Of the large predators in Yellowstone National Park – the grizzly bear, the black bear, the gray wolf, and the cougar – the massive grizzly bear appears dominant, often (but not always) able to drive a gray wolf pack, a black bear, and a cougar off their kills. The mountain lion is a large, tan colored cat species native to North America, Central America and South America.  Juveniles remain with their mothers at least for two years. Preliminary research in Yellowstone, for instance, has shown displacement of the cougar by wolves. Significant confidence intervals exist with suggested dates.  Male ranges may include or overlap with those of females but, at least where studied, not with those of other males, which reduces conflict between cougars.  The only unequivocally known eastern population is the critically endangered Florida panther. Their top running speed is 50 mph (80 kph).  Kills are generally estimated around one large ungulate every two weeks. Bobcat vs Mountain Lion. , Only females are involved in parenting. , In the western United States and Canada, it is also called "mountain lion", a name first used in writing in 1858.  Hunting or relocation of the cougar may increase aggressive encounters by disrupting territories and bringing young, transient animals into conflict with established individuals. , As with many predators, a cougar may attack if cornered, if a fleeing human stimulates their instinct to chase, or if a person "plays dead". While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range, yielding prey it has killed to jaguars, American black bears, grizzly bears, American alligators (Florida panther predation mainly), and to groups of gray wolves or coyotes. The cougar is the second-largest cat in the New World after the jaguar. In Oregon, a healthy population of 5,000 was reported in 2006, exceeding a target of 3,000. They are also known as pumas, cougars and panthers. One study has shown high mortality amongst cougars that travel farthest from the maternal range, often due to conflicts with other cougars (intraspecific competition). [a] There were no bite marks on the victim, who had been herding goats. , The cougar is on average larger than all felid species apart from the lion, tiger, and jaguar. The cougar (Puma concolor) is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae. 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. These felines are quite large. Several sports teams currently or in the past have used the cougar as the mascot /nickname for their team, although the name actually used has depended on the most popular regional name for the species. However, individuals with bordering territories will occasionally share kills. 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. … Less than a year later, on March 5, 2009, a cougar was photographed and unsuccessfully tranquilized by state wildlife biologists in a tree near Spooner, Wisconsin, in the northwestern part of the state. at the shoulder, that’s nearly 3 ft. tall! This finding indicates that cougar and the parasite existed in South America since at least the Late Pleistocene. The cheetah lineage is suggested by some studies to have diverged from the Puma lineage in the Americas and migrated back to Asia and Africa, while other research suggests the cheetah diverged in the Old World itself. A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs. Despite its size, the cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the jaguar is extant in the Americas. In this instance, however, Moreno had been wearing a guanaco-hide poncho round his neck and head as protection against the cold; in Patagonia the guanaco is the puma's chief prey animal. Many high schools also use the cougar as their sports team mascot. There have sometimes been incidents of pet cougars mauling people.  Cougar size is smallest close to the equator and larger towards the poles. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Small to mid-sized mammals are preferred, including large rodents such as the capybara. By now, you've doubtless seen *that* viral mountain lion video. All of these names are con… Mountain lion fur is unspotted and tan-brown in color with a whitish throat, belly and inner legs. They have a puma-like long body (proportional to the limbs, but nevertheless shorter than either parent), but short legs.  Its most important prey species are various deer species, particularly in North America; mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and even bull moose are taken. A pumapard is a hybrid animal resulting from a union between a puma and a leopard.  Copulation is brief but frequent. So here's a female mountain lion, that's not "Limpy" the lion, who's been coming around quite a bit lately. , This uncertainty has been recognized by Canadian authorities. Its range spans 110 degrees of latitude, from the northern Yukon Territory in Canada to the southern Andes. This article intends to emphasize the differences between these two fascinating carnivores. It is no wonder they are known by so many names, as their range is so expansive, from Canada to South America.  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. The next morning, Hylbert’s security camera had caught images of possibly the exact same mountain lion returning to the scene.. , The cougar holds the Guinness record for the animal with the greatest number of names, with over 40 in English alone. 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. On Canada's prairies, Mount Royal University in Calgary and the University of Regina in Saskatchewan use the cougar as their mascot. , Although capable of sprinting, the cougar is typically an ambush predator.  Children are at greatest risk of attack, and least likely to survive an encounter. Cuguacu ara was then adopted by John Ray in 1693. The heavily populated state of California saw a dozen attacks 1986 to 2004 (after just three from 1890 to 1985), including three fatalities. A mountain lion pounced on a Colorado deputy who responded to a report of the animal attacking a civilian, dramatic video shows.  Adult males are around 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long from nose to tail tip, and females average 2.05 m (6.7 ft), with overall ranges between 1.50 to 2.75 m (4.9 to 9.0 ft) nose to tail suggested for the species in general.  In the 17th century, Georg Marcgrave named it cuguacu ara. Humans have not domesticated mountain lions in any way. While generally loners, cougars will reciprocally share kills with one another and seem to organize themselves into small communities defined by the territories of dominant males.  The non-profit organization Balanced Ecology Inc. launched the Texas Mountain Lion Conservation Project in 2009.   The nineteenth century naturalists Félix de Azara and William Henry Hudson thought that attacks on people, even children or sleeping adults, did not happen. Scrape marks, urine, and feces are used to mark territory and attract mates. Notwithstanding numerous reported sightings in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, it has been said that the evidence is inconclusive as "there may not be a distinct 'eastern' subspecies, and some sightings may be of escaped pets. With their tails, some individuals can be as much as 9 ft. long. Across this range they are both respected, and feared. 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. One study found that grizzlies and American black bears visited 24% of cougar kills in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, usurping 10% of carcasses. They live in deserts, mountains, lowlands, mangrove forests, deciduous forests, canyons, prairies, and more.  The sky and thunder god of the Inca, Viracocha, has been associated with the animal.  Nevertheless, there is a measurable effect on the quality of deer populations by puma predation. The mountain lion burst through the family's back gate, raccoon in his mouth, about 1:30 a.m. However, individuals with bordering territories will occasionally share kills. The back of the ears and the tip of the tail are black. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. What a silly comparison is this ! This is because zookeepers provide them with a reliable food source, and unlimited healthcare.  In Colorado and California, black bears were found to visit 48% and 77% of kills, respectively.  The jaguar tends to take the larger prey where ranges overlap, reducing both the cougar's potential size and the likelihood of direct competition between the two cats.  Compared to "big cats", cougars are often silent with minimal communication through vocalizations outside of the mother-offspring relationship. 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. This may save the lives of humans, pets, and livestock as well as the lives of these large predatory mammals that are important to the balance of ecosystems. Wolves and mountain lions share a lot of the same territory. It was placed in the genus Puma by William Jardine in 1834. 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. Where a juvenile fails to leave his maternal range, for example, he may be killed by his father. In Florida, it is threatened by heavy traffic, which causes frequent fatal accidents involving cougars. Simply tiger is mighty and so agile that can end up PUMA's life in single paw move. On one hand, the cats will sometimes attack livestock, and even humans. In fact, they are the fourth-largest cat species in the world, behind tigers, lions, and jaguars. In zoos, these cats can nearly double their life expectancy. She wants blood.  Cougars also prey on bear cubs.  Newborn cougars have spots that fade and eventually disappear by the age of 2 1/2 years. Only the Florida panther showed variation, often preferring feral hogs and armadillos.  Early Spanish explorers of the Americas called it gato montés (meaning "cat of the mountain"), and león (meaning "lion"). They mark territories with urine and claw scraping, and these territories can vary greatly in size based on food abundance.  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. ", "Fractured Genetic Connectivity Threatens a Southern California Puma (Puma concolor) Population", "Assessment and Update Status Report on the Grizzly Bear (, "Nowhere to hide: pumas, black bears, and competition refuges", "In Yellowstone, it's Carnivore Competition", "Mountain lions kill collared wolves in Bitterroot", "This lion doesn't run, instead kills, eats wolf", "Winter Predation and Interactions of Wolves and Cougars on Panther Creek in Central Idaho", "Winter Predation and Interactions of Cougars and Wolves in the Central Idaho Wilderness", "Cougars vs. coyotes photos draw Internet crowd", "Pythons Eating Through Everglades Mammals at "Astonishing" Rate?Pythons Eating Through Everglades Mammals at "Astonishing" Rate? In professional hockey, the cougar was used by two mid-western teams and one northwestern team. Mountain lions are solitary creatures, and outside of mating, adults rarely interact. All four confirmed cougar kills in Iowa since 2000 involved males. Packs of wolves can steal cougars' kills, and there are some documented cases of cougars being killed by them. Front paw print of a cougar. On the other hand, humans kill mountain lions for a number of reasons. Mountain lions are solitary creatures, and outside of mating, adults rarely interact. Those reported grew to only half the size of the parents. The same study showed the highest proportion of attacks to have occurred in British Columbia, particularly on Vancouver Island where cougar populations are especially dense. While mountain lion sightings remain rare, it … The word cougar is borrowed from the Portuguese çuçuarana, via French; it was originally derived from the Tupi language. Mountain lions are a cat of many names. , As with any predator at or near the top of its food chain, the cougar impacts the population of prey species.  Attacks on people, livestock, and pets may occur when a puma habituates to humans or is in a condition of severe starvation. In some regions they considered the cat a harbinger of death, while in others they regarded it as a deity or sacred animal. Canadian Geographic reports large male territories of 150 to 1000 km2 (58 to 386 sq mi) with female ranges half that size. 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." Litter size is between one and six cubs; typically two. There have been widely debated reports of possible recolonization of eastern North America. The term puma is also used in the United States. The distribution and other characteristics are also important to distinguish them separately. With the taxonomic uncertainty about its existence as a subspecies as well as the possibility of eastward migration of cougars from the western range, the subject remains open. Females are typically smaller.  Other names include "panther", "painter" and "catamount". , The gray wolf and the cougar compete more directly for prey, mostly in winter. , Home range sizes and overall cougar abundance depend on terrain, vegetation, and prey abundance. Standing still may cause the cougar to consider a person easy prey. Gender: Male. Jaguars also have the most powerful bites in the entire cat family and scores 1200 psi. Cougars have a tan/ brown/ black fur. Primary food sources are ungulates, particularly deer. The Moche people represented the puma often in their ceramics. Competition with the larger jaguar in South America has been suggested for the decline in the size of prey items. , "Puma" is the common name used in Latin America and most parts of Europe. Female mountain lions will usually only reproduce once every two or three years. Whereas cougars tend to be larger as distance increases from the equator, which crosses the northern portion of South America, jaguars are simply generally smaller north of the Amazon River in South America and larger south of that river.  Cougars may live as long as 20 years in captivity.  In both reports, sheep were the most frequently attacked. Additionally, they receive rabbits, large bones, and parts of carcasses. We came across this scene during spring bear season where a bear encounters a mountain lion. 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. The coat is variously described as sandy, tawny or greyish with brown, chestnut or "faded" rosettes. ", "2-Year-Old Boy Hurt In Pet Cougar Attack", "As species decline, so does research funding", "APORTES PRELIMINARES PARA UN PLAN DE CONSERVACIÓN Y MANEJO DEL PUMA (, "Effects of Remedial Sport Hunting on Cougar Complaints and Livestock Depredations", "On the role of Creation and Origin Myths in the Development of Inca State and Religion", "Friends of Panther Hollow Lake: PHL HISTORY", "The story of the Penn State Nittany Lion", "Search for Cougars in the East North America", Cougar Rewilding Foundation, formerly "Eastern Cougar Foundation", The Cougar Network --Using Science to Understand Cougar Ecology.  Lightly populated New Mexico reported an attack in 2008, the first there since 1974. The coat is typically tawny like that of the lion, which is why it was initially called the "mountain lion", but it otherwise ranges from silvery-grey or reddish with lighter patches on the underbody, including the jaws, chin, and throat.  Establishing wildlife corridors and protecting sufficient range areas are critical for the sustainability of cougar populations. No, mountain lions do not make good pets. There haven’t been any cougars in Tennessee since the early 1900s.Similar to Tennessee’s wild elk and buffalo, the cougar was extirpated from the state around the early 1900s due to overhunting and habitat loss. Height: 6 Feet.  Another study on winter kills (November–April) in Alberta showed that ungulates accounted for greater than 99% of the cougar diet. , Within North America, the distribution of attacks is not uniform. This particular puma had been raised in captivity and released into the wild. It is an adaptable, generalist species, occurring in most American habitat types. It prefers habitats with dense underbrush and rocky areas for stalking, but can also live in open areas. Male mountain lions are larger and have bigger paws and longer strides than females. , It is speculated and believed by many that cougars from the western U.S. are recolonizing the eastern cougar's former range in the northeastern United States, and there is growing evidence that supports this claim, indicating a small but growing population of western cougars in the northeastern states, mostly cougars migrating from the midwestern United States, though possibly also from Canada. You can find these predators in nearly every North American habitat. , Research on new wildlife collars may be able to reduce human-animal conflicts by predicting when and where predatory animals hunt. However, their colouration is the most interesting feature to discuss, apart from the carnivorous habits and the horrifying roars. 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. Oregon's first fatal cougar attack in the wild claims hiker near Mount Hood, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cougar&oldid=991818300, 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.  Birds and small reptiles are sometimes preyed upon in the south, but this is rarely recorded in North America. These widespread cats have one of the largest ranges of any terrestrial animal in North and South America. Each additional puma on the landscape increased predation and human-puma complaints by 5%, but each additional animal killed on the landscape during the previous year increased complaints by 50%.  On average, adult male cougars in British Columbia weigh 56.7 kg (125 lb) and adult females 45.4 kg (100 lb), though several male cougars in British Columbia weighed between 86.4 and 95.5 kg (190 and 211 lb).  Exaggerating the threat to the animal through intense eye contact, loud shouting, and any other action to appear larger and more menacing, may make the animal retreat. Neck, head, and spinal injuries are common and sometimes fatal. 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. 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). It is also illegal in most places to own one of these cats as a pet. Feline immunodeficiency virus, an endemic HIV-like virus in cats, is well-adapted to the cougar. The cougar is an ambush predator that pursues a wide variety of prey. Bobcats are also much lighter, weighing around 11 to 35 pounds whereas mountain lions are heavy weighing around 66 to 187 pounds. Caves and other alcoves that offer protection are used as litter dens. Due to the expanding human population, cougar ranges increasingly overlap with areas inhabited by humans. Males may scrape together a small pile of leaves and grasses and then urinate on it as a way of marking territory. A Bobcats like to live in solitude; on the other hand, Mountain Lion lives in the territory. , Cougar coloring is plain (hence the Latin concolor) but can vary greatly across individuals and even siblings.  The cat drags a kill to a preferred spot, covers it with brush, and returns to feed over a period of days. , In the Central and South American cougar range, the ratio of deer in the diet declines. The first use of puma in English dates to 1777, introduced from Spanish, and prior from the Quechua language in the 16th century, where it means "powerful". 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