There are five big cats out there; lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard and snow leopard. However, there are other names to identify lion: cougar, catamount, puma, panther, or mountain lion. In this article, we are going to cover several facts about mountain lion.
Being a powerful animal, mountain lion avoids contact with human. The chance that you encounter mountain lion in daily basis is rare. They can be found from forests to swamps, but they would prefer to stay away from human!
Facts about Mountain Lion
1. Same hunting habits as other big cats
The way big cats hunt their prey is almost the same. They always make use of the darkness at night, or during dusk or dawn. This facts about mountain lion gets them undetected by the prey while using their advanced stealth ability on top of that.
Then, mountain lion would aim the skull of the prey and break their neck. This is done by leaping 12 meters away and 5 meters high. The catch will then be hidden in their place to be later devoured at the desired time.
The diet of a mountain lion consists of big mammals like deer or elk. However, just like other lions, they would also prey on smaller preys such as rabbits, beavers, coyotes, porcupine, squirrels, mice and raccoons.
2. Mountain lion requires vast range of territory
The habitat of mountain lion is pretty much anywhere they decide to be, as long as there are shelter and prey. Lions are solitary animal, and mountain lions are also active hunters. However, they like to move a lot.
A female mountain lion would prowl around 70 square kilometers. The male has an even bigger range. The range of a male mountain lion can be as large as 250 square kilometers.
3. The holder of world record
Mountain lion holds the world record, Guinness World Records. This record is aimed for mountain lion as the animal with the biggest amount of names compared to other animals! How did mountain lion get all these names?
Mountain lions can be found in 21 out of 23 countries in the Americas. So, can you imagine how vast their range of territory is? Mountain lion have over 40 names, and those are only in English.
4. Female mountain lion raises family alone
As mountain lions are solitary animals, they would only be with the female mountain lions for mating purpose. After they are done mating, the male mountain lion would return to its previous lifestyle. They would meet as their territories may overlap.
But, the territories of mountain lions that have the same gender cannot overlap. This facts about mountain lion is because they are warning the other lions with scrapes and scents. While in estrus, the female mountain lions would also use this method to find mating partner.
5. They are fast and flexible
It’s quite hard to imagine how fast mountain lion runs. That is especially if we only see it on videos. But, they can actually run as fast as car.
The speed of mountain lion can reach 70 kilometers per hour. On top of that, mountain lions have flexible spine. The flexible spine lets them to change directions quickly.
6. Hissing standoff before fights
When mountain lion come across another felines, both of them will go on a hissing standoff. They would hiss and spit until one feline decides to back down.
After one of them give up, then there would be no fights. But, facts about mountain lion is that if no one would give up, then they would go on a fighting match.
7. Can live for 10 to 20 years
In the wild, mountain lion has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. However, in captivity, mountain lion can live up to 20 years. When mountain lions are fully mature, they can be as big as 2.5 meters.
On top of that, the tail of mountain lion is one third of the length of the body. The function of the tail is to give them excellent balance. Mountain lion is indeed big, right after the biggest wild cat, jaguar.
8. Covers hunting result and for a week of consumption
The ambush predator stalks the prey before leaping on its neck. When mountain lion successfully get the food, they would cover it until it’s time to eat for next few days. The carcass may spoil, therefore they have to hunt every week. Therefore, they could kill two deer every week for consumption.
9. Human is not one of their preys
If we are facing any of the big cats, we would assume that they are predators that might kill us. They are indeed dangerous, but this doesn’t mean that they like to disturb human. This facts about mountain lion is because big cats don’t normally disturb human territory. Instead, they would stay far away from human.
But, in the wild, they are considered the king. No animal preys on them, but they might stumble upon predators and scavengers. This means they would fight animals like bear and wolves. There are only less than 20 attacks that are fatal done to mountain lions in the past 100 years.
10. Purring instead of roaring
Mountain lion has a unique characteristic: they don’t roar. Instead, they purr like a domestic cat you would easily find anywhere. The other big cats are able to purr as well, but most of them roar.
11. Mountain lion has low survival rate
Despite being safe by animal attacks, the survival rate of a mountain lion is low. A mountain lion would have one to six cubs, but they more likely won’t make it into adulthood. In fact, there are only one in five that survive on average.
The kittens would have black and brown spots as well as rings on their tails. However, this will grow out once they get older.
Even though we have only mentioned 11 unique facts about mountain lion, there are still so much to know. For example, mountain lion can live in the height of 3,000 meters above the sea level. What’s more to prove that they are able to live anywhere?
This is why when you are hiking, keep being inside the trails. These trails are chosen as they are far from animals like mountain lion. But, keep being aware of facts about mountain lion, look at the surrounding and hike safely!