My Wild Cat paintings are inspired by my love of these magnificent animals. "BabyFace" is my painting of a Cougar (Felis concolor), aka; Puma, Mountain Lion, Panther, Catamount, plus a few more names depending on the region. They have the most names of all the cats. I hope you can see why I gave it the name "Babyface". The original "Babyface" was sold to a private collector in Europe through a gallery in Switzerland.
The Cougar is the largest of the small cats and has the greatest natural distribution of any mammal in the Western Hemisphere except for man. The cougar thrives in mountainous, coniferous forests, lowland tropical forests, swamps, grassland, dry brush country, or any other area with adequate cover and prey to eat. They are very athletic and extremely agile, possessing great jumping and leaping power. They have been known to jump 25 feet over water and 18 feet straight up a tree, using their long tail for balance. They are good swimmers but prefer not to enter the water. Sight is its most acute sense with a good sense of hearing, but is thought to have a poorly developed sense of smell. Cougars are solitary even by cat standards, avoiding even their own kind, except to mate. The major difference separating the two classifications of cats, i.e; small vs. large, is the ability to roar vs. the ability to purr. Though large and strong these solitary cats can purr but cannot roar.
These powerful cats have a length of 58" - 108" (145 - 275 cm), weight of 77 - 220 lbs (35 - 100kg), height of 24" - 30" (60 - 76cm) and a tail of 21" - 36". They have a long body with a small head, short face, and a long neck and tail. They are powerfully built, and the hind legs are larger than the front. Their ears are small, short and rounded. Cougars have a life span of about 8 years. There are many subspecies of cougar. They're an endangered species due to loss of habitat and over-hunting by man. Cougars have been hunted extensively throughout the Americas due to their habit of killing livestock and certainly seem to bring out the worst as well as the best in people. Despite their prolific hunting profile, Cougars are not at the top of food chain in many of their native ecosystems and face stiff competition at the hands of Bears, Wolves and Jaguars.
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