mountain lion

Encyclopedia Article


Also known as cougar or puma, the mountain lion is a large wild cat native to the Western Hemisphere. Mountain lions can be found in a variety of habitats across North and South America, including forests, mountains, swamps, or deserts. Adult mountain lions are brown in color and reach a length of about 4 feet (1.2 meters), not including their long tail, and their weight averages 136 pounds (62 kg).

The mountain lion appears in various Native American traditional lore, such as the Keres and Tewa creation myths, in which it is associated with the pre-emergence place. In Zuni tradition, the mountain lion is the beast-god of the North.

Photo Credit: 

"Mountain lion on Mt. Taylor, New Mexico" by Raul Sanchez is licensed under Public Domain.

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