Florida Panther Facts: Animals of North America

The Florida panther is actually a cougar.
The Florida panther is actually a cougar.

Despite this cat's name, the Florida panther bears no resemblance to black panthers, a melanistic variant of much larger cats such as the leopard or jaguar. Its taxonomic status has nothing to do with Panthera, which is that of cats such as tigers, leopards, snow leopards, lions, and jaguars. Instead, the Florida panther is under the scientific classification of Puma concolor coryi. The Florida panther is the only cougar species found in the eastern USA.

4. Behavior

Male and female Florida panthers will often have little contact with one another outside of breeding. The early life of a Florida panther is spent mainly with the mother. When a Florida panther is born, the first 2 months of its life are spent in a den made from dense scrub. During this time, it depends on its mother for everything. After this, it will hunt while under the close eye of its mother. Within 2 years, it will hunt and live on its own.

3. Habitat and Range

As its name suggests, the Florida panther is found in the US state of Florida. The Florida panther is found only in Florida. Specifically, the Florida panther lives in the southern part of Florida. While its spatial geographic range is small, it can be found in a variety of habitats. Freshwater swamp forests, pinelands, and tropical hardwood hammocks are the habitats of the Florida panther. Generally, Florida panthers live in forested areas. These habitats are for the protection of the Florida panther.

2. Diet

Like other species of wild cats, the Florida panther is a carnivore. The Florida panther is an opportunistic hunter, and will eat both small and large animals. Hares and mice are as much a part of this cat's diet as pigs and deer are. Florida panthers will even eat alligators living in the Florida swamps. Florida panthers have been known to eat livestock.

1. Physical Description

The Florida panther is similar to other cougars found in North America. It has a light brown coat on most of its body. Its underbelly has a white hue. There are black tips on the periphery on its body, specifically on the tail and ears. Although they are similar to cougars found in the rest of North America, the size of Florida panthers are smaller. However, they are larger than those found in the neotropical realm of Central America and South America. Male Florida panthers can weigh between 100 and 160 pounds (45.5 kg-72kg) and female Florida panthers can weigh between 64 to 100 pounds (29 kg-45.5 kg).


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