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Why do jaguars bite the skull of the prey?

India parvez Offline
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#1

I have been wondering why jaguars bite the skull of their prey which is obviously tougher than relatively easy bite to the neck. One reason I can find is horns. The jaguar region prey doesn't have horns. So it is easier to bite the head of the prey. But there is the cougar that bites the neck that is in the same regions as jaguar. My another guess is over the course of evolution in American continents, they have learned biting the skull probably makes the prey immotile and hence it is easier choice to bite the head of the prey. I want to hear opinions of forum members on this. Please give your opinions.
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India parvez Offline
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#2

Jaguar biting method,

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#3

Hello @parvez :

I would just say that, if the jaguar is able to bite through the prey's skull, the death is instantaneous, isn't ?

The second method indicated in #1 (severing the spinal column) prevents the prey from protecting itself.

Thus, the two methods involve an important saving time and risk. For a solitary predator, that is one good thing at least.
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India parvez Offline
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#4

@Spalea yes that is what I assumed. But cougar doesn't use that technique being in the same location. Prey from other continents have horns that is why they are unable to employ this method. But prey from americas have relatively smaller or no horns. But why only jaguar uses it. Anyways thanks for your opinion.
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#5

@parvez : quite agree with you. The preys of South America are not that big compared to the african or asiatic continents, and above all without horn. Thus, of course the jaguar can use this spectacular method of killing prey (bite through the skull... and reaching the brain). Why the puma doesn't use this way ? Perhaps because the puma's fangs seem longer and finer, thus more adapted to bite through the throat. And of course the puma hasn't a so powerful bite. Perhaps too because the puma would be an invading predator  compared to the jaguar which was there at first. I say an invading predator... I don't speak about a predator able to oust the jaguar but coming from countries with other types of preys with horns (reindeers, bovid calfs...).
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Switzerland Spalea Offline
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#6

@parvez :

I just come to think about something: What is the main method of the jaguar to kill the biggest wild prey he could have ? i.e. the tapir ? Does he kill the tapir with a bite through the skull too ?
Because, perhaps we could put into perspective. Except the tapir if the range of the jaguar's preys (mammals) fluctuates between 20 and 60 kilos, that's perhaps not so extraordinary...
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India Rishi Online
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#7
( This post was last modified: 12-14-2017, 03:16 PM by Rishi )

@parvez neck bite is actually pretty difficult, given their pretty choice like tape, capibara, pikarie, caiman etc. All them have a thick neck & spine deep inside it. 

Also neither of them are that big.

Compared to all the other Pantherinae, jaguars tend to have a larger head to body & higher bite force... so they use it to their advantage.
"Everything not saved will be lost."

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India parvez Offline
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#8

@Spalea The cougar's canines aren't long. In fact they are very inferiorly built compared to a Jaguar's. Perhaps the concept of biting the head needs invincibility. After trying to bite the neck of the prey jaguar must have undergone a lot of stress as it is tough to get underneath the neck. Also the prey too small to get under the neck. Jaguar must have tried with spine or backbone of the prey. The prey must have escaped or retaliated. After achieving invincibility it must have learned that neck bite is stressful and after developing robustiness of the canines the bite force must have increased and hence the head of the prey must have begun to be targeted now with greater bite force and slowly the robustiness in jaws must have lead to strong jaws. Without robustiness head or skull cannot be targeted as the skull bones are tough to break with lower bite force. This is just my opinion. Take time to digest slowly.
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India brotherbear Offline
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#9

There are no huge native herbivores in South America. The biggest being the tapir. Mostly monkeys, anteaters, and a few marsupials. A bite to the skull is a quick way to dispatch a big fish or a caiman. Big cats of Asia and Africa had to learn how to kill much bigger prey.
 Grizzly  - Boss of the Woods.
        
  
             
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United States Stealthcat Offline
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#10

(12-14-2017, 03:14 PM)Rishi Wrote: @parvez neck bite is actually pretty difficult, given their pretty choice like tape, capibara, pikarie, caiman etc. All them have a thick neck & spine deep inside it. 

Also neither of them are that big.

Compared to all the other Pantherinae, jaguars tend to have a larger head to body & higher bite force... so they use it to their advantage.


Honestly, I like jaguars a lot, and to me they seem strong in the head area, or skull, I just do not see them as strong as people think, they do seem more robust in the body than say some leopards or even tigers, but I don't recall seeing a jaguar really where you can really detect the muscular structure adequately to really judge or compare in the shoulders or arm area per say.  I'd like to see if anyone has any shots or pics that do.
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Canada Wolverine Offline
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#11
( This post was last modified: 01-03-2018, 10:07 AM by Wolverine )

(12-14-2017, 10:23 AM)parvez Wrote: I have been wondering why jaguars bite the skull of their prey which is obviously tougher than relatively easy bite to the neck. One reason I can find is horns. The jaguar region prey doesn't have horns. So it is easier to bite the head of the prey. But there is the cougar that bites the neck that is in the same regions as jaguar. My another guess is over the course of evolution in American continents, they have learned biting the skull probably makes the prey immotile and hence it is easier choice to bite the head of the prey. I want to hear opinions of forum members on this. Please give your opinions.

Because after the mass pleystocenne extinction of the mega-fauna in South America 10 000 years ago jaguars were left almost without big mammals to hunt so they were enforced to hunt reptiles with hard pancers - turtles, caimans etc, subsequently in order to survive they developed uniquely strong bite. So for modern jaguars all animals including mammals and even the men a KIND OF TURTLES - so even the man-eating jaguar crush the skull of the man as he is a turtle. This is an evolutionary adaptation for habitat rich of reptiles but poor of large mammals.
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India parvez Offline
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#12

@Wolverine I completely understand. But why did cougar not develop such technique being in the same landscape as jaguar?
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Canada Wolverine Offline
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#13
( This post was last modified: 01-03-2018, 10:54 AM by Wolverine )

(01-03-2018, 10:17 AM)parvez Wrote: @Wolverine I completely understand. But why did cougar not develop such technique being in the same landscape as jaguar?

Cougar is not only tropical cat, it has much wider distribution including Northern cold snowy landscapes as Canada and Patagonia where there aren't reptiles and where short-legged jaguar cant survive. Cougar is an universalist hunter and does not depende of reptiles as mash the jaguar, Noth America unlike Sout America is rich of large mammals - moose, deer, bighorn et. His head is relatively small to the body hence his bite can not be so strong as the bite of the jaguar. Modern jaguar is strictly tropical cat, the cougar is both Northern and tropical cat.
For the cougar are typical relatively long legs and relatively small head, that's why he is strong jumper.
For the jaguar are typical relatively short legs and relatively big head. This are completely difrerent cats.
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Canada Saiya Offline
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#14

As another poster mentioned - my theory on this is that compared to in Africa and Asia, in the jaguar's home range there aren't so many (native) large prey species that have horns and a crushing bite into brain or cervical area is a quicker way to kill. I think this is why lions and leopards (not so sure about tigers though as the deer in their homerange aren't always armed with antlers) have evolved to use suffocation the most as means of killing ungulates.

Leopards are known to kill hominids with skull bites.
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Canada Saiya Offline
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#15

I recall reading several accounts (by puma fans) of cougars killing deer without antlers and wolves, with a bite to the skull or nape area. Sorry about my inicial reply repeating the same thing as the original poster - got ahead of myself when I saw the title of this thread without reading it through Lol .
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