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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Carnivora · Felidae · Puma concolor

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Puma concolor


Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae

Image of Puma concolor
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Cougars avoid open habitats such as flat, shrubless deserts and farm fields, but can make a living in swamps, forests, and desert scrub habitat. They live solitary lives at low population densities, and usually avoid humans, but about four attacks are reported annually in the United States and Canada. Cougars hunt at night, either stalking their prey or waiting in ambush to pounce. They take hoofed mammals, sometimes including domestic livestock, and other prey, including rabbits, hares, porcupines, bobcats, coyotes, beavers, opossums, skunks, and even other Cougars. They rarely bed down in the same place two days in a row unless they are watching young or consuming a large kill. Some states and provinces allow Cougars to be hunted for sport

Also known as:

Mountain Lion, Puma, Florida Panther, Catamount

Sexual Dimorphism:

Males are significantly heavier than females.


Average: 1,270 mm males; 1,140 mm females
Range: 1,020-1,540 mm males; 860-1,310 mm females


Average: 62 kg males; 42 kg females
Range: 36-120 kg males; 29-64 kg females


Linné, Carl von, 1771.  Mantissa Plantarum altera, Generum editionis VI et Specierum ed., Supplement to Genera Plantarum and Species Plantarum.  Holmiæ: Impensis Direct. L. Salvii, 2:522.


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Distribution of Puma concolor

Image of Puma concolor
Puma concolor (Cougar), Peru
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Image of Puma concolor
Puma concolor (Cougar), Peru
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Image of Puma concolor
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Skull of Puma concolor
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