How to pronounce ‘Panthera onca’

This is how you pronounce Panthera onca. It looks easy! But a major website which has the sole purpose of informing you how to pronounce words totally screws up 😕 . That site is: Sorry guys but your work on this is horrible.

Jaguar kills caiman. I believe you can see the jaguar employing its special way of killing: forcing its canine teeth into the skull.
Jaguar kills caiman. I believe you can see the jaguar employing its special way of killing: forcing its canine teeth into the skull.
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Please click on the link below and you’ll be immediately taken to a self-playing audio file which tells you how to pronounce the scientific name of the jaguar 🙂 . Yes this is the name scientists give to the magnificent jaguar, the cat with the strongest bite of all the cats.

How to pronounce Panthera onca

The Latin word ‘Panthera‘ (the first letter is always in capitals) describes the group of cats (genus) in the Felidae family that are called the big cats. They are distinguished from the other cats by their ability to roar. They can roar because of their particular anatomy in and around their vocal cords. You’ll note that the Latin words are in italics. This is a convention which you often see. In Brazil the jaguar is called the onca.

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Snake-eating jaguar
Snake-eating jaguar. Credit: Michel Zoghzoghi / 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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The four big cats who roar are: the tiger (Panthera tigris), lion (P. leo), jaguar (P. onca), and leopard (P. pardus) on the basis of common cranial features.


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