Cougar running courtesy of Webweavers clipart    "The Phantom Cat"" Cougar running courtesy of Webweavers clipart

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     "What's for dinner ma?"     



Cougars have segmented bodies which give rise to different body cavities allowing for specialization of their digestive system. They have a "short" digestive system typical of many carnivores due to the relative ease in which the mammalian body can metabolize proteins.
  Until cougar cubs are about 2 months old, they rely on maternal nutrition via breast milk from their mother.  By the eighth week, their teeth, digestive system, strength, and coordination allow them to travel to a kill site that their mother has prepared for them.  Although weaning usually begins at 2 months of age, many cubs continue to nurse for another month. Some can continue to nurse until they are halfway grown.

Photo of a cougar hissing
Cougars do not make loud or deep roaring noises like other large felids. Instead they make a hissing or screaming noise. Click on the following link to hear a cougar "roar" 
Cougar growling.WAV

Cougars are carnivorous, meaning they eat flesh, and they typically feed on a diet primarily consisting of deer.  Cougars are also known to eat elk, hares, rabbits, porcupines, raccoons, beavers, muskrats and sometimes livestock. Unfortunately, there have been few cases in which cougars eat other cougars-sometimes even their own cubs. Cougars are relatively successful because they use their claws and powerful Photo courtesy of Savio DSilvajaw to conquer their prey, however, they often have to stalk their prey many times before becoming successful.  Generally, a cougar kills a large animal once every 12 to 14 days depending on the nutritional substance of its last prey. The caloric intake of a female cougar is about 3,000 calories per day but this number increases when a cougar is pregnant. After capturing its prey, a cougar’s first meal is usually the heart, the lungs, and the liver which prove to be a cougar’s only source of vitamin A. Female cougars with kittens, especially when they are nearing the age of 2, place higher demand on the base of prey.  Cougars are not selective when they attack their prey so instead of only killing the young and old, they attack animals that leave themselves most open to attack.


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