The Jaguar (Panthera onca) is noted for having the most powerful jaws of all wildcats, although not reaching the size of lions or tigers. Nevertheless the average weight of adult males is 227 lb, however, jaguars weighting more than 320 lb have reportedly been caught in the Pantanal. Because of the exuberant food supply offered by the rich wildlife in the Pantanal, his size outreaches almost twice the Central-American jaguars. The jaguar or onça pintada, how he is called in Portuguese, lives solitary and prefers habitats close to water, especially gallery forest. It stands under strict protection and sustains the status of CITES Appendix I of the Washington endangered species convention.
Contrary to many travel organizations publicity, the jaguar can be observed best not in the impenetrable Amazonian rainforest but in the bush lands and savannahs of the Pantanal. Being nocturnal the Jaguar is supposed to be generally evasive during the day. However, since there are no natural enemies to him, except humans and they obey to a rather protective policy nowadays, the big feline feels at ease even during the day. Due to the extreme mobility during his nightly hunts the Jaguar covers a huge area in a short period of time. The observation of this predator during the day requires therefore time and patience. It can mostly be observed relaxing on riverbanks, fishing and crossing rivers or even in the vicinity of human settlements.