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Currently, it is referred to as "puma" by most scientists  and by the populations in 21 of the 23 countries in the Americas.
Lexicographers regard painter as a primarily upper-Southern US regional variant on panther. Marcgrave's rendering was reproduced in by his associate, Dutch naturalist Willem Piso. Cuguacu ara was then adopted by English naturalist John Ray in They are placed in the subfamily Felinae, although their physical characteristics are similar to those of the big cats in the subfamily Pantherinae.
Taxonomic research on felids remains partial, and much of what is known about their evolutionary history is based on mitochondrial DNA analysis,  as cats are poorly represented in the fossil record and significant confidence intervals exist with suggested dates.
In the latest genomic study of Lions for lambs Felidae, the common ancestor of today's LeopardusLynxPumaPrionailurusand Felis lineages migrated across the Bering land bridge into the Americas 8.
The lineages subsequently diverged in that order. The cheetah lineage is suggested by some studies to have diverged from the Puma lineage in the Americas see American cheetah and migrated back to Asia and Africa,   while other research suggests the cheetah diverged in the Old World itself.
North America was then repopulated by a group of South American cougars. It is now most often placed in the genus Herpailurus. It is still regularly listed as subspecies P.
Its powerful forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey. It has five retractable claws on its forepaws one a dewclaw and four on its hind paws. The larger front feet and claws are adaptations to clutching prey. Whereas cougars tend to be larger as distance increases from the equator,  which crosses South America, jaguars north of the Amazon River in South America tend to be smaller.
Despite its size, it is not typically classified among the " big cats " because it cannot roar, lacking the specialized larynx and hyoid apparatus of Panthera.
They are well known for their screams, as referenced in some of their common names, although these screams are often misinterpreted to be the calls of other animals or humans.
The coat is typically tawny like that of the lion, which is why it was initially called the "mountain lion",  but it otherwise ranges from silvery-grey or reddish with lighter patches on the underbody, including the jaws, chin, and throat. Infants are spotted and born with blue eyes and rings on their tails;  juveniles are pale and dark spots remain on their flanks.
It is adept at climbing, which allows it to evade canine competitors. Although it is not strongly associated with water, it can swim. Like other cats, it is an obligate carnivoremeaning it must feed on meat to survive.
The mean weight of vertebrate prey MWVP that pumas attack increases with the puma's body weight; in general, MWVP is lower in areas closer to the equator.
Other species such as the bighorn and Dall's sheephorsefallow deercariboumountain goatcoyote and pronghorn.
Only the Florida panther showed variation, often preferring feral hogs and armadillos. Cougars are ambush predators, feeding mostly on deer and other mammals. Investigations at Yellowstone National Park showed that elk, followed by mule deer, were the cougar's primary targets; the prey base is shared with the park's gray wolveswith which the cougar competes for resources.
Learned, individual prey recognition was observed, as some cougars rarely killed bighorn sheep, while others relied heavily on the species. Small to mid-sized mammals are preferred, including large rodents such as the capybara. Competition with the larger jaguar in South America has been suggested for the decline in the size of prey items.
It stalks through brush and trees, across ledges, or other covered spots, before delivering a powerful leap onto the back of its prey and a suffocating neck bite.
The cougar is capable of breaking the neck of some of its smaller prey with a strong bite and momentum bearing the animal to the ground. The period shrinks for females raising young, and may be as short as one kill every three days when cubs are nearly mature around 15 months.
The cougar is generally reported to not be a scavengerbut deer carcasses left exposed for study were scavenged by cougars in California, suggesting more opportunistic behavior. They typically average one litter every two to three years throughout their reproductive lives,  though the period can be as short as one year.
Chronic stress can result in low reproductive rates when in captivity as well as in the field. Litter size is between one and six cubs; typically two. Caves and other alcoves that offer protection are used as litter dens. Born blind, cubs are completely dependent on their mother at first, and begin to be weaned at around three months of age.
As they grow, they begin to go out on forays with their mother, first visiting kill sites, and after six months beginning to hunt small prey on their own.The Silence of the Lambs, having accomplished the rare feat of winning all five of the major Academy Award categories, is a remarkable achievement in filmmaking.
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Once you select Rent you'll have 14 days to start watching the movie and 48 hours to finish it.4/5(14).