What is the difference between a Mountain lion, puma, cougar, and panther? There isn’t any. By any name, this “cat of many names” is the same species of cat.
A Cougar, scientifically named Puma concolor, also goes by names like red tiger, mountain screamer, painter, and catamount. In fact, it has so many names it actually holds one of the Guinness World Records for having the most names due to having more names than almost any other mammal (40 in English alone).
These names generally originate from the many different places where the Cougar is found. Speaking of which, although all of these names are names for the same type of cat, there are slight differences in size relating to the name and location of the cat due to regional factors like diet and climate.
The puma/mountain lion/cougar is one genus, genus puma, but the panther is genus pantherra. The life span, weight, and features are different for the panther than the puma. Most distinctive is the 350 lb. weight of the male, the jawline, and bright emerald green eyes of the panther. Puma males are closer to 250 lbs and Gerald have brownish eyes.
Interesting facts, thank you!
The name ‘panther’ creates some confusion as it is both a common and scientific name. As Rob mentioned, scientifically panthers are in subfamily pantherinae, genus panthera. The most common english names for the four species in genus panthera are lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard. I have heard of tigers referred to as panthers, and of course in their native ranges I’m sure a variety of other common names exist.
In subfamily felinae, genus puma concolor (the pumas) the Florida panther is a common name thus qualifying panther to the list of mountain lion, puma, cougar, et al. As happens, the common name list for puma concolor is more extensive, a different name for every geographic location.
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