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Puma – the largest representative of the cat family in the New World. Previously, it belongs to the same genus, to which belong the usual cats and lynx. But, as apparently no puma or similar to those of any other, it singled out in a separate genus, which includes the only kind.
cougar’s body longer than other felines, strong legs, my head is relatively small. Characteristically, that cougars are very long and powerful tail, which acts as a rocker when jumping.
Wool her thick, but very short. Puma is one of the few cats who do not have a pronounced pattern. Total tons of wool from her camel, what this animal is sometimes called a mountain lion, but unlike lions nose is a cougar pink. The animals of this species tend to a variety of skin hues: the northern populations are light yellow and even gray color, the southern – brown or bright ginger. On the belly fur is whitish hue, and on the ears, on the contrary, black. Size animals also varies greatly, their length can vary from 1 to 2 m, and weight – from 50 to 100 kg. Typically, larger northern cougars south.
Areal cougars extends from the Rocky Mountains of North America to Patagonia in the South. Throughout the area, this predator inhabits diverse landscapes: it can be found in the mountains, lowland forests, tropical jungles and even swamps. Only much open spaces avoids the beast. Like all cats, the cougar is a solitary lifestyle. It is secretive and rarely gives voice their presence. Cougars are very flexible and agile cats: they are perfectly climb trees, are able to make huge jumps in length and height.
Cougar hunt on a variety of animals, from squirrels and rabbits to peccaries (wild pigs) and elk. But they usually attack the medium-sized animals – deer, mountain sheep. Cougar on the prowl stalking prey, and then throws it back and breaks the neck vertebrae (rarely choking). Characteristically, the cougar attacks on animals, far exceeding its size. Generally cougars conservative and not willing to try on a tooth anything that moves. It was only one animal it can not afford – a skunk. Young cougar attack often (even fatal) skunks, but usually they have time to use his arms and bad predators quickly learn to ignore the smelly “lunch.” Cougars voracious and never throw uneaten prey, they return to it or hide pieces of mining reserve.
The courtship period, cougars living in the north, is the winter, the animals tropical latitudes pronounced mating period not. At this time, usually silent cougars announce the neighborhood with loud cries (listen). Pregnancy in females lasts for 3 months, after which the light appears kitten 2-4. Lair for kids female settles in a cave or under a windbreak.
Interestingly, kittens are born in the same color cougars spotted, like a leopard. Just getting in adults to age of one year of their color. Kids are growing rapidly and already 1.5 months trying to eat meat. Young animals remains with the female to 1.5-2 years. Full maturity cougars reach 2-3 years and live 15-20 years.
In America, the largest cat no natural enemies, but in some parts of the range cougars experiencing strong competition from wolves, jaguars and bears. Young animals, inadvertently entered into the hassle often die. Puma prefers privacy and avoid crowded places. For this reason the damage done by cougars farmers, small. However, we know many cases of attacks on humans. Usually, such situations arise when people invade the territory of the cougar (but not vice versa), and provoked by careless human behavior.
Puma has no commercial value, but some of its subspecies are on the verge of extinction due to a violation of natural habitats. For example, the population of Florida cougar reached a critical point of 20-50 individuals and is not capable of natural regeneration.