The Puma concolor, also commonly known as the mountain lion, puma, cougar or panther is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas.
Puma is the largest of the small cat species.
Life span for puma in the wild is between 8 – 13 years and in captivity up to 20 years.
Adult males grow to 1.8 to 2.4 meters (6 to 8 feet) long and females average 1.5 to 2.1 meters (5 to 7 feet). Males typically weigh 50 to 82 kilograms (110 to 180 lbs) and the female 36 to 59 kg (80 to 130 lbs).
Pumas are powerfully built, with large paws and sharp claws. Their hind legs are larger and more muscular than their front legs to give them great jumping power.
Pumas can run up to 80 kph (50 mph) and jump as high as 4.6 meters (15 feet).
Pumas use whistles, screams, squeaks and purrs to communicate.
Pumas have a plain coloured fur ranging from tawny to silver grey or reddish brown. Pumas have lighter patches on their underparts including the jaws, chin and throat.
The name of a male is referred to simply as a ‘Puma’, the female is referred to as a ‘she-Puma’ and the young are called ‘cubs’.
In North America, scientists have found puma home ranges that varied in size from 20 to 640 kilometers (12 to 398 miles).
Pumas are found from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America. They live in a variety of habitats, at home in forests, deserts, prairies, and swamps—they are very adaptable cats!
Pumas are solitary cats, except during breeding or when a mother is caring for her young (cubs).
Puma is a carnivorous stalker and ambush predator and pursues a wide variety of prey.
After mating, the female will carry her young for a gestation period of 3 months. Than a litter of 1 to 6 cubs are born.
Maternal dens are usually caves or other covered areas offering protection for the cubs.
The mother nurses them for 3 months or so, but they can eat meat at about 6 weeks of age.
At six months old, cubs hunt for small prey of the own. They learn quickly.
Cubs will leave their mother to establish their own territory at around two years old.
One litter of cubs is born every two to three years.
Pumas learn to climb the tree early in their life.
They can survive in areas populated with humans better than other cats.
One of the most famous subspecies of Puma is the Florida Panther which is the smallest of the Puma species and also the rarest.
One of the most obvious reasons as to why this large and powerful feline is not classified as one of the world’s ‘big’ Cats is that Pumas are not able to roar.
Pumas are classed a ‘Near Threatened’ by the IUCN. The total breeding population of pumas is less than 50,000 individuals and continues to decline.