By Alan Rabinowitz
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Extra resources for An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar
But with little evidence indicating a clear separation of European and North American jaguar paleo-populations, it is now believed that they all The Pleistocene Jaguar Corridor 15 derive from a single phylogenetic lineage—possibly the same jaguar species—including the modern-day jaguar. Obvious morphological differences between early and late forms, however, point to the likelihood of at least three distinct races of European jaguars between the late Pliocene and the mid-Pleistocene. The North American jaguar that crossed the Beringia land bridge became a separate race, 15–25 percent heavier (up to 210 kilograms, or 463 pounds) and with larger skulls and dentition than current living jaguars.
Thinking back on the capture of Xamen Ek still made my heart race. I remembered my first sight of him, crouching silently in a far corner of the nearly two-meter-long, one-meter-high (six-footlong by three-foot-high) cage trap, built of iron rebar and baited with a live pig enclosed at the back. It had taken me several attempts before learning how to build a trap that was strong enough to hold these cats. Then I came up with the idea of building one in pieces that could be hauled far back into the jungle and assembled on-site.
Many indigenous people seemed ambivalent towards the natural world: they were both terrified by the uncertainty and power of the environment (drought, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes), yet also pleased and grateful for nature’s bounty and the predictable natural rhythms on which they depended for survival. Forests were dark and scary places with dangerous wild animals like jaguars and poisonous plants; forests were also the source of many edible plants, game animals, medicines, and building materials.
An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz