Range of the Jaguar
Southwestern United States and Mexico south through Central and South America as far as Patagonia.
The background of the jaguar’s coat is a tawny-yellow, and lightened to whitish on the throat and belly. The jaguar is marked with small isolated spots on the head and neck with dark open ring structures, called rosettes, on the sides and flank that generally contain one to four dark spots inside the rings. Along the middle of the jaguar’s back, a row of black spots may merge into a solid line. Melanistic jaguars have been observed in South America, resulting in coats that are heavily pigmented, appearing almost black as in the black panther (leopard), with the rosette pattern visible only in strong light. At least one albino individual, with pink eyes and white claws, has been reported. External measurements of an adult male: total length, 6.25 feet; tail, 1.75 feet; female, 5 feet long and tail 1.4 feet long; height at shoulder of a large male, 2.3 feet. Male jaguars average 150 to 250 pounds, with females averaging 110 to 175 pounds.