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.
- Cougars and mountain lions are two names for the same species: Puma Concolor.
- These large cats have a wide geographic range, from Canada to South America.
- 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.
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Comparison Table for Cougar vs Mountain Lion
|Parameters of Comparison||Cougar||Mountain Lion|
|Other names||Puma, mountain lion, etc||Panther, cougar, etc|
|Diet||Small insects, deer, etc.||Mules. Moose, etc.|
|Appearance||Wild and giant||More fierce|
|Habitat||Lowland, forest, etc.||Wetlands, deserts, etc.|
What is Cougar?
Cougar is an animal that is part of the cat family. They are generally found in forests; they adapted to habitats like lowlands, all kinds of forests, and mountainous deserts. They generally 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.
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 generally 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 often 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.
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 often 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 often 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.
Their diet includes almost all the animals irrespective of size; their prey generally 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.
Main Differences Between Cougar and Mountain Lion
- Cougars and mountain lions are said to be similar or the same, but they have slight differences in their physical appearance.
- Cougars and mountain lions are found in different regions.
- People from different regions give them different names.
- 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.
- The hunting techniques might vary due to changes in regions.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.