Majestic, secretive and mysterious, Cougars belong to the cat family and are known by different names in different regions. One of the reasons why cougars have such a wide variety of names is because they have a widespread habitat in the Western hemisphere. Cougars are the largest cats in North America. Though they belong to the cat family, they are wild animals and we better beware to treat them with the respect they command!
Now for some really exciting facts about cougars:
1. Did you know the cougar is known by numerous names such as the Puma, Mountain Lion, Mountain Cat, Panther or Catamount and it holds the Guinness World Record for the highest number of names? In fact, it has over 40 names in the English language alone!
2. Did you know that a cougar could take on about 35 deer a year? Though the cougar usually hunts medium-sized animals such as the deer, elk and moose, it doesn’t stop itself from feeding even on rodents or insects.
3. An adult cougar could measure anywhere between 5 feet and 9 feet from nose to tail and that the tail makes up for about one-third of the total length.
4. An adult male cougar could weigh about 53 to 90 kilograms(118 to 198 pounds) and a female could weigh in the range of about 29 to 64 kilograms(64 to 141 pounds).
5. An adult male cougar could stand as tall as about 30 inches at the shoulder and a female about 25 percent lesser than a male.
6. Female cougars start breeding at about 18-24 months of age and a litter of cubs( usually between one and six) is born every other year.
7. A Mother cougar is a single parent raising her cubs on her own and is quite a loving and caring one at that! The mother cares for her cubs till they are about 2 years old, teaching and honing their survival skills and leaves them on their own only when she’s confident they can protect themselves from predators.
8. Cougar cubs have blue eyes and a spotted coat at birth and the spots fade and eventually disappear by the time they turn two.
9. Did you know that an ancient Incan city in Peru named Cusco/Cuzco was designed in the shape of a cougar?
10. Did you know that though they are wild cats, the sound of a cougar is similar to that of a house-cat? Cougars do not roar, they only growl and purr!! Meaaoww!!!
11. Cougars are nocturnal animals which means they are active from dusk to dawn, though they may sometimes travel and hunt during the day, too.
12. Did you know that cougars can see up to six times better than human beings in dim light?
13. Cougars usually live in rocky outcroppings, steep canyons or dense vegetation so as to remain hidden while hunting? Cougars often sleep on trees for protection.
14. Cougars are patient predators who stalk and wait on their prey before making for the final kill. Preys are usually ambushed by short sudden bursts of speed. Is that why Mercury Cougar was named so??
15. Cougars have very strong hind legs which aid in jumping higher than what most animals of its size can. That’s another reason why cougars are often seen in relatively tall trees.
16. Did you know that cougars are solitude lovers and come together only for mating?
17. Cougars are warm-blooded animals and have closed circulatory systems just like us humans? Cougars also have a special mechanism by which they can keep the blood flowing to their hearts warmer than the rest of the body. So, though they are warm-blooded, they are essentially “cold-headed”!!
18. A final fact: For whatever reason, ‘Cougar’ is also used as a slang to refer to a woman in her prime who scores with younger men!!