Species (Puma concolor) of large, graceful cat that lives in a wide variety of habitats in the Americas, from southern Alaska to Patagonia. In many regions, the species is restricted to wilderness areas, and some subspecies are considered endangered. Cougars' coloration ranges from pale buff to reddish brown, with dark ears and tail tip and white rump and belly. The adult weighs from 77 to more than 220 lb (35 to 100 kg). A male may be about 9 ft (3 m) long, one-third of which is tail, and stand 24–30 in. (60–75 cm) tall at the shoulder. Since the cougar occasionally kills livestock, it has been intensively hunted by farmers, especially in North America, and has been basically exterminated from the eastern U.S. It is valuable for preventing overpopulation of prey animals (mostly deer, in North America). In North America, cougar attacks on humans occur a few times per year, some being fatal.
Variants of COUGAR
cougar or puma or mountain lion or panther
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on cougar, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up cougar? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.