The puma is a predatory animal of the feline family. A skilled and dexterous hunter, one of the brightest and most graceful representatives of big cats.
In this article you can see a description and photos of the cougar, learn a lot of new and interesting things about the life of this beautiful wild cat.
Puma looks strong cat, it has a very flexible body, with a long muscular tail. Its paws are adapted for climbing trees. Pumas have short and thick fur.
Adult cougars are predominantly reddish in color, with the underside of the body lighter than the upper. The cat's muzzle has black markings and dark ears.
Pumas have a body length of 100-180 cm and a tail length of 60-75 cm. Height at withers 60-90 cm, cougar weight can reach 100 kg. It is noteworthy that males are much larger than females. The average weight of females ranges from 30-50 kg and males from 60-80 kg.
This wild cat also has other names. Puma also called the mountain lion and Cougar.
Where does the cougar live?
Puma is an overseas representative of large wild cats. The cougar lives in North and South America, inhabiting a fairly large area, - from the Yukon (Canada) to Patagonia (South America).
The animal cougar lives in mountainous areas and is not afraid of high altitudes. It also prefers to live in coniferous and tropical forests and is found in swamps and plains.
Cougars are nearly versatile, moving easily up mountain slopes and rocks, climbing trees well and can swim well in water. The cougar animal is capable of adapting to life in any terrain.
Adult cougars most often choose to live alone, the exceptions being mothers with kittens and mating pairs. In the wild, the cougar cat lives up to 20 years.
How does a cougar hunt?
The cougar is a skilled hunter and an excellent predator. It has very keen eyesight, so the cougar hunts at dusk and in the dark. In some cases, comes out to hunt during the day. This cat of prey has its own hunting tactics, it is a great strategist.
A wild animal cougar creeps up to its prey from the leeward side so that it does not smell it. Cougars attack by jumping on the back of the victim, after which the mountain lion breaks the neck of the prey or grab the throat with its teeth and begin to strangle.
Cougars are very clever and cunning, they hide their uneaten meat by covering it with leaves. When hungry, they return to their hidden prey. Uneaten carcasses provide food for other surrounding animals.
Pumas hunt mainly deer, elk and guanaco. However, the cougar carnivore also eats other animals, including cougars and livestock. In a year a puma cat eats from 800-1300 kg of meat, that is about 48 ungulate animals.
The mountain lion of America has thirty teeth, which are strong enough and adapted to tear tissue and break bones. It uses its claws to grasp and hold its prey.
Cougars are capable of leaping up to 6 meters long and up to 2.5 meters high and running short distances at speeds of up to 60 km/h. The American mountain lion has a very extensive hunting range at its disposal. For female cougars it ranges from 26 to 350 km², and for males - from 140 to 760 km².
Cougar cubs: emergence and development
Puma is a rather quiet animal. It makes loud cries only during the mating period, which first occurs at the age of two or three years. The duration of pregnancy of a cougar is three months. On average, cougars give birth to 2-3 cubs, weighing 250-450 g and 25-30 cm in body length.
Cougar kittens differ from adults primarily by their coloration. Cougar cubs have a brownish-gray hue with black spots, which changes by the age of one year.
Cougar cubs open their eyes two weeks after birth, and their first teeth erupt at the same time. Initially, cougar kittens have pronounced blue eyes, which gradually change after six months. The spots on the coat begin to fade by 9 months of age and gradually disappear by the age of 2 years.
Cougar kittens begin to eat adult food at 6 weeks of age, but milk is still part of their diet. Cougar cubs stay with their mother until they are two years old, during which time they have time to learn all the necessary survival and hunting skills for an independent life later on.
After that, cougar cubs go in search of their own hunting grounds, but they can stay in groups with their brothers and sisters for several months after leaving their mother.
America's largest cat has no natural enemies. Few would dare to fight the majestic and savvy cougar. Only occasionally, some large predators may attack young and inattentive cougars