Archive for the 'Jaguar' category

Hyper-realistic paintings from Denis Mayer Jr.

(Saturday, April 2nd, 2011)

This Canadian artist works on painted pictures whose realism is striking (most people often think they are photographs, at first) and it is quite pleasing to see the very natural and touching attitudes of most of the painted animals. See some of his big cats.

Denis Mayer Jr. web site

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Calvin Klein for the jaguar

(Friday, August 20th, 2010)

This one does not like Calvin Klein

This one does not like Calvin Klein

I don’t know if (and I doubt that) Calvin Klein latest technology-based perfume, Obsession for Men, can live up to the expectations it raises. This musky scent is supposed to attract women, run them wild with its potent aroma. However, wildlife photographers in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala found that it could be used to attract jaguars, cougars and pumas to the camera traps used to get pictures of the endangered cats. Apparently, this does not only attract male jaguars, but females also like the cologne from Calvin Klein.

This was so marked that Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo tried it on snow leopards too. This works! Consequently, the Snow Leopard Trust will try it in South Gobi, Mongolia. Remember that snow leopards are so difficult to find in the wild that apart from GPS collars, it may take months for experts before they can find one in some of the most difficult terrains.

I guess that this will soon lead to a Ig Nobel prize in the future. And some nice new photos, too.

Source: Wildlife Conservation Society – Guatemala Program

Extinction(s) on French TV (France5)

(Sunday, August 1st, 2010)

Some species of mammals are clearly confronted with the immediate risk of extinction. And, when I shoot photos of some of these at the other end of the world, I am often shocked by the immense chance I have to be able to still see these animals free in the wild for the years they have left.

For example, cheetahs were submitted to a major event of reduction in genetics diversity during the last Ice Age (less than 10,000 animals fought for survival during thousands of years). Today, the enormous competition pressure brought by Man and “its civilization”, on top of the stark competition from other carnivorous mammals (like hyenas), will most certainly bring cheetah out of the African savannas in a few years (maybe less than 20 years).

Tigers are also in a nearly desperate situation today: The last wild animals are already living in relatively small Reserves where, even free in the wild, they have become tourism subjects without being fully protected from poaching or illegal culling.


This is the context when Frédéric Lepage created a series of TV documentaries about a few emblematic species (cheetah, orangutan, tiger, elephant, jaguar, polar bear): Extinctions

I strongly recommend your being in front of the TV (France 5, French TV channel), to watch the episode for Tiger, on Friday 6 August 2010 at 20h30.

Jaguars of all colors

(Wednesday, May 26th, 2010)

Most people know that leopards may have a nearly completely black hide (they are often named black panthers, but it’s the same animal). As a matter of fact this comes from a small genetic variation (a receessive allele) quite common in big cats. And we tend to forget that this can happen in many other big cats species.

Here is a femal jaguar, Lolo, and her newborn cub in Jordan’s zoo, in Canada. And, as you can notice, the young cat, proud of his spotted hair, is pleased to crush his mother under niceties and small bites.


Via Winnipeg Sun. Photos Ali Jarekji/REUTERS.

When pumas, jaguars and cheetahs lived in Europe

(Monday, April 6th, 2009)

Big cats like lions, pumas, jaguars, cougars, cheetahs or leopards disappeared from continents where they could be found in prehistoric times. Here is a series of articles about prehistoric felines.


Source: Tretrapod Zoology

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Aztec jaguar

(Friday, March 20th, 2009)

The jaguar (Panthera onca) has been a powerful predator of Central America. In Aztec times, it was not threatened to disparition as today, of course. But, on the contrary, it was considered a powerful god with extensive powers associated to war and warriors: Ocelotl.

This is the main reason why it often appears in the iconography (paintings as well as sculptures) that has been preserved from the fall of this astonishing civilisation brought up by the Aztecs. Some pictures of this moment in time.





Jaguar mural

Jaguar mural





aztec_jaguar_warrior_2 aztec_jaguar_warrior
Click the thumbnails to enlarge them

Fail: Capturing last US jaguar leads to its death

(Sunday, March 8th, 2009)

Macho B

Macho B

Jaguar (Panthera onca) was thought to be absent from the United States of America territory. But for a few years, people have been tracking the moves of two animals Macho A and Macho B within the borders of the Arizona state. Macho A was probably dead a few years ago and Macho B was now considered as the last jaguar living in the wild on US soil.

However, recently caught to give it a GPS tracking collar, Macho B was rather old (15-16 years old). After being freed again by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, it started showing troubling signs of weakness and was trapped again for a medical checkup. Verdict: Severe kidney failure. It explained too well the slow moves and gait.

In front of the severity of the illness, Macho B had to be euthanized.

During the autopsy, specialists drew a frighteningly precise conclusion: The recent catch probably affected the animal to the point of being death cause. Chemicals used to calm it down, more precisely, would have been at the origin of its troubles.

So, there is no longer any jaguar living in the wild in the USA. The only good news seems to be the signature by B.Obama of an act repelling the recent amendment by G.W.Bush that effectively put the wildlife experts at Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Marine Fisheries Service out of the loop for projects that could cause harm to endangered species. Now again, the interests of wildlife will be taken into account and the industrial companies will no longer have a free ride. Science is coming back.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Defenders of wildlife, Futura-Sciences, Sierra Club & Wikipedia.

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Jaguar back in Mexico

(Monday, February 16th, 2009)

Jaguar (SINC / Octavio Monroy-Vilchis et al)

Jaguar (SINC / Octavio Monroy-Vilchis et al)

It was thought that jaguars had completely disappeared from Central Mexico since the beginning of the XXth Century. But here is one of these predators taken by a photographic trap in the Sierra Nanchititla Natural Reserve.

In total, there were three photos shot and scientists also found jaguar feces in this region.

It is supposed that if the animal has not been observed (yet) by human beings, it’s because of the fragmentation of its habitat forces it to walk out of view and in high-altitude mountainous zones that are not easily accessible.

Nevertheless, jaguar (Panthera onca) is still an extreemely fragile animal, whose survival is strictly not made certain by the mere presence of one isolated individual (maybe not completely alone, but it is considered that several dozen indiduals are needed to allow the difficult perpetuation of a wild species).

Birth of a baby jaguar

(Tuesday, January 27th, 2009)

The Palm Beach zoo now has a new jaguar cub (a female born October 28, 2008 at 4:13:32 AM). What is further interesting is that they shot a black-and-white video of the birth itself.

Birth at the Palm Beach zoo

Birth at the Palm Beach zoo

Panthera, species and subspecies

(Tuesday, December 16th, 2008)

Panthera is a genus of the family Felidae (the cats), which contains four well-known living species: the tiger, the lion, the leopard and the jaguar. The genus comprises about half of the big cats. One meaning of the word panther is to designate cats of this family. Only these four cat species have the anatomical changes enabling them to roar, due to a modification of the shape of their hyoid bone.

There have been many subspecies of leopard and lion suggested, however most of these are questionable. For example, recently, it has been proposed that all sub-saharan leopards and all sub-saharan lions belong to the same subspecies, as they do not have sufficient genetic distinction between them. Some prehistoric lion subspecies have been described from historical evidence and fossils. They may have been separate species.

However, here is a list of all these species:

Subfamily Pantherinae

Genus Panthera

  • Panthera gombaszoegensis – European jaguar †
  • Panthera leo – Lion
  • Panthera leo atrox – American Lion or North American cave lion †
  • Panthera leo azandica – North East Congo lion
  • Panthera leo bleyenberghi – Katanga lion or Southwest African lion
  • Panthera leo europaea – European lion †
  • Panthera leo fossilis – Early Middle Pleistocene European cave lion †
  • Panthera leo hollisteri – Congo lion
  • Panthera leo krugeri – South African lion or Southeast African lion
  • Panthera leo leo – Barbary lion †
  • Panthera leo melanochaita – Cape lion †
  • Panthera leo massaicus – Masai lion
  • Panthera leo persica – Asiatic lion
  • Panthera leo sinhaleyus – Sri Lanka lion or Ceylon lion †
  • Panthera leo somaliensis – Somali lion
  • Panthera leo spelaea – Eurasian cave lion †
  • Panthera leo senegalensis – West African lion, or Senegal lion
  • Panthera leo vereshchagini – East Siberian and Beringian cave lion †
  • Panthera leo verneyi – Kalahari lion
  • Panthera onca – Jaguar
  • Panthera palaeosinensis – Pleistocene Chinese tiger/leopard †
  • Panthera pardoides – primitive leopard †
  • Panthera pardus – Leopard
  • Panthera pardus adersi – Zanzibar Leopard †
  • Panthera pardus delacouri – Indo-Chinese Leopard
  • Panthera pardus fusca – Indian Leopard
  • Panthera pardus jarvesi – Judean Desert Leopard
  • Panthera pardus japonensis – North China Leopard
  • Panthera pardus jarvisi – Sinai Leopard
  • Panthera pardus kotiya – Sri Lanka Leopard
  • Panthera pardus meas – Java Leopard
  • Panthera pardus nimr – Arabian leopard or South Arabian Leopard
  • Panthera pardus orientalis – Amur Leopard
  • Panthera pardus panthera – Barbary Leopard
  • Panthera pardus pardus – African Leopard
  • Panthera pardus saxicolor – Persian Leopard
  • Panthera pardus tulliana – Anatolian Leopard
  • Panthera schaubi – a prehistoric short-faced leopard †
  • Panthera tigris – Tiger
  • Panthera tigris altaica – Siberian tiger or Amur tiger
  • Panthera tigris amoyensis – South China tiger
  • Panthera tigris balica – Balinese tiger †
  • Panthera tigris corbetti – Indochinese tiger
  • Panthera tigris jacksoni – Malayan tiger
  • Panthera tigris sondaica – Javan tiger †
  • Panthera tigris sumatran – Sumatran tiger
  • Panthera tigris tigris – Bengal tiger
  • Panthera tigris virgata – Caspian tiger †
  • Panthera toscana – Tuscany lion or Tuscany jaguar †
  • Panthera youngi – A prehistoric Chinese lion-like cat †

Nota bene: † denotes a subspecies that is disappeared.

Beware: The animal known as a black panther is not a separate species, but merely a mutant form of leopard and jaguar where the recessive gene that controls the spots has mutated so the creature appears all black.


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Latest update: 23-nov-15