Jaguars. These big cats reside in rainforests of the Amazon basin and Pantanal wetlands. Swift and silent, these hunters swim, run, and climb trees for prey.
However, rainforests are shrinking. Deforestation, global warming, and forest fires foreshadow infrequent rain and lengthier dry seasons. Green canopies will become bushes and tall grass, an open grassland that jaguars must adapt to.
First, jaguars’ round pupils will turn into silted pupils. Slitted pupils let in more light, an ability jaguars need for greater success in hunting during different light conditions because prey is scarce. Their signature rosettes will turn into a lighter color. The tan-colored backdrop favor jaguars that have a lighter pelt for stalking in the open area. The jaguar’s paws will turn smaller, have softer pads, and longer claws. Jaguars can’t depend on climbing abilities to catch prey, so smaller, softer pads will enhance their stalking on the ground.
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