Nature Notes

Vol. X February - 1932 No. 2

Skull Practice

The Cougar - otherwise known as panther, puma, mountain lion, etc. in various parts of the country - is one of the largest of all the cats. It is only very rarely seen in the Park and then only by Rangers or others of the permanent force while on the outlying trails, but its tracks, now and then, give evidence of its presence in the region.

Watch your pet house cat at play or while eating its food and you will see in its actions those of the cougar. It bolts its food for the powerful jaws and teeth are designed for that purpose. The sketch of the skull below illustrates the long teeth which pierce the flesh of its prey, tearing large chunks from the victim, but the small back teeth are not designed for chewing, hence the animal swallows the food nearly whole.

A skull of a cougar may be found in the Museum at Longmire and it rarely fails to attract considerable attention because of hideous appearance of the large front teeth. Bobcat and Lynx, also native to the Park, have a skull similar to that of the cougar - though much smaller - as their habits are much the same as their larger relative.


The Cougar's skull is typical of all the cats

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