The Power of Pumas

Graceful, quick-footed and powerful, the puma is an incredible species of cat.

Pumas are one of the 30 species of small cats in the genus felis . Other members include the domestic cat ( F. catus ), and the Iberian lynx ( F. pardina ). Pumas can be found in the Americas from northwestern Canada to the southernmost tip of Argentina. They have the greatest natural distribution of any mammals in the western hemisphere, other than humans.

Although they’re classified as a ''small cat'', (males measure 65 – 105 kg and females 35 – 60 kg and 50 80 cm) pumas have very muscular bodies and are more powerful than tigers in every aspect. They have long canines stab into their prey and hold it with ridges on the palate providing extra grip. Lining the jaw are carnassial teeth for shearing flesh. A pumas’ tail gives them balance and agility, allowing it to make lightning quick turns or leap sure footedly among boulders or branches. Its head is long and small, relative to the body. Their large, amber eyes are highly sensitive, and give binocular vision to enable a deadly accurate leap. Pumas have phenomenal leaping power and can reach a height of about five meters in a single jump.

Pumas’ mating season varies with their habitat. Female puma's gestation period is 90-95 days and liters include one to four young cubs. Their typical diet consists of mammals, birds, and insects. The puma’s lifespan is around 20 years.

Pumas may be the smaller cousin of tigers, but they are more powerful and widespread. Watch out for a puma near you.

[Source: The Encyclopedia of Animals ]