Male Jaguar rivals engage in impromptu bromance for years.

 Researchers have discovered that rival male jaguars are unpredictably working together for years at a time to look for mates.

Most of the time, male jaguars live alone in the wild, only coming into contact with other males when they need to mate with females or defend their territory from other males.

In an unexpected turn of events, however, scientists have discovered proof of uncommon and infrequent male jaguar (Panthera onca) pairings can live side by side for up to seven years. Due to the spatial concentration of female mates, which has driven the male large cats to split up their respective areas, the big cats most likely create these unexpected partnerships.

Researchers analysed camera trap footage, GPS data, and in-field observations from five different studies conducted across South America for a new study that was published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology(opens in new tab). They found two instances of these male big-cat bromances. Before the odd allies broke apart, both coalitions lasted for at least five years.

In previously unseen video, a Jaguar kills another cat that preys on humans.

The study's co-author Allison Devlin said, "This unexpected result demonstrates that wild male jaguars may collaborate, cooperate, and even establish lifelong relationships with former competitors when it suits their aim of getting better access to prey, mates, and territory.

The scientists discovered 105 encounters between males after studying more than 7,000 records of jaguars. Nine of these contacts between males were classified as social intolerance, indicating that the males avoided one another but did not conflict, and 70 of them shown evidence of cooperation. The other interactions were unclassified. However, after thoroughly examining the cooperative contacts, the researchers discovered that these activities were mostly the result of two distinct bromances.

The first couple was spotted in the Pantanal, a large wetland environment that extends into Bolivia and Paraguay and is located in Brazil. When one of the jaguars was probably killed in 2014, this alliance, which had begun in 2006, came to an end. Together, they patrolled territory and spoke to one another audibly.

The second pair was spotted in Los Llanos, a flat depression that occupies almost a fifth of Venezuela, between 2013 and 2018. Surprisingly, throughout this period, both of the jaguars in this couple mated successfully with a number of females. What transpired to the couple after 2018 remains unknown.

In 2010 and 2019, two additional male jaguar pairings were sighted in the Brazilian Pantanal, however these savage twosomes were only observed together once each.

After seeing the unusual pairings, the researchers focused on possible causes of the jaguars' friendship.


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