Jaguar, Panthera onca

Today, the jaguar is the largest cat in the western hemisphere and the third largest cat in the world, but the jaguars that lived during the middle to late Pleistocene may have been much larger than their modern counterparts (Kurten and Anderson 1980). In fact, a fairly inclusive comparison of fossil jaguar remains from sites in North America with modern subspecies of jaguar found that the average late Pleistocene jaguar was roughly 15 percent larger than the average modern jaguar (Seymour 1993). However, this same study also found that late Pleistocene jaguars were roughly the same size as the males of a particularly large modern subspecies of jaguar (Panthera onca paraguensis) that is currently found in Brazil.


Jaguar. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Karen and John Hollingsworth

Carnivora (Dogs, Cats, Bears, etc.)
Felidae (Cats)

Height: modern - 75cm (2.5 ft) at shoulder; late Pleistocene - unknown

Weight: modern average – 55-95 kg (120-210 lbs); late Pleistocene average -85-100 kg (185-220 lbs), Seymour 1993