It was placed in the genus Puma by William Jardine in 1834. The paw print of an adult is approximately 10 cm (3.9 in) long. Due to its wide range, it has many names including puma, mountain lion, panther, painter and catamount. In fact, attacks on humans, although exceedingly rare, have occurred. [138], Pumas in the Southern cone of America – often called Argentine cougars by North Americans – are reputed to be extremely reluctant to attack man; in legend, they defended people against jaguars. [160] The Algonquins and Ojibwe believe that the cougar lived in the underworld and was wicked, whereas it was a sacred animal among the Cherokee.[161]. [154][155], Predation by cougars on dogs "is widespread, but occurs at low frequencies"[156], The grace and power of the cougar have been widely admired in the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. [35] However, a study by Gutiérrez-González and López-González showed that the cougar and jaguar in Central or North America may share the same prey, depending on its abundance. While wild cougars usually have a 10-year lifespan at the most, those in zoos can live to 20 years or more. In Texas, the cougar is considered as nuisance wildlife and any person holding a hunting or a trapping permit can kill a cougar regardless of the season, number killed, sex or age of the animal. When they are born, the kittens are blind and helpless. [114], Home range sizes and overall cougar abundance depend on terrain, vegetation, and prey abundance. They prey on anything from insects and rabbits, to 1,500 lb. DNA tests were consistent with cougars from the Black Hills of South Dakota. All of these names are con… Other species taken include the bighorn and Dall's sheep, horses, fallow deer, caribou, mountain goat, coyote, American badger and pronghorn. In zoos, these cats can nearly double their life expectancy. Remedial hunting enables younger males to enter the former territories of the older animals. [33] The cat drags a kill to a preferred spot, covers it with brush, and returns to feed over a period of days. There have been widely debated reports of possible recolonization of eastern North America. [29][30] Of this length, the tail typically accounts for 63 to 95 cm (25 to 37 in). [66], A 2012 study using 18 motion-sensitive cameras in Río Los Cipreses National Reserve counted a population of two males and two females (one of them with at least two cubs) in an area of 600 km2 (0.63 cougars per 100 km2). In some areas, hunting these cats is legal, and in other areas, more indirect factors impact them. [72] In Colorado and California, black bears were found to visit 48% and 77% of kills, respectively. [106] Hunting or relocation of the cougar may increase aggressive encounters by disrupting territories and bringing young, transient animals into conflict with established individuals. As they grow, they begin to go out on forays with their mother, first visiting kill sites, and after six months beginning to hunt small prey on their own. [26] Kills are generally estimated around one large ungulate every two weeks. [1] In the Santa Ana Mountains, it prefers steep canyons, escarpments, rim rocks, and dense brush. Those reported grew to only half the size of the parents. Bobcat vs. Mountain Lion. The tracks are believed to have been made by the same mountain lion that was seen in Minnesota, Michigan, upstate New York, and Connecticut, before later being struck by an SUV and killed in Connecticut on a highway that same year. 2002–2003 Panther Genetfic Restoration Annual Report", "U.S. Declares Eastern Cougar Extinct, With an Asterisk", Northeast Region, U.S. The heavily populated state of California saw a dozen attacks 1986 to 2004 (after just three from 1890 to 1985), including three fatalities. On one hand, the cats will sometimes attack livestock, and even humans. Where a juvenile fails to leave his maternal range, for example, he may be killed by his father. [104] In the United States, very large ranges have been reported in Texas and the Black Hills of the northern Great Plains, in excess of 775 km2 (300 sq mi). The Cougar Fund – Protecting America's Greatest Cat. The Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League use the name/image of the southeastern United States cougar subspecies, the Florida panther (the state animal), as its mascot. They are most similar to lions, pumas and panthers in the cat family. The term puma is also used in the United States. [33] Establishing wildlife corridors and protecting sufficient range areas are critical for the sustainability of cougar populations. [132], Within North America, the distribution of attacks is not uniform. It is native to the Americas. [99], In the Central and South American cougar range, the ratio of deer in the diet declines. [14][15] Early Spanish explorers of the Americas called it gato montés (meaning "cat of the mountain"), and león (meaning "lion"). The mountain lion burst through the family's back gate, raccoon in his mouth, about 1:30 a.m. Many high schools also use the cougar as their sports team mascot. The animal is believed to have originated from the Black Hills of South Dakota. The cougar (Puma concolor) is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae. [122][123], This uncertainty has been recognized by Canadian authorities. On March 29, a Canadian mother fought off a juvenile male mountain lion that was attacking her 7-year-old son outside her home, but that's not … The mountain lion is a large, tan colored cat species native to North America, Central America and South America. They are well known for their screams, as referenced in some of their common names, although these screams are often misinterpreted to be the calls of other animals or humans. The University of Vermont also uses the mascot, but uses the term "catamount" instead of cougar, as was traditional in the region where the school is located. The cougar (Puma concolor) is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae. The scat was tested positive as being from a mountain lion. [105] Other research suggests a much smaller lower limit of 25 km2 (10 sq mi), but an even greater upper limit of 1300 km2 (500 sq mi) for males. [147], Fatal attacks by other carnivores such as feral dogs can be misattributed to pumas without appropriate forensic knowledge. The mean weight of vertebrate prey (MWVP) that pumas attack increases with the puma's body weight; in general, MWVP is lower in areas closer to the equator. Save for Florida, humans have removed them from the vast majority of the eastern United States and Canada. [43] The term "black panther" is used colloquially to refer to melanistic individuals of other species, particularly jaguars and leopards. [130] Attacks on people, livestock, and pets may occur when a puma habituates to humans or is in a condition of severe starvation. [103], Females reach sexual maturity between one-and-a-half to three years of age. Litter size is between one and six cubs; typically two. In the latest genomic study of the Felidae, the common ancestor of today's Leopardus, Lynx, Puma, Prionailurus, and Felis lineages migrated across the Bering land bridge into the Americas 8.0 to 8.5 million years ago (Mya). What a silly comparison is this ! They vary in size and weight, with males reaching up to 200 pounds and eight feet in length (one-third of their length is the tail). Attacks on humans are very rare, as cougar prey recognition is a learned behavior and they do not generally recognize humans as prey. The Canadian federal agency called Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada rates its current data as "insufficient" to draw conclusions regarding the eastern cougar's survival and its website says that "despite many sightings in the past two decades from eastern Canada, there are insufficient data to evaluate the taxonomy or assign a status to this cougar." There have sometimes been incidents of pet cougars mauling people. [107], Only females are involved in parenting. [37], Depending on the locality, cougars can be smaller or bigger than jaguars, but are less muscular and not as powerfully built so their weight is on average less. Humans have not domesticated mountain lions in any way. However, individuals with bordering territories will occasionally share kills. Ranges of females may overlap slightly with each other. "[124][125][126], Regulated cougar hunting is still common in the United States and Canada. Caves and other alcoves that offer protection are used as litter dens. propose the original North American cougar population was extirpated during the Pleistocene extinctions some 10,000 years ago, when other large mammals, such as Smilodon, also disappeared. [35] The largest recorded cougar, shot in 1901, weighed 105.2 kg (232 lb); claims of 125.2 kg (276 lb) and 118 kg (260 lb) have been reported, though they were most likely exaggerated. Due to the expanding human population, cougar ranges increasingly overlap with areas inhabited by humans. This article intends to emphasize the differences between these two fascinating carnivores. It is an adaptable, generalist species, occurring in most American habitat types. Which is more powerful Cougar or Jaguar? Chronic stress can result in low reproductive rates when in captivity as well as in the field. Their vast range has made them notoriously feared across various regions. In fact, they are the fourth-largest cat species in the world, behind tigers, lions, and jaguars. ", "Observatory: When Mountain Lions Hunt, They Prey on the Weak", "British Columbia cougars found to prey on seals, sea lions", "Jaguar interactions with pumas and prey at the northern edge of jaguars' range", "Tracking Penguins in Patagonia's Monte León National Park", 10.1894/0038-4909(2005)050[0466:SBIP]2.0.CO;2, "A technique for non-invasively detecting stress response in cougars", 10.2193/0091-7648(2004)032[0711:ATFNDS]2.0.CO;2, "Cameras Reveal the Secret Lives of a Mountain Lion Family – Sharon Negri (2013)", "Epidemiology, Genetic Diversity, and Evolution of Endemic Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in a Population of Wild Cougars", "Adaptive social strategies in a solitary carnivore", "Behavior of cougar in Iowa and the Midwest", "Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Early Spanish explorers of North and South America called it leon (lion) and gato monte (cat of the mountain), from which we get the name \"mountain lion.\" Puma is the name the Incas gave this cat in their language. It currently ranges across most western American states including occasional sightings from Alaska, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and the Canadian territory of Yukon. By the time they are three months old, the kittens will begin to eat meat and stop drinking milk. Females typically weigh between 29 and 64 kg (64 and 141 lb), averaging 55 kg (121 lb). Feline immunodeficiency virus, an endemic HIV-like virus in cats, is well-adapted to the cougar. Predation by cougars has been linked to changes in the species mix of deer in a region. [98], In Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, scat samples showed raccoons to make up 28% of the cougar's diet, harbor seals and blacktail deer 24% each, North American river otters 10%, California sea lion 7%, and American mink 4%; the remaining 3% were unidentified. The first confirmed sighting in a century was made on September 20, 2015, in Obion county in the north-western corner of West Tennessee. [3] In the 17th century, Georg Marcgrave named it cuguacu ara. All four confirmed cougar kills in Iowa since 2000 involved males. Purchase a redemption code at the Online Apple Store: OS X Mountain Lion. Interactions between mountain lions and humans negatively impact both. The next morning, Hylbert’s security camera had caught images of possibly the exact same mountain lion returning to the scene.. Additionally, they receive rabbits, large bones, and parts of carcasses. This means that they must eat meat to survive, and the vast majority of their diet consists of meat. International Union for Conservation of Nature, urinate on it as a way of marking territory, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, List of fatal cougar attacks in North America, "Use of open, edge and forest areas by pumas Puma concolor in winter: are pumas foraging optimally? [55] Other eastern sightings since 2010 have occurred in locations such as Greene County, Indiana,[56] Greenwich[57] and Milford, Connecticut,[58] Morgan County[59] Pike County,[60] and Whiteside County, Illinois,[61] and Bourbon County, Kentucky. The project aims at raising awareness of local people about the status and ecological role of the cougar, and mitigating conflict between landowners and cougars. One study found that grizzlies and American black bears visited 24% of cougar kills in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, usurping 10% of carcasses. According to figures in Texas in 1990, 86 calves (0.0006% of Texas's 13.4 million cattle and calves), 253 mohair goats, 302 mohair kids, 445 sheep (0.02% of Texas's 2 million sheep and lambs) and 562 lambs (0.04% of Texas's 1.2 million lambs) were confirmed to have been killed by cougars that year. [48] DNA evidence has suggested its presence in eastern North America,[49] while a consolidated map of cougar sightings shows numerous reports from the mid-western Great Plains through to eastern Canada. The cougar cannot be legally killed without a permit in California except under very specific circumstances, such as when a cougar is in act of pursuing livestock or domestic animals, or is declared a threat to public safety. Some commonly targeted species include deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, horse, pronghorn, mountain goat, and caribou. An animal that shares a kill with its neighbor increases the likelihood the neighbor … [39], The cougar is on average larger than all felid species apart from the lion, tiger, and jaguar. [85], Although it is less specialized than other big cats in predation of crocodilians, a case in Florida was documented in 2008 where a cougar hunted a sub-adult specimen of American alligator 2.69 meters long[86] (the largest registered crocodilian taken by a cougar), which suggests the ability of large cougars to prey on similar sized specimens of the remaining big crocodilian species with which they share habitat in different parts of the Americas (American crocodile, black caiman and Orinoco crocodile). With wolves usually traveling in packs, mountain lions avoid the confrontations over food. [51] The only unequivocally known eastern population is the critically endangered Florida panther. To upgrade to Mountain Lion you must have Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or Lion installed. [30] Despite anecdotes to the contrary, all-black coloring (melanism) has never been documented in cougars. [97] A survey of North America research found 68% of prey items were ungulates, especially deer. With their tails, some individuals can be as much as 9 ft. long. It is capable of leaping from the ground up to 5.5 m high into a tree. [87] Although there were no documented cases as of 2012, the invasive Burmese python, which can reach 20 feet in length, has reduced Everglades populations of mammals and could pose a threat to the endangered Florida panther. Mountain lions are kings of adaptability. “Mountain lion,” while widely used, is a somewhat more misleading label: True lions belong to a different genus (Panthera) and live only in the Old World, and pumas are … This genus is part of the Felinae. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. The cougar is the second-largest cat in the New World after the jaguar. Its powerful forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey. Its range spans from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America, and is the most widespread of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. In professional hockey, the cougar was used by two mid-western teams and one northwestern team. Height: 6 Feet. [121] In March 2011, the USFWS declared the Eastern cougar extinct. Packs of wolves can steal cougars' kills, and there are some documented cases of cougars being killed by them. [131] By 2004, the count had climbed to 88 attacks and 20 deaths. Six days later, and about 56 km (35 mi) to the southeast, a hair sample was found in Carroll County. [23] [129] In a 10-year study in New Mexico of wild cougars who were not habituated to humans, the animals did not exhibit threatening behavior to researchers who approached closely (median distance=18.5 m; 61 feet) except in 6% of cases; 14/16 of those were females with cubs. Bobcats are also much lighter, weighing around 11 to 35 pounds whereas mountain lions are heavy weighing around 66 to 187 pounds. [12], In the western United States and Canada, it is also called "mountain lion", a name first used in writing in 1858. Oregon's first fatal cougar attack in the wild claims hiker near Mount Hood,, Fauna of the California chaparral and woodlands, Extant Middle Pleistocene first appearances, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia pending changes protected pages, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2017, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Cougar range (without recent confirmations across northern Canadian states and Alaska), This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 23:59. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime sightings do occur. It has five retractable claws on its forepaws (one a dewclaw) and four on its hind paws. ", 10.2981/0909-6396(2006)12[201:UOOEAF]2.0.CO;2, "Models of regional habitat quality and connectivity for pumas (, "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment", 10.2193/0022-541X(2006)70[1:ITUOSI]2.0.CO;2, "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group", "Wild Cats. The cougar is capable of breaking the neck of some of its smaller prey with a strong bite and momentum bearing the animal to the ground. [50] The Quebec wildlife services also considers cougars to be present in the province as a threatened species after multiple DNA tests confirmed cougar hair in lynx mating sites. For example, while South American jaguars are comparatively large and may exceed 90 kg (200 lb),[38] those in Mexico's Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve weigh about the same as female cougars (approximately 50 kg (110 lb)). These widespread cats have one of the largest ranges of any terrestrial animal in North and South America. [20] but the relationship is unresolved. Female mountain lions will usually only reproduce once every two or three years. Competition with the larger jaguar in South America has been suggested for the decline in the size of prey items. [151] A cougar's killing bite is applied to the back of the neck, head, or throat and the cat inflicts puncture marks with its claws usually seen on the sides and underside of the prey, sometimes also shredding the prey as it holds on. The back of the ears and the tip of the tail are black. A previously existing "Carolina" sports team, the Carolina Cougars, who operated in the American Basketball Association from 1969 to 1974, actually used the cougar as its nickname/mascot, as opposed to the panther. For example, a study in British Columbia observed that the population of mule deer, a favored cougar prey, was declining while the population of the less frequently preyed-upon white-tailed deer was increasing. There have been unconfirmed sightings in Elliotsville Plantation, Maine (north of Monson) and as early as 1997 in New Hampshire. On Canada's prairies, Mount Royal University in Calgary and the University of Regina in Saskatchewan use the cougar as their mascot. No, mountain lions do not make good pets. [96], A successful generalist predator, the cougar will eat any animal it can catch, from insects to large ungulates (over 500 kg (1,100 lb)). Therefore, a proper understanding is necessary about these names and the differences between them would be important to be aware of if there are any. [46], The cougar has the largest range of any wild land animal in the Americas. It is native to the Americas. All photos used are royalty-free, and credits are included in the Alt tag of each image. Mountain lion fur is unspotted and tan-brown in color with a whitish throat, belly and inner legs. [153] This effect is attributed to the removal of older pumas that have learned to avoid people and their replacement by younger males that react differently to humans. The lion is sexually dimorphic; males are larger than females with a typical weight range of 150 to 250 kg (330 to 550 lb) for the former and 120 to 182 kg (265 to 400 lb) for the latter. It stalks through brush and trees, across ledges, or other covered spots, before delivering a powerful leap onto the back of its prey and a suffocating neck bite. Individual territory sizes depend on terrain, vegetation, and abundance of prey. In this area the coatí is the puma's chief prey. Only mothers and kittens live in groups, with adults meeting rarely. Highways are a major barrier for dispersal of cougars. Cats within these areas socialize more frequently with each other than with outsiders. Front paw print of a cougar. She wants blood. [109], Young adults leave their mother to attempt to establish their own territories at around two years of age and sometimes earlier; males tend to leave sooner. [71], Aside from humans, no species preys upon mature cougars in the wild, although conflicts with other predators or scavengers occur. A mountain lion pounced on a Colorado deputy who responded to a report of the animal attacking a civilian, dramatic video shows. Fighting back with sticks and rocks, or even bare hands, is often effective in persuading an attacking cougar to disengage. The Florida panther samples showed a low microsatellite variation, possibly due to inbreeding. Big Cat Shootout – Lion vs Tiger vs Mountain Lion vs Jaguar vs Leopard October 1, 2016 October 1, 2016 Big cats come in all shapes and sizes, and they range all over the world. They will hone their skills, and remain with their mother, for at least two years before setting off on their own. The Sacramento Mountain Lions (2010–2012) of the United Football League used the California and southwestern United States regional name of the species. A high level of genetic similarity has been found among North American cougar populations, suggesting they are all fairly recent descendants of a small ancestral group. In this video, a Canadian camper spotted a wolf on top of a mountain lion in what turned out to be a fight to the death. [73][74], The gray wolf and the cougar compete more directly for prey, mostly in winter. A pumapard is a hybrid animal resulting from a union between a puma and a leopard.

mountain lion vs lion

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