Cougar vs Mountain Lion

-Cougar vs Mountain Lion-

Hikers may wonder if encountering a cougar is worse than encountering a mountain lion on the hiking trail. A mountain lion and a cougar appear identical, which may lead some people to wonder if they are the same or if they have any differences. Read through to answer the question Cougar vs Mountain Lion.

Cougar vs Mountain Lion

Cougar Vs. Mountain Lion (What’s The Difference?)

There are almost no genetic differences between cougars and mountain lions. They are technically the same Puma concolor species.

Puma concolor is known by many names, including mountain lion, cougar, Puma, Panther, Mountain Cat, and Mountain Screamer. Despite their different names, they all belong to the same species of cat.

They can all breed with each other and have offspring. The only thing that distinguishes them is their names. They have different names because we find them in different parts of the world.

1. Hunting Range

Cougar vs Mountain Lion

One reason people confuse the mountain lion and the cougar is that they hunt in different parts of the world. They’re an amazing species that can adapt to a variety of climates.

As a result, they associate animals known as mountain lions with one region of the world, while they associate those known as cougars with another.

This is due less to genetic differences between them and more to the fact that the two groups of people do not live in proximity to one another. As a result, each group of humans has given the cat its own name.

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More Information on Hunting Range

For example, the mountain lion is best known in North and Central America. Mountain lions were given this name because they were frequently found in highlands and mountainous areas.

They commonly found cougars in the southern United States and throughout South America. While they are the same cat, their environment makes them better prairie and forest hunters.

Their geographical location also influenced their hunting ranges. Mountain lions prefer to hunt in the mountains, whereas cougars prefer to hunt in forests and grasslands.

2. The Size

Although they are the same species, mountain lions and cougars are slightly smaller. However, this is due to their environment rather than their genetics. Mountain lions are slightly larger than cougars.

Mountain lions need to jump higher in order to reach cliff sides and overhangs. Because they climb and scale mountains and highlands, they work their muscles more than cougars.

They also hunt and eat larger mammals, which causes their size in order to take them down. Cougars are slightly smaller than tigers.

More Information on Size

They do climb, but it is not as strenuous as climbing in the highlands or mountains. They would rather stalk their prey in the grass or under dense foliage in the forest.

They’re smaller to better conceal themselves because they prefer to stay low. They also prefer to hunt smaller prey than the mountain lion. As a result, they do not need to be larger to hunt large prey.

Although they are the same species, the mountain lion and cougar are slightly different in size. This is solely due to their surroundings and eating habits.

3. Diet

Cougar vs Mountain Lion

The diets of the mountain lion and cougar differ as well, though they share some prey species. This is they only found the fact that some of their prey are in the areas where they typically hunt.

Mountain lions, for example, hunt deer and, on rare occasions, elk. Elk, in particular, are found in the Northern United States. As a result, mountain lions, as they are known in the north, have easy access to elk.

Because they leave in highland areas, their prey is usually animals that also live there. This includes llamas, goats, and other similar animals.

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Further Information on Diet

Cougars prefer to eat smaller animals such as rabbits, small camelids, and foxes. They aren’t afraid to eat larger animals, either. Some people are even brave enough to face alligators.

Their diet is determined by what is available to them. Mountain lions and cougars are both carnivores. As a result, they will hunt and eat anything in their environments that they believe will kill them.

The animals that live in each environment distinguish the two.

4. Climate

Cougars prefer to eat smaller animals such as rabbits, small camelids, and foxes. They aren’t afraid to eat larger animals, either. Some people are even brave enough to face alligators.

Their diet is determined by what is available to them. Mountain lions and cougars are both carnivores. As a result, they will hunt and eat anything in their environments that they believe will kill them.

The animals that live in each environment distinguish the two.

They associate mountain lions and cougars with different climates because their major difference is environmental rather than genetic.

5. Fur Coloration

The environment in which Puma concolor lives can also have a minor impact on its hair color. Mountain lions’ hair has a slight gray tint to it.

They keep the tan color associated with the species but have a grayer tone when compared to other members of the same species.

They still have a white underbelly, but it may be a slightly grayer shade. Because of their environment, their hair is slightly gray. Mountainous areas are typically gray.

More Information on Fur Coloration

The cougar’s hair color varies slightly as well. Their hair color is slightly redder. Their hair, like that of the mountain lion, is still tanned with a white underbelly, but there are traces of red within it.

They also related this to their surroundings. Because some cougars live in the desert, red rocks and sand surround them. Their fur has red variations to help them blend in with their surroundings.

It also aids them in the forest. Forest soil can sometimes turn a muddy red color.

 Similarities Between A Mountain Lion And A Cougar

 Similarities Between A Mountain Lion And A Cougar

While mountain lions and cougars have a few minor differences, they share far more similarities. This is because they are genetically the same species. They’re just different subspecies of the same big cat.

Here are some characteristics shared by mountain lions and cougars.

1. Temperament And Hunting Style

Cougars and mountain lions have similar temperaments and hunting styles. They are solitary beings. Although females can breed all year, they typically give birth to cubs every two years. This is largely due to the difficulty of finding a compatible male.

She looks after the cubs for a few months after giving birth. Cubs spend about 15 months with their mother before venturing out on their own. Some stay for as long as 26 months.

A lack of food and habitat may be one reason that mountain lions and cougars prefer to be solitary rather than in packs or pride.

More Information on Temperament And Hunting Style

Because these animals live in areas where humans are expanding, much of their habitat has been destroyed. This limits their ability to find a place to live or to feed themselves.

Habitat destruction does not harm A single animal. It impacts the entire animal life cycle in that area. To ensure that at least some of them survive, they go off on their own in search of food and shelter.

Mountain lions and cougars, besides being solitary predators, prefer to be stealthy predators. They will not hunt or fight if their prey notices them or if they do not believe they can defeat it.

2. Lifespan

Because these animals live in areas where humans are expanding, much of their habitat has been destroyed. This limits their ability to find a place to live or to feed themselves.

Habitat destruction does not harm a single animal. It affects the entire animal life cycle in that area. To ensure that at least some of them survive, they go off on their own in search of food and shelter.

Mountain lions and cougars, besides being solitary predators, prefer to be stealthy predators. They will not hunt or fight if their prey notices them or if they do not believe they can defeat it.

3. Endangered

For conservation, mountain lions and cougars serve as umbrella species. This means that they are one of many animals that live in a specific habitat that people are attempting to preserve.

They do not endanger mountain lions in certain areas. As a result, they are classified as “Least Concern” in terms of endangerment. However, cougars are nearly extinct in the east.

This is because hunters killed them in the 1800s and early 1900s. They posed a threat to local livestock and were frightening to the locals. As a result, humans hunted them to extinction.

4. Territorial

Although they are cats and resemble lions, they are more closely related to domesticated cats. As a result, they can’t roar like African lions.

Instead, they make a screaming sound, which is why it is known as the mountain screamer in some areas.

Shrieking is how they mark their territory. They’ll also purr and growl like a cat. To mark their territory, they will scratch against wood and rocks with their claws.

How To Fend Off A Mountain Lion Or Cougar

Mountain lions and cougars are both dangerous wild animals. Although they generally avoid humans, attacks do occur. When confronted with a mountain lion or cougar, the best thing you can do is face it and slowly back away.

Never flee from a mountain lion or cougar. You should also give it plenty of room if you see it traveling with its cubs. If you get too close to their young, they will defend them.

If the mountain lion approaches, you must raise your arms and make yourself appear as large as possible. It can also aid in the expansion of your jacket.

Conclusion

Mountain lions and cougars are both members of the same species, but they are two distinct subspecies. The major distinction between them is the regional name that each group of people has given it.

Their surroundings have also left a few distinguishing marks on them. However, in most cases, the mountain lion and cougar are more similar than they are different.

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