The puma is a wild cat with many names. The puma is also known as mountain lion, cougar, and panther.
The puma is one of the most common wild cats. Pumas are found throughout western North America, Central America, and South America. Pumas live in environments ranging from high mountains and dry deserts to tropical rainforests.
Pumas range in length from 2.5 to 5.5 feet (9-1.6 m). Pumas have long curly tails, from 24 to 38 inches (61-97cm) long. Pumas commonly weight between 75 and 160 pounds (34-72kg). The puma is the second-largest cat in the Americas, after the jaguar.
Like other wild cats, the puma is a carnivore. It eats hoofed animals such as deer and sheep but also small mammals such as rabbits, rats, and mice.
The puma is a skilled hunter. Its front legs are larger than its hind legs. All four paws are equipped with sharp, retractable claws. This makes it easy for the puma to snatch and hold onto its prey. The puma has a muscular neck and powerful jaw.
The puma is not a fast runner. A deer or rabbit can outrun a puma. To catch its prey, a puma usually hides and waits quietly until the prey is close. Then the puma uses its powerful hind legs to leap forward and its long front legs and sharp claws to catch its prey.
The scientific name for the puma is Puma concolor. The word, concolor means “of one color.” This refers to the puma’s fur. It is all one color with a lighter underbelly. A puma’s fur can vary from shades of red, to brown, to yellow, depending on the season and its surroundings.