Biometric Characterization of Panthera onca Kept in Captivity in Pará State, Brazil
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2009
D.J.S. Lima; G.S. Oliveira; R.K.G. Bastos; A.C.A. Pereira; A.M.C. Meneses; C.C.G. Moraes; V.T. Almeida; M.V.N. Vasconcelos; R.N. Dias Neto; P.A.S. Oliveira; M. A. Luz; N.F. Souza; R.F. Andrade; R.S. Andrade; L.H.C. Pereira; A.C.F. Cardoso; D.S. Fragoso; R.B.S. Kuroda; A.C.C. Lacreta Junior; E.R. Branco; F.C.M. Oliveira; B.M.A. Leandro; A.M. Costa; B.R. Martins; C.C.S. Martins; L.S. Seixas; K.A. Reis; E.N.L. Andrade; H.M.H. Pancieri
Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia, Montese, Belém, Brazil


The Panthera onca is the largest feline in the American continent. The body is robust, compact and muscular, with average size of 132.7 cm, the legs are strong and muscular and feet are very large. The tail is relatively short, with 57.6 cm, the average body weight is 61.4 kilograms, could reach 135 kg. (Oliveira & Cassaro 1999), and may vary depending on the habitat, sex and prey available. The length of the body of the females are 10 to 20% smaller than males (Seymour 1989). It is completely covered by black spots, which come to form rosettes of many different sizes but are generally large and with one or more black spots in its interior, the color varies between brown and yellow-ocher, tending to a brownish yellow (Oliveira & Cassaro, 2005). In captivity stress can depress the immune system of animals and thus facilitates the emergence of diseases (Birchard & Sherding 1998, Muller et al. 2005) that can cause delays in providing growth, reproductive damage and behavioral disorders (Moberg 2000), and Moreover the nutritional management of captive assumes a vital importance in preventing the occurrence of metabolic disorders and/or deficiencies. Currently, only 15% of the population (212 animals) has its origin known, representing individuals that could be used in breeding program of genetically viable. However, almost 70% of the population is over 12 years of age, and that means a group of age with low reproductive potential. (Silva & Adana, 2006). Many conservation strategies can be employed to increase the chances of survival of species threatened with extinction felidae (Filoni & Catão-Dias 2005), among which we mention, in addition to the preservation and restoration of habitat to ensure the preservation in the wild and employment of biotechnology applied to breeding in captivity, maintaining a viable population in captivity in its various aspects (medical, health, reproductive and genetic) (Silva & Adana 2006). The characterization of biometric Panthera onca can follow the development of animals, mainly of kept in captivity, justifying this study.

Material and Methods

The experiment was conducted in the Park Zoobotânico "Adhemar Monteiro", in the municipality of Capitão Poço, Pará State, Brazil. We used 11 animals of the species Panthera onca, five males and six females. All animals studied were adults aged between two and a half years and seven years old. To do biometrics was necessary to conduct the chemical restraint, intramuscular, using launch of the blow darts with the aid of blowpipe containing the dissociative anesthetic ketamine and an α-2 agonist, xylazine in their doses: 10 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg. Tranquilization after the animals were placed on a flat surface to determine the body condition and biometric measures. The body condition was determined by the allocation of scores, using a scale from 0 to 5 points (0 = extremely lean animal and animal fat = 5). (Mourad et al. 1989 apud Menezes in 2007). The measures were determined using a tape measure in centimeters. The following measurements were taken: average total body length (length of the tip of the tail to the tip of the snout), with the average total length of the tail length, height (length of the region's withers until the end of the previous State), the average circumference the chest, length of the tail, the average length of the head, the average circumference of the head, neck circumference average, average ear length, ear width average, the average circumference of the testes; biometrics as the front and back foot was the right length average total, average length of pad, average width of pad, the average length of more pad the third finger, middle finger width, while the teeth was the average length of canine top and bottom, right and left. After the tabulation of the data were calculated the mean, standard deviation and range of a standard deviation (upper and lower limit on the standard deviation).


In males the average body score was 3.1 in magnitude lower(Ainf) and magnitude higher (Asup) respectively equal to 2.88 and 3.32 of a standard deviation (Dpad) equal as 0,22. In fames the average body score was 2.75 with Ainf = 2.33, Asip = 3.17 e Dpad = 0.42. In biometric of males specimens, its was obtaining average total body length = 196.75cm with Ainf = 185.18cm, Asup = 208.31cm and Dpad = 11.56cm; body length with the length of the tail = 140.5cm with Ainf = 129.11cm, Asup = 151.89cm and Dpad = 11.39cm average height = 62.25cm with Ainf = 56.87cm, Asup = 67.63cm and Dpad = 5.38cm; average chest circumference = 80.1cm, with Ainf = 74.6cm, Asup = 85.6cm and Dpad = 5.5cm; length of the tail = 57.8cm with Ainf = 52.93cm, Asup = 62.67cm and Dpad = 4.87cm; average length of head = 28cm with Ainf = 26.85cm, Asup = 29,15cm and Dpad = 1.15cm; average circumference of the head = 58.1cm with Ainf = 53.25cm, Asup = 62.95cm and Dpad = 4.85cm; average circumference of neck = 52.9cm with Ainf = 47.4cm, Asup = 58.4cm and Dpad = 5.5cm; average length of the ear = 7.5cm with Ainf = 6.5cm, Asup = 8.5cm and Dpad = 1cm; average width of the ear = 7.38cm with Ainf = 6.52cm, Asup = 8.23cm and Dpad = 0.85cm; average circumference of testicles = 15.8cm with Ainf = 13.46cm, Asup = 18.14cm and Dpad = 2.34cm. As to the right anterior paw of biometrics, the average total length = 13.46cm with Ainf = 7.75cm, Asup = 19.17cm and Dpad = 5.71cm; average length of pad = 4.64cm with Ainf = 4.05cm, Asup = 5.23cm and Dpad = 0.59cm; average width of pad = 6.44 with Ainf = 6.08cm, Asup = 6.8cm and Dpad = 0.36cm; average length of pad more the third finger = 8.62cm with Ainf = 8.26cm, Asup = 8.98cm and Dpad = 0.36cm; average width of fingers = 8.72cm with Ainf = 8.24cm, Asup = 9.2cm and Dpad = 0.48cm. As to the right rear paw of biometrics, the average total length = 20.54cm with Ainf = 16.14cm, Asup = 24.94cm and Dpad = 4.4cm; average length of pad = 4.62cm with Ainf = 4.31cm, Asup = 4.93cm and Dpad = 0.31cm; average width of pad = 5.82cm with Ainf = 5.29cm, Asup = 6.35cm and Dpad = 0.53cm; average length of pad more the third finger = 8.24cm with Ainf = 7.87cm, Asup = 8.61cm and Dpad = 0.37cm; average width of fingers = 6.82cm with Ainf = 6.37cm, Asup = 7.27cm and Dpad = 0.45cm. As the canine teeth of biometrics, the average length of the upper right canine = 2.83cm with Ainf = 2.04cm, Asup = 3.61cm and Dpad = 0.78cm; average length of the upper left canine = 3.33cm with Ainf = 2.44cm, Asup = 4.21cm and Dpad = 0.8 9cm; average length of the lower right canine = 2.93cm with Ainf = 2.7cm, Asup = 3.15cm and Dpad = 0.22cm; average length of the lower left canine = 2.93cm with Ainf = 2.7cm, Asup = 3.15cm and Dpad = 0.22cm; In female specimens of biometrics, it was obtained average total body length = 186.42cm with Ainf = 175.48cm, Asup = 197.35cm and Dpad = 10.94cm; body length without the length of tail = 131.75cm with Ainf = 124.77cm, Asup = 138.73cm and Dpad = 6.98cm; average height = 56.2cm with Ainf = 51.18cm, Asup = 61.22cm and Dpad = 5.02cm; average chest circumference = 70.67cm, with Ainf = 65.05cm, Asup = 76.29cm and Dpad = 5.62cm; average body length = 105.5cm with Ainf = 99.85cm, Asup = 111.15cm and Dpad = 5.65cm; tail length = 54.67cm with Ainf = 49.09cm, Asup = 60.24cm and Dpad = 5.57cm; average length of head = 26.25cm with Ainf = 23.89cm, Asup = 28.61cm and Dpad = 2.36cm; average circumference of head = 26.25cm with Ainf = 23.89cm, Asup = 28.61cm and Dpad = 2.36cm; average circumference of neck = 44,5cm with Ainf = 41.85cm, Asup = 47.15cm and Dpad = 2.65cm; average length of ear = 6.6cm with Ainf = 6.18cm, Asup = 7.02cm and Dpad = 0.42cm; average width of ear = 7cm with Ainf = 6.39cm, Asup = 7.61cm and Dpad = 0.61cm. As for the previous right paw of biometrics, average total length = 21cm with Ainf = 12.52cm, Asup = 14.73cm and Dpad = 1.11cm; average length of pad = 4.03cm with Ainf = 3.66cm, Asup = 4.39cm and Dpad = 0.37cm; average width of pad = 5.4cm with Ainf = 4.97cm, Asup = 5.83cm and Dpad = 0.43cm; average length of pad more third finger = 7.5cm with Ainf = 7.12cm, Asup = 7.88cm and Dpad = 0.38cm; average width of fingers = 7.6cm with Ainf = 7.36cm, Asup = 7.84cm and Dpad = 0.24cm. As to the right rear paw of biometrics, average total length = 21.18cm with Ainf = 20cm, Asup = 22.36cm and Dpad = 1.18cm; average length of pad = 3.93cm with Ainf = 3.61cm, Asup = 4.25cm and Dpad = 0.32cm; average width of pad = 5.15cm with Ainf = 4.77cm, Asup = 5.53cm and Dpad = 0,38cm; average length of pad more the third finger = 7.15cm with Ainf = 6.79cm, Asup = 7.51cm and Dpad = 0,36cm; average width of fingers = 6.32cm with Ainf = 6.09cm, Asup = 6.55cm and Dpad = 0.23cm. As for biometrics of canine teeth, average length of upper right canine = 3cm with Ainf = 2,86cm, Asup = 3.15cm and Dpad = 0.14cm; average length of upper left canine = 2.98cm with Ainf = 2.62cm, Asup = 3.33cm and Dpad = 0.36cm; average length of lower right canine = 2.55cm with Ainf = 2.38cm, Asup = 2.72cm and Dpad = 0.17cm; average length of lower canine = 2.23cm with Ainf = 1.77cm, Asup = 2.7cm and Dpad = 0.46cm.

Discussion and Conclusions

The mean body size without the tail length was 139.6cm for males and 131.75cm for females, results similar to those found by Oliveira & Cassaro (2005), where mention that the average body size of the Panthera onca is 132.7cm and is within the limits of range of 110.5cm and 175.4cm, described by Silva & Adania (2006). According Cassaro & Oliveira (2005) the tail is relatively short, and Silva & Adana (2006) says that on average is 57.6cm between 40cm in size and 68cm and this according to the study results in it that were on average of 54cm for females and 67 for males. The length of the body without the length of the tail in males (129.11cm-151,89cm), was relatively higher than that of females (124.77cm-138,73cm) and are in line with Seymour (1989), which mentions that the length of the body of the females are 10 to 20% smaller than the males and may vary depending on the habitat, sex and prey available, as well as the body score, which according to the classification of Mourad et al. (1989) apud in Menezes et al. (2007), was on average 3.1 for males and 2.75 for females. The study of biometric characteristics of animals in captivity is important to monitor the development of animals, because the second Campos et al. (2005), captive wild animals to impose conditions very different from those found in their environments natural. It is known that the behavior unusual species, such as excessive aggression and stereotypy, are results are considered inadequate in captivity that can provide retardation in growth and reproduction (Moberg 2000). Many activities threaten the conservation status of this species, so that the creation in captivity appears as promising options for the preservation of them in addition to the supply of animals for research and scientific advances. So monitoring through biometrics is important. The future availability of neotropical felidae success may depend entirely on the maintenance, development and reproduction of these animals in captivity or when to return to natural habitat.


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Speaker Information
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D.J.S. Lima
Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia
Montese, Belém, Brazil

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