How Jaguars Survived the Ice Age
The mastodons, ground sloths, and sabercats are all gone. They all slipped into extinction around 10,000 or so years ago, along with an even wider variety of fantastic beasts and birds that fall under the category “megafauna.” But not all the Ice Age megamammals died out. We spend so much time mourning the losses that we often forget the survivors that carry whispers of the Pleistocene world. Among these resilient beasts is the jaguar.
Jaguars are old cats. They first evolved in Eurasia sometime around three million years ago before spreading both west and east, eventually inhabiting a range from southern England to Nebraska and down into South America. Today’s range of southern