The Cougar Physiology
Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Carnivor, Family: Felidae, Genus: Felis, Species: Concolor, or otherwise known as, Cougar. Cougars are also known as the Mountain Lion or puma and have the largest natural range distribution throughout the western hemisphere. This paper will cover characteristics of the cougar, the ancestry to the Cougar, and what adaptations the cougar has gone through to survive in its habitat today. Characteristics
Unlike the lions of Africa, mountain lions otherwise known as cougars do not roar. They instead use a range of vocals from purrs, mews, hisses, growls, spits, and screams. (Mountain Lion, 2006)
They are solitary hunters, cougars depend on certain traits to stalk and ambush their prey. Their keen senses, muscular body and adaptability make it well-matched as a predator. Cougars have large paws and have the largest proportional hind legs in the cat family. This structure allows the cougar to leap great heights and sprint short distances. Cougars are able to jump up 18 feet into a tree from the ground, and 20 feet up or down a hillside. Although the cougar is best adapted for short, powerful sprints it has the capability to run up to speeds as fast as 35–45 miles per hour. Cougars can get up to approximately 190lbs, give or take 20lbs depending on its sex. Cougars even though they are not strongly connected with the water, will swim. Due to their extraordinary vision cougars are both nocturnal and crepuscular hunters. All of these traits allow the cougar to hunt from the ground or from and elevated position. When hunting from the ground the cougar will attack its prey from behind closing the distance by running or with several bounds. When catching its prey they will usually strike with a force that will knock the animal off their feet. This enables the cougar to take down larger prey. Cougars will also attack from an...