Cougar vs. Puma vs. Mountain Lion

cougar, puma, mountain lion, Eyewire, citizen science

Just look at that fuzzy kitty baby… er, we mean… ferocious feline hunter! The range of p. concolor is enormous; the species can be found from the tip of Chile & Argentina up to southern Canada. While it’s about the size of an adult human (and soooooo cuuuuuute), it’s one of the deadliest ambush predators. And it really can seem like an overgrown house cat at times, because unlike some larger cousins it can make purring and chirping noises.

But aside from its taxonomic name, what’s the best common name for this animal? What do you call it, yourself? This species holds the world record for the number of documented common names: 40, and that’s just in English. The three most popular choices seem to be cougar (which might derive from a Tupi description of its fur color), puma (from Quechua, meaning “powerful”), and mountain lion (first recorded in 19th-century Colorado).

Pick a name, and let’s bestow the winner on this unusual, adorable creature for Eyewire-eternity! The competition starts at 11 AM EDT on 10/11 and goes for 24 hours!

All info about points bonuses is available through your competition notification on Rawr! For science!

Artwork by Rabbit Giraud