The Cougar (Puma) is the largest of the small cats.
It is roughly the size of leopard with a very long
slender body. The head is round and small with brown
eyes. The head and body length for the mountain
lion ranges from 966-1,959 mm. The tail length ranges
from 534-784 mm, and the weight is 36-103 kg.
are agile and have great jumping power. They can
leap up to 5.5 meters, usually jumping from the
ground to a tree. They can also swim well, but prefer
to stay out of the water. The most acute sense that
they have is sight; hearing is also good, but they
have a poorer sense of smell. Cougars
hunt over a large area, sometimes taking a week
to complete a circuit of its home range. Cougars
will prey on most species of mammals but prefer
to prey on inferior or less fit individuals. American
mountain lions carefully stalks it's
prey and may leap upon the victims back or seize
it after a swift dash. The most consistently important
food is deer in North America. The diet also includes
other ungulates, beaver, porcupines and hares. The
kill is usually dragged to a sheltered spot and
then partly consumed. Uneaten parts are partially
hidden and visited later.
are solitary and territorial animals with
individuals deliberately avoiding one another except
during brief period of courtship.
Males spend a lot of time marking their territory
but don't defend it. Vocalizations include growls,
hisses and birdlike whistles. A very loud scream
has been reported, but is function is not known.
is no specific breeding season, but most births
in North America occur in late winter and early
spring. Females give birth every other year. Estrus
lasts about 9 days, and the gestation period is
90-96 days. Litter size is one to six. Mating season
is year round, but most births occur in late winter
and early spring in North America. Young are born
in protected dens in caves, under ledges or roots.
By nature, pumas are active both day and night.
They have become strictly nocturnal in areas inhabited
by their enemies, humans and wolves.
numbers have been greatly reduced by cattle ranchers.
It inhabits mountainous coniferous forests, lowland
tropical forests, swamps, grassland, and dry country,
or any area with sufficient food and cover. There
is usually no fixed den, except as used by females
to rear young. Temporary shelter is taken in such
places as dense vegetation, rocky crevices, and
are located in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil,
Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay,
Peru, Suriname, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela.