Jaguars once roamed as far north as the deserts of Arizona and southern California. But they now live only in México, Central America, and South America.
The jaguar is slightly smaller, but heavier, than the mountain lion. A male jaguar may grow about 8 feet long, including its 2½-foot tail, and may weigh up to 290 pounds. The jaguar's coat is usually deep yellow or brownish-yellow and marked with many dark spots. Some spots look like broken rings. These spots are light-colored with dark borders and a dark spot in the center. Other spots are black. Some South American jaguars are almost coal black. It is next to the lion and tiger in strength among the cats. Ancient Maya Indians considered the jaguar a god.
The jaguar is in the cat family, Felidae.
It is genus Panthera, species P. onca.