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Puma © MNHN - F-G Grandin

The puma

The puma, Puma concolor, is a carnivorous mammal from the Felidae family which lives in forests, mountains and deserts throughout America and South America. 


Class, order and family :
Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae
Life span :
up to 15 years
Size & Weight :
50 - 80 cm (shoulder height), 30 - 120 kg
Gestation period :
3 months, up to 6 cubs
Natural habitat :
forests, mountains and desert
Diet :
Native region :
North and South America
Statut UICN : 

Least Concern (LC)


The puma is top of the food chain, so its role in the ecosystem is a major one as it affects the whole environment. 
In South America, jaguars let pumas have the medium-sized prey, keeping the large herbivores for themselves.

Distinctive features

The puma’s hind legs are longer and more powerful than its front ones, a perfect shape for bounding over steep or snow-covered ground. Together with its exceptional sight and sense of smell, the puma has all the attributes of an excellent hunter, even at night or in rugged terrain. 
The cubs are born with black spots on their fur, their coat only changing to one colour when they are sixteen months old.


The puma can jump up to 4 metres high from a standstill and leap a distance of ten metres.