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Puma Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Felis concolor
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Carnivora
  • Range

    Pumas can be found throughout South, Central and North America.

  • Habitat

    Pumas can live in a range of habitats, including mountains, forests, grasslands and deserts.

  • Niche

    Secretive and territorial by nature, pumas seek out habitats with dense underbrush in which they can stalk prey. Opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predators, they feed on deer, beavers, porcupines and insects. They often bury the remains of prey after they’ve eaten their fill. Pumas avoid contact with humans, though attacks have been recorded.

  • Life History

    Born in litters of up to six cubs, young pumas are small and slender with black-tipped tails. They develop into large, strong cats and adaptable hunters, able to stalk prey in forest, swamps, grasslands and brush.

  • Special Adaptations

    • Due to their large range, which spans many cultures, pumas have several names, including cougar, mountain lion and catamount.
    • Pumas' textured tongues are equipped with tiny rasping hooks that pull meat from bones and help groom fur.
    • Powered by heavy jaw muscles, the big cats' teeth are effective weapons. Long, curved canine teeth bring down and hold prey while back teeth cut meat so it can be swallowed.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 Get Map/Directions Call 312-742-2000

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