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Jaguar vs Tiger Differences and Comparison

Jaguar vs Tiger Differences and Comparison

When it comes to an animal fight between the two animals of the big cat family, it would be an interesting and exciting one. This time we have a jaguar, the third-largest big cat on one side whereas on the other, we have a tiger the largest of all big cats. These two magnificent animals live in different halves of the world; however, they have similar physical traits and hunting skills they are very different from each other. Many people want to know who would win if they ever encounter each other; to know the winner of this animal duel we’ll look into different traits of these animals in detail. Let’s know about them.  

Physical Traits:

Jaguars are the largest and sole representative of genus Panthera in the American continent. They have body length ranging between 150-180 cm whereas their height up to shoulders is about 75 cm. Jaguars have muscular built, heavy skull, square jaws, strong and powerful limbs. Jaguar’s coat colour varies from tawny-yellow to reddish-brown; they have large rosettes which help them in camouflaging. Jaguars hunt its prey by ambushing them. As jaguars are stocky and heavy built, they can’t run for a long distance; however, they can briefly run at considerable speed.

Tigers are also muscular and powerful animals; they hunt big mammals with their sharp claws, strong jaws, ambushing skills, and camouflaging colour. Coloration in tigers varies from standard orange with black stripes (normal tigers), white tigers have a white coat with black or brown stripes (rare), and the golden tiger has cinnamon-colored stripes (extremely rare). Tigers are the heaviest big cats but their weight highly varies depending on species as a male Siberian tiger can weigh around 272-280 kg and reach a body of length of 3 meters. Tigers are identified with their distinctive stripe patterns as each tiger has a different stripe pattern; it helps them to camouflage and ambush during hunt.

Behavioural Traits:

Jaguars are active during any time of the day but they are most active during dawn and dusk. They are solitary and prefer to live in dense forests. Jaguars only meet during mating season; female jaguars take care of their young ones while the male has no responsibility in the upbringing of their cubs. Tigers are also solitary animal; female tigers took care of their young ones and it is the only long term relationship they have. They are most active at night. Most aggressive territorial fights happen between male tigers which often leads to death of defeating one.

Geographical Distribution:

Jaguars are found in southern Arizona, New Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Guiana. They have the largest concentration in Amazon basins including cerrado, Pantanal and Chaco. Tigers are indigenous to Asia and some parts of Russia; they can live in grassland, swamp areas (Sunderbans, India), and forest.


Jaguars live in the dense rainforest; although they are also found in scrubland, mashes, coastal forests, swamps etc. Jaguars are good climbers; they often hide their preys on trees. Jaguars are excellent swimmers; they also hunt underwater too.

Tigers live in varied habitats viz. tropical lowland evergreen forests, dry thorn forest, woodlands, tundra forests, mangrove forests and deciduous forests.


Jaguars are carnivores; their diet consists of animals like deer, tapirs, peccaries, caimans, turtles, fish, large birds, capybaras. They hunt by ambushing their prey and kill them by biting or breaking their neck bone with their large canines which suffocates their prey. Tigers usually prefer to hunt at night. They reach their preys stealthily and kill them by ambushing; they bite the neck of prey and breaks it which leads to its death. Tiger’s diet is comprised of large animals like sambhar, barasingha, elk, sika deer, nilgai, banteng, gaur, water buffalo, Malayan tapir, gaur, wild pigs and crocodile. They also hunt small animals like birds, rodents, turtles, fish etc.

Amazing Facts:

  • Tigers are also excellent swimmers; they can cross 6-8 m Wide River with ease.
  • Tiger have strong and powerful legs; it can leap up to 10 metres

Tiger vs Jaguar Fight: Who would win?

Jaguars and Tigers are ferocious animals, both are immensely powerful. However, both live in different habitat and geographical regions; so the possibility of their natural encounter is close to nil. Even if they have a confrontation, we predict the tiger would win. Tigers is bigger and heavier than jaguar; this is already an advantage to the tiger’s side. Tiger can easily kill a jaguar in a couple of seconds. Hence, tiger is the winner of this animal duel. However, jaguar is very strong and powerful in proportion to its size; if the jaguar was equal to the size of the tiger then it might have flipped the game.

Comparison Chart : Jaguar vs Tiger

Comparison Heads Jaguar Tiger
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Class Chordata Mammalia
Order Mammalia Carnivora
Family Felidae Felidae
Genus Panthera Panthera
Species P. Onca P. Tigris
Body Length 150-180 cm 270-300 cm
Weight Around 100 kg 200-317 kg
Top-Speed 80 km/h 49-65 km/h
Geographical Distribution South America and Some parts of North America Found across Asia.
Habitat Dense Forests Grasslands, Forest, Swamps, Marshes.
Kill through Ambushing their prey and biting its neck Ambushing their prey and biting its neck
Lifespan 12-15 years 10-15 years

Comparison Video: Jaguar vs Tiger

FAQ’s-Frequently Asked Questions

  • Could a jaguar kill a tiger?

    Bite force of jaguar is the most powerful of all big cats,Jaguar’s only way to kill tiger is if they go for the skull.

  • Which big cat has the strongest bite force?

    Jaguars have the strongest jaw muscles. bite force is around 200 pounds per square inch

  • What is the lifespan of Tiger and Jaguar?

    8 – 10 years for Tigers and 12 – 15 years for Jaguars in the Wild.

  • What animal can kill a Jaguar?

    Anaconda, It is the most prominent natural enemy of jaguar in its natural habitat.

  • Can a Jaguar be tamed?

    Jaguars and all big cats are hunters by instinct, and should not be domesticated , unless you are a specialist.