Cougar vs Mountain Lion: Difference and Comparison

Wild animals are an essential part of the ecosystem, their presence might frighten humans, but that would not decrease their importance. Wild animals like lions, bears, foxes, etc., are extremely important fauna.

Some animals resemble each other in context to their facial shape, body shape, feature, etc., because they belong to the same species or animal family. For example, the cat family includes cats, lions, cheetahs, tigers, etc.

Sometimes one animal is given different names; for example, mountain lions have been given different names according to the regions they have been found in. For example, puma, cougar, mountain screamers, etc.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cougars and mountain lions are two names for the same species: Puma Concolor.
  2. These large cats have a wide geographic range, from Canada to South America.
  3. Terminology varies based on region, with “cougar” used in North America and “mountain lion” primarily in the western United States.

Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

The difference between cougars and mountain lions is their names in different regions. Cougars and mountain lions are the same species; the only difference is the names of people from different regions.

Cougar vs Mountain lion

 

Comparison Table for Cougar vs Mountain Lion

Parameters of ComparisonCougarMountain Lion
Other namesPuma, mountain lion, etcPanther, cougar, etc
DietSmall insects, deer, etc.Mules. Moose, etc.
RegionsPatagoniaCanada
AppearanceWild and giantMore fierce
HabitatLowland, forest, etc.Wetlands, deserts, etc.

 

What is Cougar?

Cougar is an animal that is part of the cat family. They are found in forests; they adapted to habitats like lowlands, all kinds of forests, and mountainous deserts. They prefer to live in the underbrush or steep canyons.

Cougars have round heads and erect ears, and solid bodies with tawny-coloured coats. Their look completes with a whitish underside and slightly dark hair covering the back. Their paws are large and built with muscular hind legs.

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Cougars can jump 18 feet from trees and 20 feet from mountains, as they have more powerful hind legs than forelegs. They also have a flexible spine, enabling them to jump on their prey easily.

Cougars are 5 feet long and around 2 or 3 feet tail. Male cougars can weigh around 115 to 220 pounds, whereas female cougars can easily weigh around 65 to 140 pounds. Their build is heavy as compared to other animals of the cat family.

Cougars are carnivorous animals; thus, they find their prey in the forest. Animals like deer, sheep, horses, cows, etc. Cougars found in the northern region also prey on animals like small insects or other small animals like rabbits, raccoons, etc.

The male cougars leave after mating, and the female cougar is left with cubs for parenting. The mortality rate is high, and cubs leave the family behind after two.

cougar
 

What is Mountain Lion?

Mountain lions are part of the cat family. They are wild animals found in forests dispersed from Canada (Yukon) to the Southern Andes in South America. They are the wildest animals in the cat family.

Their appearance is somewhat similar to the cougar, probably because they are the same animals, but the slight difference may occur due to their dispersion in different regions.

They have large and powerful built, and they are heavy too. The fundamental features are the same.

Mountain lions are said to be dangerous; one of their distinctive features is that they cannot roar; they scream, which is why they are referred to as ‘mountain screamers’. They are also known as ‘concolor’ due to their plain colour.

Mountain lions are said to have a world Guinness Book record of having the most number of names,

the reason for giving different names to one type of animal is that they are vastly distributed, and thus people of different reigns have given them different names, which creates confusion as well.

They can be distinguished from other cat family members by their larger paws and hind legs, especially in their childhood. Cubs have spotted skin with blue eyes and a ring on their tail. Their cubs leave after two years.

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Their diet includes almost all the animals irrespective of size; their prey includes mules, whitetail deer, elk, moose, etc.

Mountain lions are so dangerous that they even sometimes break the necks of their prey to kill them before eating.    

The population of mountain lions has been decreasing due to hunting them in the name of ranchers’ livestock. It might be a human and animal conflict if it continues like this. Which could lead to disasters in future.

mountain lion

Main Differences Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

  1. Cougars and mountain lions are said to be similar or the same, but they have slight differences in their physical appearance.
  2.  Cougars and mountain lions are found in different regions.
  3. People from different regions give them different names.
  4. There can be slight differences between cougars and mountain lions based on their diet and the types of animals they hunt. This is because of the availability of different animals in different regions.
  5. The hunting techniques might vary due to changes in regions. 
Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

References
  1. https://www.astm.org/DIGITAL_LIBRARY/JOURNALS/FORENSIC/PAGES/JFS13811J.htm
  2. https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol27/iss1/15/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Cougar vs Mountain Lion: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Great post, it really made me think about how similar yet complex these animals are. I’m glad I came across this educational content.

    Reply
  2. I’m not convinced that mountain lions are more dangerous than cougars, more evidence is needed to support this claim.

    Reply
  3. This article provided an in-depth perspective on the differences between cougars and mountain lions, very enlightening.

    Reply

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