The mountain lion is also known as the panther, cougar, puma, catamount, and gato monte (cat of the mountain). These critters have so many names because of their huge demographic. They live from Canada, down to Argentina. Pumas living in warm or humid climates are usually a dark, reddish-brown color, and those found in colder climates have thicker, longer hair that is silver-gray in color.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Puma concolor
Weight: Up to 220 lbs.
Height: Up to 3 feet (at the shoulder)
Length: Up to 5 feet long (plus their 3 foot long tail)
Lifespan: 13 – 20 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Cougars are typically nocturnal (active at night) hunters, but are also sometimes crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk).
2.) These solitary hunters cover a lot of ground with hunting territories ranging from up to 30 square miles, for females to 100 square miles, for males!
3.) Panthers can be found in 21 of 23 countries, in the Americas! Due to this they hold the Guinness world record for the animal with the greatest number of names. Talk about an identity crisis.
4.) They can run up to 43 MPH! So, if you come across one, don’t bother trying to outrun it.
5.) The typical sounds they make are squeaks, whistles, growls, yowls, purrs, and hisses. They also occasionally make their famous roar (listen below).
But wait, there’s more on the mountain lion!
6.) While typically solitary, males will join a female only to mate, then leaves to continue their bachelor lifestyle. The female is then left to raise the cubs alone. However, some males will return to their family occasionally. Sometimes, however, males will kill the cubs. Gives new meaning to “just you wait till your father gets home!”
7.) Only 1 in 5 cubs makes it to adulthood.
Did you know…?
Nimble as they are, they can jump vertically up to 15 feet and horizontally to approximately 40 feet!
8.) Typically, mating season lasts from December – March. But they can mate at any time during the year.
9.) When they meet up with another lion, they will hiss and snarl till the other one backs down. If there is no yielding, then a vicious fight ensues.
10.) Their main threats include habitat loss and poaching. Kittens face mortality via wolves, male cougars, and potential weather conditions.