Watch How Pumas Fight, Keep the Peace, and Share a Meal
For decades, the cougar (Puma concolor) has been thought of as a loner predator, running across other members of its species only to mate or to fight.
But a new study now shows that, contrary to popular belief, cougars have quietly built for themselves a rich, hierarchical society based largely on sharing food—a find that stands to upend scientists' preconceptions about one of the Americas' most iconic big cats.
“For more than 60 years of intensive research... we have said that [cougars] are solitary, robotic killing machines,” says Mark Elbroch, lead scientist for the Puma Program at Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization. “Instead, what we have unveiled is a secretive animal with a complex social system completely built