the only big cat species in the New World, jaguars have dominated the
rituals and stories of the people who live there. Depictions of jaguars
are found in ruins all along Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, where the
jaguar was a chief figure in religious rites. Some tales say that
jaguars can move between worlds because they are at home both in the
trees and on the ground, and they hunt both day and night. Today, the
jaguar continues to be considered a symbol of royalty, intelligence,
beauty, and strength.