Nature Lesson: Jaguarundi

 Until recently I had never heard of a Jaguarundi cat, and I know my cats. So after several searches I found information on this elusive feline. Here I introduce to you the Jaguarundi.

The jaguarundi is native to Central America and the northern and central countries of South America down to Argentina – it is also rarely sighted in parts of Texas and New Mexico in the southern United States. A number of jaguarundi are also to be found in Florida, although these are descendants of a small population introduced to the area in the 1940’s.
In appearance the jaguarundi is unlike any other cat and has been likened to a large weasel or otter, hence its english common name of ‘Otter Cat’. It is uniform in colour, ranging from dark grey/brown to an almost chestnut brown. In common with other species of wild cat, the darker forms are usually associated with dense forest cover and the paler forms with more arid habitats.

The body of the jaguarundi is long and low supported by short legs, measuring up to some 30 inches with an additional tail of about 20 inches. The head is small in proportion to its body size and sports short weasel like ears and narrow brown eyes.
 The jaguarundi is most commonly found in lowland habitats with good cover, such as forest margins and scrubland but is also found less commonly in dense tropical vegetation. The jaguarundi is often to be found close to running water and is an expert catcher of fish, which are caught with its probing front paws. Reports on the other prey species associated with the cat tend to vary on a regional basis but in general they include birds, which form a large part of its diet, small mammals, rodents, and reptiles.

credit: Photo and informaton about the animal is property of


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