Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

Main Difference – Cougar vs Mountain Lion

Cougars are large members of the cat family and found in North and South America. They are called ‘cat of many names’ because different groups of people use different names for them. These animals are known by more than 30 different names. The most commonly used names include cougar, mountain lion, panther, painter, puma, and catamount. The name cougar has an Indian origin. The Inca Indians living in Peru called them pumas. Early settlers in America called them panthers. However, the English pioneers called them mountain lions. All these names are used for the same creature known as cougar (Puma concolor) categorized under family Felidae. Therefore, there is no actual difference between cougar and mountain lion.

Cougar vs Mountain Lion – Facts, Characteristics, and Behavior 

Cougar is a large cat that inhabits only North and South American territories. They are the second-heaviest cat live in New World, after jaguar. Detailed molecular studies confirm that there are six subspecies of cougars, out of which 5 subspecies are native to Latin America. Cougars are solitary, territorial animals and found mainly in rocky and open areas. Their territory size depends on the vegetation and the density of prey. Surprisingly, these animals can easily adapt to almost any type of habitat due to the presence of fast and powerful muscular body, sharp eyesight and keen hearing, the ability to swim, climb trees and jump long distances. These adaptations also make them excellent hunters and well-known ambush predators. Cougars are carnivores and mainly prefer to hunt ungulates. In addition, they also feed on insects, birds, and rodents. Most cougars have golden brown coats with dark marks on their face. However, few of them are totally black. Males are larger than females. A full-grown male can weigh about 80 kilograms. These animals are shy and usually avoid humans. In the early 1800s, people started hunting cougars because they believed that these creatures would damage their livestock. At that time, these creatures become endangered due to extreme hunting by people.

Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion - image 1

Mountain lion is also a name used for cougar by English invaders. Even today, the term mountain lion is commonly used in North America.

Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

  • Term ‘mountain lion’ is commonly used by North Americans, whereas other names like a puma,panther, are commonly used by South Americans to call cougars.

Image Courtesy:

“Mountain Lion” by USFWS Mountain-Prairie – 8th Place – Mountain Lion, via

About the Author: Yashoda

Yashoda has been a freelance writer in the field of biology for about four years. He is an expert in conducting research related to polymer chemistry and nano-technology. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Applied Science and a Master of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry.

Related pages

difference between bengal and sumatran tigersradiclesosmolarity vs osmolalityjean piaget assimilation and accommodation examplesfacetious sarcasticalumni vs alumnaedefine juxtaposition exampleswhat are the different kinds of adjectivemonomers of amino acidswhat is a noun or pronoundifference between acne and pimplesthermoplastics and thermosetting plasticsdefine thematic statementdefine tensile strenghtdifference between a cold sore and canker sorecentroidal rotationprokaryotic and eukaryotic cells wikipediadefinition norepinephrinedifference between nerd and geekgreat white shark vs dolphinwhat is the difference between divinity and theologyhow to identify noun adjective and adverb clausesthe difference between pork and hamaurally meaningsentence with didacticagranulocytes and granulocytesmolecular formula sucrosetriploblastic animalwhat is the difference between bipap and cpapconceit poetrydifference between a motel and hoteldifference between bacterial and viral meningitiswhat is the difference between a restaurant and a bistrohow to enunciate betterenunciate definemalinois colorsmarxist theory literary criticismdefine lodging houseexamples of a polysyndetondrama comedy and tragedy7star hotel in the worlddestiny vs fatesoar sorepurpose of echocardiogramwhat was the significance of the harlem renaissancebullmastiff english mastiff mixabsorb vs adsorbdifference gram positive and gram negative bacteriascientific name of basil plantapa footnotecpap vs bipapsashimi translationpatronize someonedifference between graveyard and cemetarytrial balance investopediadifference between dolphin and whalemeaning of conductor and insulatorpetroleum ether structural formulachemical formula fructosemaize scientific classificationindian flag colours meaningsubconscious and conscious mindanhydrous diethyl ether molecular weightwhat is the difference between a panther and a pumadefine polyunsaturated fatty acidswhat is the difference between mercy and forgivenessdifference between stewing and braisingtreatment for leukocytosismain differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cellsthe difference between self pollination and cross pollinationnh4 gascarnivore omnivorewhat is the difference between geography and topographyspermatogenesis and oogenesisdifference between prejudice and biasdifference between articulation and phonologyspd autismembryo and zygote