Mountain lion

Mountain lion

A cat with many names

Type

giant panda

Mammals

Area

North, Central, and South America

The Americas

Endangered Status

Stable

facts

size
6.7 to 7.9 ft.
in length, plus tail
The average bed is 6.25 feet long.
mountain lion next to bed.
food
carnivore
smaller mammals
carnivore

Mountain lions prey on deer, elk, caribou, peccaries, feral pigs, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, hares, and armadillos.

habitat
just about
anywhere!
A globe.

Mountain lions can live in nearly every habitat in the Americas: mountains, rain forests, prairies, deserts, swamps, and most anywhere in between.

description

Mountain lion crouching behind foliage.

Always on duty

Mountain lions have an important job to do. They are ambush hunters that prowl, silent and hidden...then attack with a swift pounce. As top predators, they regulate prey populations and prevent the plant-eaters from destroying habitat. Healthy plant life provides homes for other animals.

Puma snarl
Mountain lion cub

Seeing spots

Mountain lions are born with spots, which helps them blend in with grass, brush, and dappled sunlight. A mother nurses her spotted cubs for three months or so. When they are about six weeks old, she also shares her food with them, feeding them chunks of meat. At six months old, their spots begin to fade and they learn to hunt on their own.

Mountain lion prowling

Yours, mine, and ours

In mountain lion territory, these predators often live near people. They would rather flee than fight, so they typically avoid us. To reduce your risk of encountering one, don’t leave food around when you camp. When you hike, do it with a friend, and go during the daytime. These cats are active mostly from dusk to dawn.