Jaguars (Panthera onca) prefer to live in areas with plenty of water for at least part of the year, although they will stray onto grasslands and into deserts in search of food. They live alone, taking refuge in secluded spots during the day and stalking prey at night. Despite being expert climbers, they hunt on the ground and drag their kills to hideaways before devouring them.
Female jaguars defend smaller territories than males, and a male's territory may overlap those of two or three females. The cats advertise their presence by scenting landmarks with urine or feces and by scraping marks on tree trunks and rocks.
When a female is ready to breed, she will leave her home range and be courted by outside males. Litters usually stay with their mother for about two years.