The Silent Cats of Patagonia

Joel Berger

in The Better to Eat You With

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226043630
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226043647 | DOI:
The Silent Cats of Patagonia

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  • Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology


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Cougar sightings have increased in California's Venture County, as they have throughout Washington, Colorado, and Montana. Even in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, cougars are now returning. Known also as mountain lions or pumas, these cats are the most widespread carnivore in North and South America. Pumas reach their largest sizes far to the south, on the cold plateaus and steppes of Patagonia. Males weigh an average of 165 pounds, females 100. The bulk of their diet there is neither pets nor native species. Instead, as in most of the world, food choice is a product of history, happenstance, and availability. This chapter describes the author's efforts to catch a glimpse of the elusive gato Andino. The Andean mountain cat is reminiscent of Asia's high-elevation snow leopards.

Keywords: cats; mountain lions; pumas; cougars; gato Andino; Andean mountain cat; Patagonia

Chapter.  4337 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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