Sep 9, 2010

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cougars [15 pics]

cougar-puma-mountain-lion-catamount-panther
Photograph by Art G.


No not those cougars. Actual cougars. Badass ones that can jump almost 20 feet high and pounce on unsuspecting prey 20-40 feet away. Imagine an animal almost 10 feet long crossing your path! Below you will learn 10 things you never knew about cougars. ME-WOW! :P


cougar-head-on
Photograph by Richard Landry

1.

The cougar, also known as puma, mountain lion, mountain cat, catamount or panther, depending on the region, holds the Guinness record for the animal with the highest number of names. It has over 40 names in English alone!


cougar-close-up-face-eyes
Photograph by Art G.

2.

A large, solitary cat, the cougar has the greatest range of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere, extending from the Yukon in Canada to the southern Andes of South America.


cougar-licking-lips
Photograph by Matthew Blake

3.

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


cougar-puma-mountain-lion-catamount-sleeping
Photograph by Chris Gidney

4.

Adults stand about 60 to 76 centimeters (2.0 to 2.5 ft) tall at the shoulders. The length of adult males is around 2.4 meters (8 ft) long nose to tail, with overall ranges between 1.5 and 2.75 m (5 and 9 ft) nose to tail suggested for the species in general. Males typically weigh 53 to 90 kilograms (115 to 198 pounds), averaging 62 kg (137 lb). Females typically weigh between 29 and 64 kg (64 and 141 lb), averaging 42 kg (93 lb).


cougar-panther-puma-sitting
Photograph by nhpanda

5.

Cougar size is smallest close to the equator and larger towards the poles.


baby-cougar-puma-panther-catamount
Photograph by Rob Walstrom

6.

Females reach sexual maturity between one-and-a-half to three years of age. They typically average one litter every two to three years throughout their reproductive life. Only females are involved in parenting and they are fiercely protective of their cubs.


baby-panther-puma-cougar
Photograph by Tom Gill

7.

Aside from humans, no species preys upon mature cougars in the wild. The cat is not, however, the apex predator throughout much of its range. In its northern range, the cougar interacts with other powerful predators such as the brown bear and gray wolf. In the south, the cougar must compete with the larger jaguar. In Florida it encounters the American Alligator.


closeup-of-cougar-panther-puma-face
Photograph by Valerie

8.

Like almost all cats, the cougar is a solitary animal. Only mothers and kittens live in groups, with adults meeting only to mate. It is secretive and typically most active around dawn and dusk.


cougar-sleeping-puma-panther
Photograph by Triscele Photography

9.

Cougars have large paws and proportionally the largest hind legs in the cat family. This physique allows it great leaping and short-sprint ability. An exceptional vertical leap of 5.4 m (18 ft) is reported for the cougar. Horizontal jumping capability from standing position is suggested anywhere from 6 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft).


cougar-eating-prey
Photograph by benjamin444

10.

The cougar can run as fast as 55 to 72 km/h (35 to 45 mi/h), but is best adapted for short, powerful sprints rather than long chases.


face-of-a-cougar-puma-panther
Photograph by Bas Lammers

cougar-fangs-growling
Photograph by Ruben Schoenefeld

baby-puma-panther-cougar
Photograph by Rob Walstrom

cougar
Photograph by Richmann


All facts and information courtesy of Wikipedia







If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends: 10 AWESOME FACTS ABOUT OWLS [15 PICS]





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