The Puma, cougar, mountain lion, Florida panther, or red tiger has a plethora of names, including his scientific title: Puma concolor. They are the most widespread of the American cats and have the largest distribution of any western hemisphere mammal, as they reside all across North and South America. They also hold the record as the mammal with the most names, but enough with the fun facts, let’s get technical, because this is one beautifully evolved animal.
The Beautiful and Powerful Puma in the Patagonian Wilderness.
Pumas live for an average of 12-13 years, and during this time, can grow up to 3 meters long, three-quarters of a meter in height, and 120 kg.
Pumas are large, slender cats with muscular limbs and large feet, perfect for hunting large game on rough terrain. They also have a long tail to aid their balance during hunts. Their grey/brown fur and white underside is creamy white allows them to blend into the grasses and shrubs of mountainous regions. The cubs are born with a spotted coat, which fades with age.
Pumas live in mountainous and unpopulated areas. They can also be found in coniferous forests, lowland tropical forests, grasslands, and, swamps.
Pumas hunt all herbivores from moose and deer to beavers, raccoons, mice, birds, porcupines, squirrels, insects and fish. They will often bury unfinished food and return to eat it the next day, as larger prey can provide food for over a week. Pumas hunt at dawn, dusk and at night, and have limited activity during the day. To hunt, this majestic cat manoeuvres to within 15 m of its prey and then uses its powerful legs to lunge at its prey with a few running jumps that can reach well over 12m. It will then leap on to the back of its prey and break the animal’s neck with a powerful bite.
Pumas are generally solitary, except for mothers and their cubs. They have different ranges during the winter and the summer and will migrate each year. The male may have ranges in excess of 160 sq. km, which will overlap with the territories of females. However males will very rarely overlap with each other.
Sadly. almost all subspecies of Puma are on the endangered list mainly due to ranchers who kill the pumas because they are a “threat to livestock.”
Read Full Post »