Sonntag, 18. August 2013

Panthera onca

After a lot of bird or feather entries I think we need a break. Well, I have so many things to tell you about birds that I had to stop myself and write about something totally different instead. Let me tell you the story about a “small” skull of a special cat. It’s the skull of a near-threatened animal which lives in the jungle of South America. Yes, I’m talking about the jaguar! It’s really hard to get such a skull or other jaguar products, because this animal is listed in CITES appendix 1! That means it is forbidden do deal with jaguar skulls and furs. But how did I get one? Please read more under the cut.

Don’t worry, I know the laws in Switzerland and I got that skull the legal way. Like my lion and tiger skull I bought that jaguar skull by an old pensioned taxidermist. And it even wasn’t a wild animal at all, it was from a zoo. I think that’s why my jaguar skull isn’t that big.
Next to lions and tigers the jaguars are the biggest cats of prey in the world! These cats bite twice as powerful like lions and next to the spotted hyena they are the most powerful land animals in the world! One of jaguars favourite food are turtles so they need powerful jaws to crack these shells. That’s very impressive.

Even though the skull looks like new it is very old. Nowadays taxidermists don’t get zoo animals anymore, so I think this skull is about 50 years old or even older. It also has some damage on the teeth which I think happened post-mortem.

The animal died old as well, because the cracks by the skull plates are all fused together.
Jaguar skulls are about 21 to 30cm long, so my jaguar was very small for being an older type. I think it was a female and since it lived in a zoo it never had to use its full strength for to hunting or to even crack up turtle shells. But maybe it was genetic endowments as well.

Look at that strong cheekbone. Even if it was a zoo animal it must have had a very powerful bite though.

Measurement of the skull: 21cm long, 13.5cm wide and 10.5cm high.

In South America the jaguars are on the top of the food chain. Only the human is a danger to them, because humans stub the forests where jaguars use to live and sometimes these wonderful cats get killed by farmers who want to protect their cows.

Anyway, I’m a bit sad for those beautiful cats of prey. I hope they won’t extinct!

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