Largest North American Cat: Mountain Lion (Cougar)
The Ghost Cat
As their numbers increase we are beginning to see more of them encroaching in areas used or inhabited by humans as more of them are pushed to the fringes of their range seeking new territories. It appears that the available habitat for this native carnivore is approaching critical densities.
Adult cougars stand about 60 to 76 centimeters (2.0 to 2.5 ft) tall at the shoulders. The length of adult males (toms) is around 2.4 meters (8 ft) long nose to tail. Males typically weigh 53 to 90 kilograms (115 to 198 pounds), averaging 62 kg (137 lb). On rare occasions, there have been cats as large as 120 kg (264 lb). Females typically weigh between 29 and 64 kg (64 and 141 lb), averaging 42 kg (93 lb)
A mountain lion can drop silently from a height of 60 feet and land running. They can leap 15 feet upward and on
An adult male lion requires up to a 100 square mile area for its range and habitat. There are as many as 10 lions per 100 square miles along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in California.
A scientific review of records on attacks by mountain lions on humans in the United States and Canada from 1890 through 1990 indicated there were 53 mountain lion attacks on humans during this period; nine attacks resulting in 10 human deaths, and 44 non-fatal attacks.
The largest carnivorous cat in north America is known by many names; mountain lion, cougar, puma, and panther, catamount, painter and by its scientific name - Puma concolor. In fact, it holds the Guinness World record for the most number of names - 64 names, including many in other languages
Puma concolor is the largest of the 'small cats' and is not included with the 'big cats' because of its inability to roar. Mountain lions make little noise in the woods. They make vocalizations, but they are more similar to the sounds domestic cats make, such as purrs, chirps, whistles, hisses, and growls
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