Cougar, Mountain Lion or Puma is not realted to leopards and lions
Cougars or pumas are common in many parts of North and South America, where they inhabit hilly terrain in forests and mountains. Cougar or puma is a genus in the family of big cats, and can be found in North, Central and South America.
The word puma comes from the Quechua language.
In the United States the word panther refers to a puma, or black panther (black panther) usually refers to the jaguar or leopard. Recent studies of Puma’s DNA were found to be closely related with yagouaroundi (Puma yagouaroundi) but not with leopards and lions. In USA it is also know as a mountain lion.
In adapting to their environment, they have developed a number of characteristics that make them especially good jumpers. They can leap up to 39 feet as well as scale rocks and fallen trees.
Florida panther from South Florida
Florida panther is a rare subspecies of cougars that lives in the swamps of South Florida in the United States, especially in the Everglades National Park. In Florida is currently a large movement that tries to save the remaining panthers since their number has fallen sharply. The population of Florida panthers, according to the US department of fisheries and animals, no more 120 to 160 individuals in southwest Florida.
Eastern cougar is extinct
Eastern cougar (Puma concolor Couguar), the number of individuals of this subspecies of the North American puma already in the 30s of last century began to fall sharply. It was placed on the list of endangered species in 1973, but has long been feared that this sub-species will disappear, and finally disappeared at the beginning of 2012. The decision of the federal government to declare the eastern cougar extinct does not affect the status of the Florida panther (in the southeast), which is also listed endangered.
Large paws, strong bite and strong foothold
A cougar’s large paws provide it with a strong foothold, which is essential for a powerful takeoff. The paws also have a considerable amount of fur around the pads, which muffles sound and allows the cougar to run and jump almost silently. Cougar can run 50 km/h, in places can jump 6 meters, and vertical jump is 2.5 m. The bite has stronger than any dog.
Small head and slim body reduce weight
Cougars have long, flexible bodies and relatively small heads. The lower weight is an advantage when jumping. Adult male cougars can be long and up to 2.5 m (from nose to tail) and weighs about 70 kg. In special cases can reach up to 95 kg. Adult females are about 2 m long and weigh about 35 kg.
Large muscles and long legs
Cougars large thigh muscles provide extra power during takeoff and enable them to accelerate into a jump quickly. When a cougar is standing on the ground, its hips are several inches higher than its shoulders. The long hind legs allow the muscles to concentrate more power into the hind paws as they take off from the surface.
Tail provides balance
A cougar’s tail may constitute half of its length. It is cylindrical and covered with dense fur, and because of its weight and length, it functions as a kind of balancing rod that helps the cougar stabilize and correct its motion during a leap.