The mountain lion is said to be one of the largest wild cats in North America–just one of the many facts about mountain lions. Did you know that this big cat is known by many names? Cougar, panther, catamount, or puma are just some of the few.
This solitary animal can be found in many habitats, from the Canadian forests to Florida’s swamps. So if you think you knew everything there was to know about mountain lion facts, think again. Continue reading to know more amazing facts about mountain lions that may just flat-out amaze you.
Interesting Facts About Mountain Lions You Want to Know!
Fact #1: Hunting Habits
The puma usually hunts at night or at certain parts of the day, like dusk or dawn. With the stealthy ability to keep itself undetected, it can leap 40 feet away and 15 feet high. It attacks and kills its prey by aiming for the base of the skull, breaking its neck in the process. Would you like to learn more about the mountain lions’ behavior? Pounce right here.
Fact #2: Mountain Lion Habitat or Territory
Despite being solitary yet active hunters, they still require a vast range of territory. The female cougar prowls on a range of 10 to 30 square miles. The male can occupy a range as large as 100 square miles. Learn more about the puma’s territorial range by referring to the animals of National Geographic.
Fact#3: World Record Holder
The puma can be found in 21 of 23 countries in the Americas. Because of the vast range it occupies, it holds the Guinness world record for the animal with the greatest number of names. It has over 40 names in English alone. Do you want to know these names? Start name hunting in Wikipedia to learn them all.
Fact #4: Females Raise Family Alone
The only time these creatures interact is when they need to mate. After which, the male returns to his solitary lifestyle. As for the female, she is left to raise the litter by herself.
Fact #5: Low Survival Rate
Mountain lions have a litter size of one to six cubs; on average, two cubs. Their offspring have black and brown spots and rings around their tails. However, they eventually grow out of these visual characteristics. On average, only one in five kittens is able to make it to adulthood.
Fact #6: They’re Faster Than You Think
These large felines can run as fast as a car. They have been clocked at 43.5 mph. With their flexible spine, they are able to change directions rather quickly.
Fact #7: Diet
A major part of a mountain lions’ diet consists of large mammals such as deer or elk. However, they are also known to prey on coyotes, rabbits, beavers, porcupine, raccoons, squirrels, and mice. They hide their catch and devour them at a later time, or when they get hungry.
Fact #8: A Hissing Standoff or a Fight to the Death?
When ghost cats come across each other, they initially hiss and spit at one another until one of them gives up. A vicious encounter is sure to happen if neither one of them backs down.
Fact #9: Lifespan and Size Plus Weight
The lifespan of a mountain lion is about 8 to 10 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in captivity. The fully mature cat can measure up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds.
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Fact #10: Uniquely Purrfect
What makes the mountain lion uniquely different from other large cats is that it doesn’t roar. Like an ordinary street or house cat, they purr.
Is there something that you know about these amazing animals that might just interest other people? Probably, as a hunter or an animal enthusiast, you have already researched a lot about them. Sift through the animal files for more about the mountain lion.
Experience the secret life of a mountain lion family taken by National Geographic:
There is a lot more to learn about the mountain lion. A parting fact: Did you know that it can live as high as 10,000 feet above sea level? Not to mention, in almost any kind of environment? Well, if you think that is astonishing, wait until you learn more about this large felid of the Felinae subfamily.
As a hiker, animals are rarely encountered because most hikers prefer to stay on the trail and these trails are usually far off from animals. But a chance encounter with a bear or a mountain lion is still something that should not be taken lightly. Knowing some facts about mountain lions can help hikers like you keep safe all throughout the hike.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 10, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.