Biome: Big Sky Country
Biography: Also known as a cougar, puma, panther, catamount, painter or mountain lion, this cat is recognized by its large size, uniform tan color, and long tail. Of the New World cats, the mountain lion is second only to the jaguar in size, and typically weighs between 100 and 150 lbs. The solitary mountain lion stalks its prey and then surprises and takes it with a short burst of speed and a powerful leap. Though rarely seen, the mountain lion may cover twenty miles a night while hunting for deer and other animals. This secretive cat leaves little sign of its presence, other than its clawless four-inch tracks.
Once found across the North American continent, the mountain lion now ranges from the Yukon, throughout the western United States, and deep into South America. It still has a greater geographical range than any other New World mammal, partly because it is adaptable to such a wide variety of habitats, from forests to deserts and jungles.