The Jaguar was one of the top Pleistocene Predators and part of the roaring cats of Florida. The members of the Panthera Family all have an adapted hyoid mechanism that gives them the ability to roar.
Today’s large conical-toothed cat has a length of 5.5-6 feet (1.5-2M) and males can weigh over 330 lbs. (150kg). Estimates of 500lbs and 8 feet (2.5M) have been given for the Ice-age cat. This powerful Ice Age Predator was 20-25 percent larger and had longer limbs than the modern animal of today. Today, they are confined to South and Central America, but during the Pleistocene Epoch, they ranged from North America to South America.
In North America, fossils from this Big Cat can be found in the earliest Pleistocene deposits. It is thought to be more closely related to the extinct European variety, Panthera gombaszoegensis. It has a close lineage to Leopards and may have split from that group 500,000 years ago. Panthera augusta is considered the oldest (Jaguar) of North America.
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This large, heavily built cat was a powerful swimmer and was very capable of eating turtles, small
and fish. They typically killed their prey with a bite to the skull and penetrated into the brain, often through the ears.
They are mostly a reclusive Big Cat, except for the breeding season.
In Florida, they are the most common Large Fossil Cat found in the middle and late Pleistocene, and much more abundant than the American Lion.
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