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Discover the Wild: Top 12 Jaw-Dropping Fun Facts About Mountain Lions

illustration of mountain-lions
Get ready to pounce on some wildly intriguing tidbits, as we explore the fascinating world of mountain lions and their majestic, mysterious lives!

1. Mountain Lion Statistics

While mountain lions are secretly campaigning to be the real stars of the well-known phrase "lion, tigers, and bears, oh my!": these elusive felines are formidable hunters who can take down prey up to ten times their size, including elk and moose, using stealth and strength, earning them the moniker "ghosts of the Rockies." Yet fear not, fellow humans, for only 64 authenticated mountain lion attacks have occurred since 1890 in the U.S., resulting in a mere 13 fatalities.
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2. Leaping Abilities

Swifter than a speeding house cat and more powerful than a common tree climber, mountain lions are a feline force to be reckoned with: These remarkable creatures can leap up to 18 feet high and are equipped with the proportionally largest hind legs among the Felidae family, making them talented sprinters and climbers in a variety of habitats.
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3. Feline Killing Teams

Who said teamwork makes the dream work was only for humans? Lo and behold, even mountain lions have their own version of Silicon Valley startup culture: These solitary felines occasionally come together to form "killing teams," hunting in unison and sharing their prey.
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4. Spiderman-esque Mountain Lions

If Spiderman was re-casted as a cat: Meet the mountain lion! This pouncing powerhouse of the animal kingdom can leap up to 40 feet horizontally and 15 feet vertically with astonishing agility, putting our friendly neighborhood web-slinger to shame. Seriously, though: mountain lions are known for their impressive jumping abilities, which makes them incredibly skilled hunters that can effortlessly ambush their prey using their muscular hind legs for propulsion.
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Feline Olympians

5. Feline Olympians

If mountain lions ever hosted their own Olympics, they'd surely sweep the gold medals in track and field events: These elegant felines can launch themselves 40 feet in a single running leap, scale 12-foot fences with ease, catapult 15 feet up a tree and trot gracefully at 10 mph while sprinting at a breathtaking 50 mph when chasing down their next meal.
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6. Superman Whiskered Cousins

If Superman traded in his cape for whiskers and fur: behold the mountain lion, capable of leaping up to 15 feet high in a single bound to conquer its terrain and snatch its prey.
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7. Feline "Opurratic" Society

While Mountain lions might not be the "roar-ing" success of the savannah superstar, they certainly have a feline "opurratic" society of their own, leaving a lasting impression with every purr-formance: Contrary to popular belief, they don't roar like their African counterparts, but these versatile vocalists can meow, growl, and purr with gusto, and even show off their purring prowess up to twenty times louder than the domestic cat, with their young ones meowing like furry pros from the get-go.
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8. Acrobatic Mountain Daredevils

Hold onto your hats, folks, because mountain lions are putting Olympic athletes to shame with their jaw-dropping acrobatics: These feline daredevils can sprint at a staggering 50 mph in short bursts and leap an impressive 15 feet up a tree or a whopping 40 feet horizontally, making their mark with their unique "M" shaped paw prints that sport three distinct lobes on the rear of the heel.
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9. Perfume-loving Territory Markers

Just like a fantastic perfume sale at the mall, male mountain lions can't resist leaving their mark when the scents are diluted: these territorial felines use scratch piles and urine spots to mark their territory, especially when other lions are around or a female is in heat, and are more likely to scent-mark after rainfall has washed away their previous efforts.
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Vicuña Bouncer Cosplayers

10. Vicuña Bouncer Cosplayers

Mountain lions, the ultimate feline cosplayers taking on roles like day-time TV vicuña bouncers: they've been spotted adapting their hunting habits by stalking vicuñas in the day-light meadows of San Guillermo National Park, Argentina, all thanks to the delicious grass buffet luring in their prey, thereby ensuring their survival despite humans encroaching on their turf.
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11. Stealthy Sprinter Predators

Did you know that mountain lions are practically the sprinters of the animal world, but they choose to channel their inner ninja instead? That's right, these big cats like to keep their prey on their toes, or paws, so to speak: Despite being able to run at speeds of up to 50 mph, mountain lions prefer stalking their prey with stealth and patience rather than outright chasing after them, showcasing their expertise as both deadly and efficient predators.
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12. International Feline Secret Agents

Who needs a name when you've got swag? The mountain lion has a different alias in every area code, like an international feline secret agent: They're called "cougars" because of a Portuguese take on a Brazilian Indian name, "pumas" by South America's Quechua people, and even have Cougar Clans dedicated to them within Native American tribes like the Creek, Chippewa, and Shawnee.
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