Animals / Mammal Facts / Cats – Felidae, Ideal Predator Bodies / Couger - Large American Stalking Cat

Couger - Large American Stalking Cat


puma snow

 

Also known as a puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount, or panther, the cougar is a feline mammal that has the largest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the western hemisphere. Occurring from the Yukon in Canada to the Andes of South America, the cougar can survive and thrive in any naturally occurring habitat within its range, but prefers areas with dense underbrush and rocky areas. Known for its stalk-and-ambush predatory style, the cougar survives by hunting deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, sheep, cattle, horses and even rodents. The cougar is generally a fairly dominant predator, but can find itself competing for prey when placed in the same habitats as jaguars, gray wolfs, black bears, and grizzly bears.

 

 

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Known for their agility, cougars are also the fourth largest members of the cat family, with adults standing up to 35 inches (90 centimeters) at the shoulder, having a length of up to 7.9 feet (2.4 meters). Large males weigh around 200 pounds (90 kg) although a specimen in the wild once weighed approximately 300 pounds (136 kilograms). Females weigh about 60% of what the males do. The subspecies in cooler climates weigh more than those in the tropics. They typically live between 8 and 13 years in the wild, with hunting, deforestation, and competition for prey being the main reasons for their lifespans being cut short. Like most cats, cougars are solitary animals that are almost never found in packs; they're also territorial towards other cats, as they leave the care of their mothers at about two years of age to establish their own range. Strangely enough, cougars are not aggressive towards humans, they will often shy away from contact with humans, and thus there are very few instances of cougars attacking people.

 

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