Did you know adult cougars need to eat a deer about every 16 days? And that a mother with three cubs will need a deer every nine days?

And if it has a running start, a mountain lion can jump 45 feet in a single leap.

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Here are some more facts you might not know about these cats.

Cougar facts

Known as: mountain lion, puma, cougar

Eyes: Cougars have excellent night vision. Their peripheral vision is 287 degrees; a typical human’s peripheral vision is about 200 degrees.

Lifespan: A mountain lion typically lives about about 12 years in the wild, and they can live up to 25 years in captivity.

Status: Not threatened or endangered, but protected

Top speed: 40 mph

Leap (highest): 16 feet

Leap (longest): Cougars aren’t as fast as cheetahs or as strong as jaguar; they thrive because of their remarkable leaping ability. A cougar with a running start can fly 45 feet in a single leap.


Real Cougars of OC

Males vs. females: Males are about 35 percent bigger, measuring up to nine feet from tip to tail and weigh up to 150 pounds. Males almost always travel alone; females sometimes travel with cubs.

Hunting: They are most active at night, but sometimes will hunt or travel in daylight. Ranges vary from 10 to 370 square miles, depending on opportunity and population. Adult cougars need to eat a deer about every 16 days, though a mother with three cubs will need a deer every nine days.

Family life: Cougars can breed year round, but most births occur between December and July. Females can begin breeding at age 2, and typically give birth to no more than four kittens in a litter.

A newborn typically is about a foot long and weighs a pound. Males don’t take part in child rearing.

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Sharp parts: A cougar’s claws and its longest teeth are each about 2-inches.


Sources: Winston Vickers, UC Davis Wildlife Health Center; National Geographic, California Fish and Wildlife, Moutain Lion Foundation; The Nature Conservancy

Photos: Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority, Wikimedia Commons, file photos