Cougars, also known as mountain lions, pumas, or panthers, are powerful and agile predators that are native to North and South America. These big cats are carnivorous and primarily hunt mammals, such as deer, elk, and small rodents. However, cougars are opportunistic predators and will eat a variety of prey, including snakes.
In this article, we will list animals that cougars prey upon, including snakes, and explain each in detail.
20 Animals Cougars, Puma and Mountain lions Devour on
- Deer – Cougars are known to primarily hunt deer, which make up a significant portion of their diet.
- Elk – Similar to deer, elk are a common prey item for cougars, particularly in areas where they are abundant.
- Bighorn Sheep – These large, wild sheep are also hunted by cougars, particularly in mountainous regions.
- Moose – Although moose are not typically a primary prey item for cougars, they have been known to take down these large animals.
- Coyotes – Cougars will also hunt and kill smaller predators, such as coyotes, when they have the opportunity.
- Bobcats – Similar to coyotes, cougars will also prey upon smaller wildcats, such as bobcats.
- Raccoons – These nocturnal animals are sometimes taken as prey by cougars, particularly when they are hunting in urban or suburban areas.
- Skunks – Although not a preferred prey item, cougars have been known to eat skunks when other food sources are scarce.
- Opossums – These small, nocturnal marsupials are occasionally taken by cougars, particularly in areas where they are abundant.
- Rabbits – Cougars are known to hunt and eat rabbits, particularly in areas where other prey is scarce.
- Squirrels – Similar to rabbits, cougars will also prey upon squirrels when other food sources are limited.
- Mice – These small rodents are occasionally taken by cougars, particularly when other prey is scarce.
- Birds – Although not a primary prey item, cougars have been known to hunt and kill birds, particularly ground-nesting species.
- Fish – Cougars are skilled swimmers and will occasionally hunt fish in rivers and streams.
- Beavers – These large rodents are sometimes taken by cougars, particularly in areas where they are abundant.
- Porcupines – Although not a preferred prey item, cougars have been known to eat porcupines when other food sources are scarce.
- Snakes – Cougars have been observed hunting and eating snakes, particularly in areas where they are abundant.
- Lizards – These small reptiles are occasionally taken by cougars, particularly in arid regions.
- Insects – Although not a primary food source, cougars have been known to eat insects, such as grasshoppers and beetles.
- Carrion – Cougars will also scavenge and eat carrion, particularly when they are unable to find live prey.
What Animal Kills A Cougar?
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, are apex predators, which means they are at the top of their food chain and have few natural predators. However, there are some animals that may pose a threat to cougars, particularly cubs and juvenile individuals. Here are some animals that may kill cougars:
- Humans – Humans are one of the biggest threats to cougars, particularly due to habitat destruction, hunting, and encroachment into their natural habitats. In some cases, humans may also kill cougars in self-defense or to protect livestock.
- Wolves – Wolves are known to occasionally prey on young cougars, particularly in areas where both species coexist.
- Bears – Adult bears, particularly grizzly bears, have been known to kill cougars in defense of their cubs or territory.
- Other cougars – Adult male cougars may kill cubs or juvenile individuals in order to establish dominance over their territory and to mate with the female cougars.
It is important to note that while these animals may pose a threat to cougars, they are not typically a significant source of mortality for healthy adult cougars. Cougars are powerful and skilled predators that are well-equipped to defend themselves against most other animals.
Are Cougars Scared Of Anything?
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, are apex predators and generally have few natural predators in their ecosystem. However, like any animal, cougars may be scared or cautious of certain situations or stimuli. Here are some factors that can make cougars feel scared or threatened:
- Human beings – Cougars may feel threatened by humans, particularly if they are approached or feel cornered. Human development in cougar habitats can also displace the animals from their natural range and disrupt their hunting and mating habits.
- Loud noises – Loud noises, such as gunfire or fireworks, may startle cougars and make them feel threatened or scared.
- Bright lights – Bright lights can be disorienting to cougars, particularly at night, and may make them feel vulnerable.
- Other predators – While cougars are apex predators, they may still feel threatened by other large predators such as bears or wolves.
- Unfamiliar objects or scents – Cougars may be cautious or scared of unfamiliar objects or scents in their environment, particularly if they are disruptive to their daily routine.
It is important to note that while cougars may feel scared or threatened in certain situations, they are still powerful and potentially dangerous animals. It is important to take precautions and avoid encounters with cougars, particularly in their natural habitat. If you do encounter a cougar, it is important to stay calm, make yourself look larger, and slowly back away while keeping your eyes on the animal.
Here are the answers to your FAQs:
Do Cougars Eat Insects?
Cougars are carnivores and primarily eat meat, so they do not typically eat insects as a significant part of their diet.
Do Cougars Eat Wolves?
While cougars and wolves both occupy similar habitats and may occasionally compete for prey, cougars are not known to regularly prey on wolves. In fact, wolves are typically larger and more powerful than cougars and may pose a threat to them.
Do Cougars Eat Squirrels?
Cougars are known to occasionally prey on squirrels, particularly in areas where other prey species are scarce. However, squirrels are not a significant part of their diet.
Do Cougars Eat Rabbits?
Yes, cougars will eat rabbits, particularly in areas where other prey species are scarce.
Do Cougars Eat Coyotes?
Cougars may prey on coyotes in areas where both species coexist, particularly if other prey species are scarce. However, coyotes are not a significant part of their diet.
Do Cougars Eat Humans?
While cougars have been known to attack humans in rare cases, they do not typically see humans as prey and will usually avoid them if possible.
Do Cougars Eat Deer?
Yes, deer are one of the primary prey species for cougars.
Do Cougars Eat Fish?
While cougars are not typically associated with aquatic habitats, they have been known to occasionally prey on fish in streams or rivers.
What Does Mountain Lion Eat?
Mountain lions, also known as cougars, primarily eat a variety of animals including deer, bighorn sheep, elk, small mammals like rabbits and rodents, and occasionally birds.
Cougars are opportunistic predators that will eat a variety of prey, including snakes. While their primary prey is usually mammals such as deer and elk, they have been known to hunt and eat smaller animals such as coyotes, rabbits, and mice, as well as scavenging on carrion. In addition to snakes, cougars have been observed hunting and eating a variety of other animals, such as birds, fish, beavers, and porcupines. Their diet is largely dependent on the availability of prey in their habitat.
- “Cougar (Puma concolor)” by National Geographic Society: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/c/cougar/
- “Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)” by Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/mountain-lion
- “Mountain Lion Predation” by The Cougar Fund: https://cougarfund.org/about-cougars/mountain-lion-predation/
- “Do Cougars Eat Humans? Fact and Fiction” by HowStuffWorks: https://animals.howstuffworks.com/mammals/do-cougars-eat-humans.htm
- “Cougars, Bears, and Wolves: Predator-Prey Dynamics” by Yellowstone National Park: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/predatorprey.htm
These sources provide reliable information on cougars and their behavior, habitat, and diet.