to give blood and energy to your whole body
Able to breathe
Able to move
Protects inner features

Bibliography: N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2012. <

"Jaguars." N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2012.

"Jaguars." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2012.

"Jaguars." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2012. <
wiki/Jaguar>. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2012. <