Download An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz PDF
By Alan Rabinowitz
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Extra info for An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar
Ironically, early man—an outsider to the supercarnivore guilds of Africa and Asia and potential prey rather than predator—did not fare so well himself. Anthropologists speculate that early food procurement by humans involved scavenging carcasses from larger felid kills, an activity that might have shaped the social behavior of early hominids. As many as 22 species of hominids went extinct, at least 11 of which were of the genus Homo. ” And recent evidence indicates that, while the population of humans fluctuated, there were perhaps no more than 10,000 breeding individuals of Homo sapiens during nearly the whole of the Pleistocene.
One more rainy season and the road would be impassable, I thought as I crept along in the truck, listening to the static of my radio receiver that monitored the collars of my jaguars. I was after the radio signal of my newest jaguar, a young 36-kilogram (79-pound) male I had recently captured in this area and named Xamen Ek, after the Mayan god of the North Star, a benevolent deity. It was 1984, and at age 30 with my relatively new PhD credentials I was conducting the first ecological study of its kind on jaguars in rain forest habitat as a field scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Its 40- to 160-kilogram (88- to 352-pound), short, stocky structure resulted in a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator that, while mostly terrestrial, was also adept at tree climbing and swimming. Hunting mostly after dark, the jaguar could be active day or night. With a robust skull and powerful jaws as part of a smaller, more compact yet still incredibly powerful structure, the jaguar was capable of taking down prey far larger than itself, or crawling quietly through the underbrush to pounce upon a smaller, unsuspecting meal.