With the taxonomic uncertainty about its existence as a subspecies as well as the possibility of eastward migration of cougars from the western range, the subject remains open. 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. Its powerful forequarters, neck, and jaw serve to grasp and hold large prey. Texas is the only U. DNA analysis revealed that it was from a female genetically similar to South Dakota cougars.
One study has shown high mortality amongst cougars that travel farthest from the maternal range, often due to conflicts with other cougars intraspecific competition. They typically average one litter every two to three years throughout their reproductive lives,  though the period can be as short as one year. 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 still regularly listed as subspecies P. Where a juvenile fails to leave his maternal range, for example, he may be killed by his father. For example, a study in British Columbia observed that the population of mule deer, a favored cougar prey, was declining while the population of the less frequently preyed-upon white-tailed deer was increasing. The larger front feet and claws are adaptations to clutching prey. Wildlife corridors and sufficient range areas are critical to the sustainability of cougar populations. Lexicographers regard painter as a primarily upper-Southern US regional variant on panther. As few as one to four new animals entering a population per decade markedly increases persistence, highlighting the importance of habitat corridors. 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. To the Apache and Walapai of Arizona , the wail of the cougar was a harbinger of death. 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. Males may scrape together a small pile of leaves and grasses and then urinate on it as a way of marking territory. In Texas, cougars are listed as nuisance wildlife and any person holding a hunting or a trapping permit can kill a cougar regardless of the season, number killed, sex or age of the animal. Only the Florida panther showed variation, often preferring feral hogs and armadillos. The Canadian federal agency called Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada rates its current data as "insufficient" to draw conclusions regarding the eastern cougar's survival and its website says that "despite many sightings in the past two decades from eastern Canada, there are insufficient data to evaluate the taxonomy or assign a status to this cougar. The lineages subsequently diverged in that order. Packs of wolves can steal cougars' kills and occasionally kill the cat. Competition with the larger jaguar in South America has been suggested for the decline in the size of prey items. Marcgrave's rendering was reproduced in by his associate, Dutch naturalist Willem Piso. 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. The cougar is generally reported to not be a scavenger , but deer carcasses left exposed for study were scavenged by cougars in California, suggesting more opportunistic behavior. 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. Cats within these areas socialize more frequently with each other than with outsiders.
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