(ORDO NEWS) — For a long time, zoologists considered jaguars – the largest cats of the New World – convinced loners, converging with each other only for the breeding season.
However, now it turned out that adult male jaguars are ready to pair up if this allows them to more effectively protect the territory and increase the chances of mating.
Lions are a rare exception among wild cats, most of which are considered strictly solitary animals that do not tolerate competitors in their territory.
Scientists believed that, apart from the mother raising the cubs, no lynx, ocelot or jaguar would share food or territory with another member of its species, and their collision outside the breeding season would lead to aggression.
Now it seems that zoologists will have to reconsider their views, at least with regard to the jaguar , because, after observing the interaction between males of this species in Venezuela and Brazil for several years, the researchers found, not without surprise, that most of the contacts could not be called hostile.
More than 7,000 recorded videos recorded 105 interactions between adult jaguars, most of which – 70 cases – scientists classified as cooperation or coalition formation.
In only 18 cases, the interaction between male jaguars was aggressive, while the rest of the time they cooperated or peacefully dispersed in different directions.
At the same time, unions between males were not temporary: animals were constantly seen together for many years.
So, one couple jointly patrolled the territory, communicated with each other, shared the prey and rested together for seven years, the other for eight.
At the same time, males did not become aggressive towards each other even during the breeding season, and each of the coalition jaguars converged and mated with several females.
It is curious that, unlike lions, in which coalitions mainly occur between brothers, male jaguars were more willing to cooperate with unrelated animals.
It is assumed that the emergence of “male unions” was facilitated by the high density of jaguars and potential prey: since there was enough food for everyone, as well as females ready for breeding, the united males were able to more effectively control their territory and protect it from strangers.
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