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  Cougar Information

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The puma (Puma concolor, or Felis concolor) is a type of large cat found in North and South America. It is also known by the regional names of cougar, mountain lion, panther, catamount, and painted cat. The term panther is more commonly associated with the black color variation of the leopard or the jaguar. That said, pumas are genetically closer to leopards than to lions.

The Florida panther is a rare subspecies of puma that lives in the swamps of southern Florida in the United States, especially in the Everglades. There is currently a widespread effort in Florida to try to save the remaining population of the state's native panthers, as their numbers are extremely sparse.

Mountain lions are tawny-colored with black-tipped ears and tail. The mountain lion can run as fast as 30 mph (50 km/h), jump 20 ft (6 m) from a standing position, vertically leap 8 ft (2.5 m), and often weigh more than 150 pounds (70 kg). Their bite strength is more powerful than that of any domestic dog. Mountain lion claws are retractable and they have four toes. Adult males may be more than eight feet long (nose to tail), and weigh about 150 pounds (70 kg). Adult females can be 7 ft (2 m) long and weigh about 75 pounds (35 kg). Mountain lion kittens have brownish-blackish spots and rings on their tails. Their life span is about a decade in the wild and 25 years or more in captivity.

The pumas that live closest to the Equator are the smallest, and increase in size in populations closer to the poles.

Mountain lions normally hunt large mammals, such as deer and elk, but will eat small animals if the need arises. They hunt alone and ambush their prey, often from behind. They usually kill with a bite at the base of the skull to break the neck of their target. The carcass of the kill is usually then buried or partially covered to protect it for several days, while the mountain lion continues to roam and comes back for nourishment as needed.

Attacks on humans are rare, but do occur especially as humans encroach on wildlands and impact the availability of the puma's traditional prey. There were around 100 puma attacks on humans in the USA and Canada during the period from 1890 to January 2004, with 16 fatalities; figures for California were 14 attacks and 6 fatalities.

On January 8, 2004 a puma killed and partly ate a mountain biker in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, Orange County, California; what is assumed to be the same animal attacked another mountain biker in the park the following day, but was fought off by other bikers. A young male puma was shot nearby by rangers later in the day.
Phylum: Chordata
Class: mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Source: Wikipedia Read more about Cougars
BBC Nature: Wildfacts
Puma: Facts and Pictures Read More
Florida Panther
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered species report for Florida Panther Read More
Mountain Lion
National Geographic
Mountain Lion fact sheet and pictures; audio clip Read More
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
Narrative on Mountain Lion; includes habitat, food, and behavioral information Read More
Canadian Wildlife Service
"This animal is one of only three wild felids (the general name for any member of the cat family) native to Canada". Categorized and detailed information on habitat, diet, range, etc.  Read More
Calgary's Weaselhead Society
Species profile for Cougar Read More
Nashville Zoo
"The cougar closely resembles an African lioness". Find out all the different names for this animal. Brief categorized information, including classification on mountain lions, or cougars. Read More
Animal Tracks of Humboldt County
"Mountain lions are also called cougars, panthers, catamounts, or pumas. They are the largest cats in North America". Natural History of Cougar, Identifying Cougar tracks. Read More
Blue Planet Biomes
Brief description of Puma with additional references Read More
Animals Of The Rainforest
Brief description, taxonomic information, pictures, and links Read More
Desert USA
"The lion will attempt to conceal itself for a surprise attack while stalking its prey". Mountain Lion: Brief description and pictures Read More
Florida Panther
Children of the Earth United
Article about this endangered animal Read More
Florida Panther
National Wildlife Federation
Categorized information about Florida Panther Read More
Mountain Lion
Wind Cave National Park
Fact Sheet Read More
Sedgwick County Zoo
Categorized information on diet, behavior, environmental, etc. Read More
Information on description, distribution, biology and tracks. Read More
Houston Zoo
About Cougar Read More
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