Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gulf Coast Jaguarundi

Good evening and welcome to the first issue of Exploration: A Look Into the Mystery Behind the Jaguarundi. I'm Caroline Gnatzig and I will be telling you about the Jaguarundi, known scientifically as the Puma yaguarondi cacomitli.

This feline belongs to the kingdom Animalia and the domain Eukarya. This beautiful Gulf Coast jaguar is clearly a mammal. The jaguarundi prefers the a terrestrial habitat, and can be found in the lower Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast area of Texas, similar to the Ocelot. This mammal, which somewhat resembles a wiesel, prefers dense thickets of grass to protect it from its ferocious predators. The jaguarundi is a carnivore, and eats rabbits, rodents, and has even been citing going as far as to jump up and prey on birds in flight.

The jaguarundi have an unusually high life expectancy. This could stem from the fact that the jaguarundi protect their den with a determined fury. However, they also have very good immune systems that protect them from diseases that have inflicted other organisms surrounding them in the past. Bioprospectors could benefit in keeping the jaguarundi around because we might be able to learn more about why the immune system of the jaguarundi is so exceptionally. Maybe there is some genetic or chemical element to it. Therefore, finding out what makes them so immune to disease might help us protect ourselves and other endangered organisms from dying off.

Global warming could definitely affect the jaguarundi. Global warming would cause increasing temperatures which would lead to increased evaporation. The jaguarundi relies on water to quench its thirst and in the Rio Grande Valley water can be scarce as it is. The evaporation of small pools of water could cause the jaguarundi to have to walk further distances. Longer distances could cause the jaguar to dehydrate, killing off this amazing endangered species.