Monday, May 4, 2009

Facts about Cougars (Puma Concolor) - The Fourth Biggest Cat in the World

A cougar (or also called as puma, catamount, mountain cat, or mountain lion) is a large tan colored cat. It holds the Guinness record for the animal in the world with the highest number of names (40 names in English alone!).

Mountain lion head

Other names include panther, American lion, fire cat, screamer, yuma puma, Florida panther and painted cat.

Cougar is the largest cat in the Americas. It is the largest of the small cats.

mountain lion in a tree

 Primary food sources include ungulates such as elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep, as well as domestic cattle, sheep and horses, particularly in the northern part of its range. Cougars will also hunt species as small as rodents and insects.

mountain lion vs bear

Like many other cats, cougars are solitary animals. Only kittens and mothers live in groups, with adults meeting only to mate.

Cougars have proportionally the largest hind legs in the cat family.

Cougars have proportionally the largest hind legs in the cat family

Cougars are great jumpers. These beautiful creatures can leap vertically over 4.8 meters and horizontally more than 13.7 meters.

They have acute vision and hearing.

Cougars are the largest cats that can purr.

Cougars are secretive and typically most active around dawn and dusk.

Cougars can run up to 40 miles per hour. They are the fastest animals in North America.

Males are larger than females.

Adult stand about 55-77 cm tall at the shoulders. The length is around 2.4 meters long (adult males) nose to tail, with overall ranges between 5 and 9 ft (1.5 and 2.75 meters) nose to tail suggested for the species in general.

The size of these cats is smallest to the equator but larger towards the poles.

Cougar climbing tree

Typical habitat is steep, rocky canyon country but these animals can also be seen in jungle swamp areas and desert plains.

For the most part, cougars have no natural enemies, they sit atop the food chain. However, cougars often compete with other aggressive predators such as wolves and bears for food.

Males typically weigh around 53 – 95 kilograms, averaging 63kg. Females typically weigh between 30-64 kg, averaging 42 kg.

Females give birth to 2-3 kittens at a time. They can breed as early as 2-3 yrs old and raise their young while the males return to their solitary lifestyles.

The cubs will leave their mothers after they reach around 2 yrs old and start their own life.

A healthy cougar can live to around 10 yrs of age in the wild. In captivity, they can live as long as 20 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment