Cougars vs. Jaguars

Cougars and jaguars co-existed for at least 500,000 years throughout North America, and today still co-exist in many areas of South America and Mexico.  Both species are adaptable enough to occupy a wide variety of environments, including deserts, lightly wooded savannah, flooded swamps, and tropical rain forests.  They also feed upon many of the same prey species.  This spawns two questions: what ecological differentiation allows two big cat species to co-occur on the same range, and what factors allowed cougars to remain in much of North America where jaguars were extirpated?  A number of scientific studies help solve these ecological mysteries.

Comparison of cougar and jaguar diets

Studies of jaguar and cougar diets consistently show significant differentiation.  Although cougars and jaguars tackle many of the same species, the latter selects for larger sized individuals.  One study of co-occurring jaguar and cougar populations in Venezuala–a region consisting of woodland, savannah, and swamp–found the following differences in prey size selection between the two species.


Small size prey…………………17%……………………………………1%……………….

Medium size prey……………..31%……………………………………14%……………..

Large prey……………………….52%……………………………………85%…………….

For example in this region collared peccaries are an important diet item for both species, but cougars exclusively take small juveniles, while jaguars take mostly adults and sub-adults.  Both big cats took a wide range of prey species with cougars taking 12 different kinds of animals and jaguars taking 10.  Jaguars preyed more heavily upon capybaras here than cougars did.  Jaguars also preyed upon white-lipped peccaries–an aggressive species that cougars completely avoided.  White-lipped peccaries live in large groups and frequently come to the aid of their comrades and attack predators.  They’ve been known to kill jaguars and even humans.

Illustration by John James Audubon

Another study of jaguar diet, this one in southern Brazil where flooded plains are the predominant habitat, found that the jaguar diet there included 31% cattle, 24% caiman, 21% peccary, 4% feral hog, 3.0% marsh deer, 3.2% giant anteater, 2% capybara, 1.6% brocket deer, and about 10% other.  438 prey items were recorded, showing that jaguars will take what’s generally available.  Incidentally, both jaguars and cougars are capable of killing the alligator-like caiman, but take them less than would be expected based on their abundance.

Illustration by John James Audubon

A third study, this one in Mexico where both jaguars and cougars mostly prey on deer, peccary, and armadillo, also found that jaguars select for larger prey items.  This study concludes that the “cougar’s ability to exploit smaller prey gives them an advantage over jaguars when faced with human-induced habitat changes.”  This conclusion brings to obvious light one of the reasons why cougars survived throughout much of North America where jaguars didn’t.  After Indians overhunted much of North America’s megafauna, jaguars had difficulty finding the larger prey they preferred.  The extinction of two Pleistocene species of peccary in North America was probably devastating.  Indians even overhunted white tail deer into scarcity as John Lawson, an early European explorer (circa 1704) noted when he pointed out that deer were rare around large Indian settlements in South Carolina.  But cougars could survive in these areas on rabbits, possums, raccoons, and turkeys.

I agree that the preference for larger game that no longer exists is one factor that’s limited the jaguar’s range in North America, but I think there are other factors.

Evolution of size, coat color, adaptability to cold, and personality traits

The fossil record suggest jaguars, along with dire wolves, were the most common large carnivores (excluding omnivorous bears) in southeastern North America during the Pleistocene.  Yet, cougars found their niche here too.  During the Pleistocene both species were somewhat larger than the present day versions of these species.  Rancho La Brean specimens of cougars show that on average they were 5% larger than those of today, while Pleistocene jaguars approached modern day tigers in size.  I think this is due to the larger size and quality of prey available, particularly horses and the larger sized species of peccaries, and it’s clear these two big cats not only had a better diet, but further impetus to evolve to a greater size, so they could successfully exploit this larger prey.  One study reported that modern jaguars living in areas where cattle were introduced tend to approach the size of the larger Pleistocene jaguars, and it’s believed that jaguar populations increased following the introduction of European livestock to South America.

I theorize the spotted coat of the jaguar is another factor in its range reduction.  Indians valued the beauty of its fur and hunted them unmercifully.  There’s a possibility that Pleistocene cougars had spotted coats.  Scientists believe that cougars evolved from a kind of spotted cheetah.  Cougar kittens retain these cheetah-like spots–evidence of this evolution.  But I think many adult cougars may have been spotted until very late in the Pleistocene when man colonized the continent and hunted the spotted cougars for their coats, leaving only the dull tawny and gray coated individuals to breed, which in turn genetically swamped the spotted ones.

It has been suggested that spotted cats are more vulnerable to cold climate–another factor which may limit the jaguar’s range, but I disagree with this hypothesis.  The snow leopard of the Himalayas is an example of a spotted cat that lives in a cold region.  Moreover, jaguar fossils have been excavated from as far north as Oregon and Pennsylvania when even during the warmest interglacials, subfreezing temperatures occurred during winter. 

Jaguar fossils in Georgia have been excavated from Ladds Quarry and Kingston Saltpeter Cave.  A nearly complete skull was recovered from the former location along with giant tortoise and armadillo bones that have jaguar gnaw marks on them.  Fossils from this period probably date to a warm climate phase, but the jaguar remains from KSC are associated with the kinds of animals that live in cold and temperate climates, indicating jaguars survived colder conditions than any endured by extant populations.  Cougar fossils also were found at Ladds and in Yarbrough Cave which dates to the last glacial maximum.

One more factor in the cougar’s survival where jaguars didn’t may be evolutionary selection towards more timid individuals.  Those members of the cougar population that learned to avoid man were more likely to survive.  Timidity possibly occurred less frequently in prehistoric jaguar populations.

Cougars vs. Jaguars, wolves, and bears

So which would win in a battle between a jaguar and a cougar?  According to scientific studies, cougar and jaguar ranges frequently overlap, but they tend to avoid each other.  Certainly, a jaguar wouldn’t think it worth the effort to battle a raging mother cougar defending her kittens.  Conversely, a cougar would be out of its mind to engage in a battle with a larger, more powerful cat that bites harder than any other kind of cat in the world.  However, in one paper, international big cat expert, Howard Quigley, did cite a case of a jaguar attacking and killing a cougar.

Packs of wolves also dominate cougars in the Rocky Mountains.  Wolves occasionally kill cougar kittens, sub-adults, and even adults.  The average biomass of wolves in packs that attack a cougar outweighs the cat by a 13:1 ratio.  Rarely, cougars have been reported to kill wolves (sub-adults and adults, but not pups), but in these cases it was one-on-one and the biomass was a 1:1 ratio.  A certain percentage of cougar kills are lost to wolves and bears in areas where their ranges overlap.


Carvolcanti, Sandra; and Eric Gese

“Kill rates and predation patterns of jaguars (Panthera onca) in the southern pantanal of Brazil”

Journal of Mammalogy 91 (3) 722-736 2010

Hoogesteyn, Rafael; and Edgardo Mondolfi

“Body mass and skull measurements in four jaguar populations and observations on their prey base”

Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History V. 39 (6) pg. 195-219 1996

Hornocker, Maurice; Sharon Negri, and Alan Rabinowitz

Cougar: Ecology and Conservation

University of Chicago Press 2002

Nunez, Rodrigo; Brian Miller, and Fred Ludjey

“Food habits of jaguars and cougars in Jalisco, Mexico”

Journal of Zoology 252 (3) 373-379

Scognamillo, Daniel; et. al.

“Co-existence of jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) in a mosaic landscape in the Venezualan llanos”

J. Zoological Society of London 259 269-277 2003

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37 Responses to “Cougars vs. Jaguars”

  1. John Says:

    Do packs of wolves dominate the jaguar like cougars in the Rocky Mountains or do the Jaguar dominate wolves like the Amur tiger in Far East Russia?

  2. markgelbart Says:

    The ranges of jaguars and wolves no longer overlap. Gray wolves have been hunted to near extinction in the southern rockies, and the same goes for jaguars.

    During the Pleistocene, jaguars and dire wolves were the two most common large predators in southeastern North America based on the number of fossils discovered…even more common than saber-tooths.

    Both were successful species. I wouldn’t say one was dominant over the other. They co-existed with some conflict, of course.

    I wouldn’t say wolves dominate cougars. Overall, cougars may be more plentiful than wolves in areas where they both range. While a wolf pack may be able to drive a cougar away from an occasional kill or even prey on a cougar, cougars, being solitary creatures, avoid comminicable diseases that can decimate wolf packs.

  3. John Says:

    Do wolves, jaguar and cougar co-exist in the Sonora desert in Northern Mexico? If so, can I help (volunteer) or contribute funds to an organization that studies & protect the predators (ex. Mexican wolves, cougar, jaguar, bears, bobcat & etc.) that exist in that area from extinction? It would be nice to know Africa and Asia are not the only place where multiple large predators co-exist in one area. I hope one day to see on film our large predators co-existing and competing for food like the African Serengeti.

  4. markgelbart Says:

    The above link has some information you’re looking for.

    Jaguars, cougars, and wolves do co-exist in northern Mexico but all are rare there.

  5. John Says:

    Thank you and I hope the preservation of Mexican wolves, jaguar and cougar become very successful in Sonora, Mexico because these magnificent predators need to be studied in their natural setting for educational purpose. It could generate revenue for Mexico through tourism because Sonora will be the only place on earth that inhabits the species that exist within, similar to Asia and Africa’s diverse wildlife. I hope the United States see it’s potential value and work with Mexico to preserve all it’s creatures, as Sonora can go beyond our borders and help make a perfect ecosystem.

  6. John Says:

    Should we save and turn Gila National Forest into protected land, especially from ranchers and hunters? This is one of the oldest and biggest public land in the United States. Could you imagine if it was a park that protected all of its historical & endangered natural species? For example, some predators such as jaguar, cougar, Mexican wolf, brown bear, bald eagle, black bear, ocelot, bobcat and coyote all belong here before being wiped out for cattle industry (sadly today, they can graze all year round which makes unbalance land for nature). Non predators such as Pronghorn, buffalo, trout, whooping crane, spotted owl, parrot, desert bighorn, collared peccary and reintroducing wild llama are some of many species that should still roam this vast land for everyone to appreciate, enjoy and respect. This proposed protected land would eventually be transformed back to its most beautiful state as once before. Tourism would blossom because it would attract so many people around the world like African & India’s Safari. Importantly, tourism will rise tremendously & will create jobs for the locals, especially for those affected by reduction of cattle industry in that area. Why it is so important to save that area and its wildlife, because it has its own unique wildlife like no other in the world and it would hold over 5 large predators in one area similar to African wildlife.This project would be much bigger and more profitable then Yellowstone park because due to weather it can be open all year round, this would be bigger than Yellowstone NP accomplishment. Another reason, Gila Park will be the only park in North America with so many large predators to support and maintain a healthy ecosystem like Africa. This is the only place in North America where such diversity is possible. I know it is possible because in Africa, tourism and related programs are replacing cattle ranchers with more profitable jobs, while still saving & preserving endangered species. Example, desert lions of Namib Desert along the Skeleton Coast are making a come back as well as other endangered species, while the local people are living better lives with the Tourism program which was set up to replace cattle industry. How can we (United States, claim to be the best country in the world) can’t implement the same program to save our endangered species? I believe this is a cause worth fighting for……

  7. J. Says:

    I am from Mexico and I can tell you that wolves no longer coexist with either jaguars or cougars in the wild here; wolves are no longer found in the wild in Mexico, they only exist in captivity. There is a plan to reintroduce them soon to some of the nothern states but it hasn´t happened yet.

    I live in the state of Jalisco where jaguars and cougars (and crocodiles!) do coexist. Here, cougars tend to be smaller than usual as an adaptation to coexist with jaguars. Being smaller allows them to survive on smaller game, leaving the larger animals such as deer to the jaguar and thus avoiding competition.
    Bears and wolves used to live in Jalisco too but they were both sadly exterminated.

  8. John Says:

    Thanks J. for the info of the wildlife which exist and/or used to exist in Jalisco. Don’t you believe having jaguar, cougar, wolves, brown bear, crocodile, ocelot, bobcat and coyotes back in its historical habitat would change Jalisco into a magnificent place as before? Having those large predators co-existing in one area will stimulate biologist to want to research the affects of multiple predators in that area. This would also boost the tourism industry in that area, because it would be similar to Africa’s wildlife which also consist of multiple predators in one area. I believe people/gov’t officials in that area need to understand how important & profitable their wildlife can be, which will continue to fund it’s own preservation in the future. Just my opinion……

    • J. Says:

      Hi John

      The bear species that used to live in Jalisco was actually the American black bear. I don´t think the brown bear ever got this far south (although it did live in the northernmost states at one point).
      I agree that reintroducing bears and wolves would make it an amazing place to observe and study wildlife and potentially, a HUGE touristic attraction; it would be comparable even to some places in Asia and Africa when it comes to megafauna. Problem is that, although there are laws that are meant to regulate hunting, they aren´t applied as they should. For example, hunting jaguars or cougars is completely forbidden, but there’s still a lot of deer and peccary hunting going on. In some areas, these herbivores become so scarce that the big cats start attacking cattle and of course, ranchers start complaining to the government about their caring more for the cats than for them, and demand that they be allowed to hunt the cattle-eaters. Of course, every time a cattle-eater is hunted, other, “innocent” cats are taken down too.
      It is the same situation you see with lions in Africa and tigers and leopards in India, for example. Coyotes, bobcats, foxes, ocelot and jaguarundi, they are still relatively common because they can feed on smaller game, but jaguars and cougars need larger prey and no matter how much protection the government claims to provide for them, its useless if their prey species aren´t protected as well. Another problem is space- take the American crocodile, for example. Our crocodiles are protected by law and becoming more numerous, but their habitat is not equally protected. Just like alligators start showing up in pools and golf courses in Florida, crocodiles do the same in Jalisco because their habitats are being invaded at an alarming rate. The fact that American crocodiles are dangerous potential man-eaters (despite the somehow misleading reputation for docility they have outside of Mexico) doesn´t help their situation at all.

      These are problems we need to solve before we even think of reintroducing wolves or bears to Jalisco. Its not only about the animals being ready to return to the state- the state must be ready to receive them as well.

  9. John Says:

    Another words, People need to invest and implement a strategy toward a program to preserve its unique wildlife & its diversity that’s like no other in North America. As I wrote before, having more then 5 large predators in one area would definitely change the landscape because predators not only balance themselves but will maintain a healthy ecosystem. Also, due to the geographic area, the climate permits Gila national park to be open year round, unlike Yellowstone National Park with harsh winter climate.

  10. John Says:

    Hello J. and thank you once again for educating me on this topic, so forgive me for my ignorance as I continue to learn more of Jalisco’s fragile wildlife. I believe Jalisco is located in central Mexico which is south of Gila National Park. Gila National Park is one of the oldest & largest national park in the south western part of United states. I do not know any National Park in Jalisco that is the same size as Gila NP, but if so, please inform me. I truly understand what you’re talking about but the problem is the cattle industry, you and I both know that. The devastation caused by cattle on the land and wildlife is tremendous. It’s a domino effect on nature that there’s no one avenue to address alone. Remove the cattle industry and you’ll see nature change the land into a magical paradise. Certain plants & animals would reappear and a true healthy ecosystem would be inevitable. Ungulate population will increase for large predators to consume. Re-Introducing wolves and bears, even grizzly bears (not brown bears sorry for the wrong subspecies name) ( can commence as carnivores are govern by checks & balances of one another which is important towards the maintaining of healthy ecosystem. Reintroducing grizzly bears can be similar to India’s attempt to re-introduce the Asiatic Cheetah using clones from Iran’s Asiatic Cheetah or the African cheetah because it is genetically close. The United States used Canadian wolves for re-introduction into Yellowstone Park because of genetic similarity of previous wolves of Yellowstone. Jalisco & Gila NP can do the same, its very possible. Like I stated before, a program which can create jobs for the locals to replace their livestock business is a start for a success comeback. Tourism is the key and people all around the world would love & pay to see that kind of diversity in North America. The thought alone, excites me……

    • J. Says:

      Jalisco is actually located in the central-western part of the country, in the Pacific coast; it is a rather large state so it has different kinds of environments ranging from seasonal tropical forest to montane pine forest and also desert and savannah.
      There are several protected areas in the state, but the two most important ones are Chamela (in the coastal region), which is home to jaguars, cougars, crocodiles, boa constrictor, deer and peccary among many others, and the Nevado de Colima National Park which is located in a mountain range. The latter is home also to deer, cougar, peccary, coyote, bobcat, fox and others, including the golden eagle which is Mexico’s national bird.
      A game keeper from this park once mentioned to me that jaguars appear in the park once in a while, but they are not resident- they just use the park as a corridor. He added that he hoped some jaguars would stay so that they would hunt down the feral cattle roaming the park…
      Also, I should mention that Jalisco was among the states where the majestic Imperial Woodpecker, the largest in the world, used to live. Every time I go out to the woods I hope to see one- it is heartbreaking to know that such a magnificent creature used to fly around here not so long ago.

      I do not know if any of these parks is as big as Gila, but there are other places in the state that could easily be declared national parks as well and hold a decent predator population if managed properly.
      It is unfortunate that the Grizzly Bear that lived in nothern states was exterminated, because it was, as you mentioned, a distinct subspecies and so cannot be truly replaced. Mexican wolves were the same subspecies that’s being introduced in the southern US, though.

  11. John Says:

    Also, if your Government can realize how profitable this project can be, believe me, it will protect its interest from poachers, hunters and cattle industry as long as they are included financially. Things do not happen over night, things take time and we may never see it in our life time but a process must start some where.

  12. Pleistocene Fossil Felid Ratios from the University of Florida Database « GeorgiaBeforePeople Says:

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  13. john Says:

    Mexico is a great country & should be given lots of respect because their effort towards preserving and re-introducing endangered species is tremendous. In northern Mexico, another predator was released to help restore the land to its original natural state, ( This was wonderful news, but unfortunately some of the wolves died of poisoning. One day, Mexico will be a great nation that will have a national park that holds multiple large predators such as jaguar, puma, wolves, bobcat, ocelot, Jaguarundi, coyote & the re-introduction of the brown bear in one area. Mexican brown bears presumely are extinct but the same ideal program for re-introducing Yellowstone national Park’s wolves from Canada, can also be given the same for re-introducing brown bears to Mexico. Predator’s checks and balance of one another and impact on ungulate and rodent population will restore the land. The return & growth of plant life will bring back many wildlife species to the area, which will make the land healthy again. This area can turn into an outside labratory for future studies.This will be the third place in the world (Africa and Asia being other two) where such diversity exist. Mexico’s wildlife and lanscape will change to a breath-taking scenery for many to see and experience.

  14. john Says:

    Gila National Park is a very beautiful forest. The re-introduction of Mexican wolves was wonderful and gives promise of a future to do the same for the Grizzly bear & jaguar.

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  16. Derek Bates Says:

    Dude, the jaguar was not extirpated from North America by native Americans; it was extirpated by white Americans. It’s range once extended as far north as Louisiana, west to California, so obviously there was still plenty of prey to choose from before the white man came. I don’t know what killed off the local “mega fauna” 10,000 years ago, but you gotta stop blaming the natives for all of it.

    • markgelbart Says:

      I believe jaguars were mostly absent from southeastern states within the last 10,000 years because Indians killed them for their spotted coats. There’s little evidence jaguars were common or even present in what today is Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, etc. during pre-Columbian times. There’s no ecological reason for this other than the presence of man.

      I’ve studied this topic for 30 years, and I’m convinced Indians wiped out every species of megafauna that became extinct 10,000 years ago. Megafauna species became extinct at about the same time Indians arrived on the continent. Too much coincidence for me.

      • Derek Bates Says:

        There may have been a few who extended their range even further; I have read accounts from pioneers of having run ins with large cats fitting the jaguar’s description, as well as tales of “tigers” being mentioned by early explorers to Florida; too much of a coincidence for me.

        I’ve studied the topic of white man incursion on North American wildlife for the better part of 15 years, and all I can say on it is that where ever europeans went, the land and wildlife changed. Whether the same can be said for paleo-indians; I don’t know. Not saying its unlikely, just impossible that without firearms and armed only with clovis point weapons, could they successfully wipe out two continent’s worth of large bodied animals. The consensus is that men or the animals they brought along may have introduced virulent diseases that affected populations already hard hit by a changing climate and landscape.

  17. markgelbart Says:

    I covered the conjecture over how far jaguars extended their range over North America in this blog entry

    We know Europeans destroyed America’s wildlife. I have no doubt Indians did too.

    There is no “consensus” that diseases brought by Indians contributed to the extinction of the megafauna. That is a crank theory completely unsupported by any evidence.

    Climate change as a factor in megafauna extinction is illogical. These species of animals survived countless climatic fluctuations ovre a period of millions of years, yet didn’t become extinct until the same time man appears in the archaeological record.

    • Derek Bates Says:

      A crank theory? And, your evidence of ice age over hunting is a convenient timeline and a few dozen clovis point spear heads? It wasn’t like gun powder or anything, it just made something as hazardous as hunting elephants just a tide bit, but not by much, easier. And as for climate change, I suppose the Younger Dryas period after the Ice Age was a normal event for these animals to endure and not a major catastrophe as say super indian hunters.

      Now, on the subject, did you know I read somewhere of how cougars today are, themselves really South American immigrants refilling vacant niches of their pleistocene predecessors. In any case, jaguars were a staple of North America’s ecosystem by the time the first white man set foot here, and though they didn’t venture as far north as Minnesota, it nonetheless proved that there was likely still plenty of prey items for this cat to choose from, even without the “megafauna” herds of 10,000 years ago roaming about.

      • markgelbart Says:

        Most paleoecologists now accept the idea that man played at least some role in the extinction of the megafauna.

        Several lines of evidence point to this conclusion. There’s a lot more evidence besides the numerous megafaunal kill sites that have been discovered. Studies of dung fungus spore ratios and proboscidean tusk growth rates support the overkill hypothesis.

        I wrote an article covering this as well. See this link

        Cougars are not thought to have originated in South America. They evolved from North American cheetahs.

        If you reread this article that you are commenting on, I highlight studies that show jaguars prefer larger prey species. Larger prey species were scarce in areas heavily populated with humans. This is one explanation for why jaguars were rare in North America. Also, Indians coveted their spotted coats.

      • Derek Bates Says:

        Dude, I’ve studied pumas, jaguars, hell all North and South american wildlife since I was in middle school, I know what I’m talking about. There was, in fact plenty of food for jaguars to eat or else ranchers would not have exterminated them for preying on livestock. They successfully roamed from Louisiana, Arkansas, parts of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, all the way up to California; from the red river valley to San Francisco they thrived where they no doubt had deer, bighorn sheep and an assortment of other creatures that were bountiful before the white man settled, they were not rare.
        And, I did not say pumas “originated” in South America, in fact no cat ever did, only that modern pumas are descended from pumas who migrated South; and, there were no true North American cheetahs, as our Cheetahs, and I say cheetahs because there were two such creatures that fit the moniker, are not thought to be true cheetahs, but pumas. Anyway, I concede that mankind may have played a part, however small, in the extinction of most animals, but I raise this: it is believed that the Younger Dryas played a significant role in the extinction of the woolly rhino. If climate change is so minor a factor in the face of man, then how would you explain that? That also raises another question: while your assumption would explain what happened with the Western hemisphere extinction, then what about elsewhere, where these animals evolved alongside man without incident? It would almost mirror my earlier argument about weather playing a role.

        I don’t think you or other paleontologists really understand native american culture. They rarely if ever hunted more than they need to survive, and it was because of this conservative lifestyle that there were more animals roaming on either continent than on any continent at that time when white explorers set foot, so I find it hard to believe that changed over 10,000 years ago and unfair to blame them for something that they may not have been in their hands to avert at all. In any case, I highly doubt the clovis point was the tipping point in man’s dominance of gigantic animals, but if so then I challenge anyone to use a clovis spear on an African elephant, a rhino, or even a grizzly, animals that have been known to shrug off multiple bullets, and prove just how more effective it is. Any hunter would call you crazy for doing so, or not since everyone knows clovis points are made of kryptonite.

  18. markgelbart Says:

    If there was plenty of food for jaguars in North America in the pre-Columbia era, why is there such scant evidence of them in southeastern North America and the midwest? You are not paying attention to every point I’m making. Lack of large prey was just one factor for their rarity in those regions–humans hunting their spotted coat was another factor explaining their absence from the region.

    You did say pumas were South America immigrants. What was I supposed to think you meant?

    According to paleontological evidence, pumas evolved from cheetahs.

    The Younger Dryas played no role in the extinction of the woolly rhino. Habitat for woolly rhino expanded during the Younger Dryas and woolly rhino populations should have increased then.

    What makes you think Indians didn’t hunt more than they needed to survive? That’s just nonsense. They killed as many animals as they felt like killing. They were no more ecologically advanced in their thinking than any other humans.

    There is evidence humans overhunted mammals on other continents too, especially Australia, but also in Eurasia and Africa.

    African bush people still hunt elephants with spears. Elephants are actually quite easy for them to kill with simple weapons.

    The reason there was a lot of wildlife in North America when Europeans started colonizing the continent was because Indian populations had recently collapsed when they came into contact with European disease for which they had no resistance, and America was reverting back to total wilderness.


    • Derek Bates Says:

      I’m not paying attention to every point you’re making because you’re not making any sense. When I said pumas were South American immigrants, I just assumed you would have known that no cat ever evolved on that continent. And, yes pumas are related to cheetahs, just that there’s evidence that the North American cheetah was NOT a cheetah.

      And, what evidence do you have to support the claim that the Younger Dryas was a good thing for woolly rhinos, especially when radio carbon dating tells us they went extinct right around this time.

      Your rant about “indians” hunting whenever they felt like is more nonsense than what I said, it’s like you’re comparing them to redneck hunters today and not as a people who hunted to survive, and your last argument was stupid; you’re saying that by the time Europeans first arrived the Native population was already in decline because of diseases brought by Europeans? You talking about the Vikings or something?

      Also, I highly doubt bushmen take their spears up to a bull elephant and pelt it until it dies; maybe younger elephants or very old ones.

      I’m sorry, but I just cannot agree with what you’re saying; I’m afraid your beliefs are yours and yours alone, as nothing has been decided about what happened over 10,000 years ago; the over hunting theory is still just a theory, even in the face of evidence. Did you know climate change, along with various other factors have caused mass extinctions in the past before? It certainly wasn’t man who wiped out all megafauna during the Eocene or Oligocence epochs. Are you going to tell me native americans went back in time and wiped them out or something just for the hell of it?

      Plus, as far as jaguars are concerned, they WERE plentiful in North America, even if you’re convinced that they were not; I’ve read books on this since 1995, some filled with personal accounts from ranchers going all the way back to old California, in Rocky Mountain country no less, that says you’re dead wrong. Believe me or not, but our continent’s ecosystem was far different over 500 years ago than it is today. However, if you remain convinced in your argument then fine; for it isn’t out of spite or being stubborn that I disagree with you, just the facts that I know.

  19. markgelbart Says:

    Ok, now you are being rude and disrespectful. This is my blog and I could block your comments. Just because you disagree with my opinion, that doesn’t mean I’m stupid or not making any sense. It’s more like you don’t take the time to try to understand what I’m writing.

    When you wrote that pumas were South American immigrants, it seemed like you were claiming North American pumas were immigrants FROM South America. Try rereading what you wrote and see if you don’t realize the impression your lousy writing skills made on that point.

    North American cheetahs were true cheetahs, just not the same species of cheetah that lives in Africa today.

    You completely failed to answer the logical question I posed to you. If there was plenty of prey for jaguars in North America, why were they so rare or even southeastern North America and the midwest during pre-Columbian times?

    My belief that overhunting wiped out the Pleistocene megafauna is not “mine and mine alone.” The majority of paleo-ecologists agree that man played at least some role in their extinction. I didn’t come up with the theory. Other people did and it is supported by the best scientific studes. It’s idiotic for you to claim it’s “my theory and mine alone.” I know that climate change has caused extinctions in the past, but that is not the case for the end Pleistocene extinctions.

    Woolly rhinos were an animal of the open grassy steppe environment that occurred during cold climate stages called stadials. During stadials much of the earth’s atmosphere becomes locked in glacial ice and the grassy steppe environment expands. The Younger Dryas was a stadial. Therefore, the type of environment preferred by woolly rhinos expanded during the Younger Dryas. If woolly rhinos became extinct then, than that would be evidence that humans wiped them out.

    As for the decline in Indian populations due to European diseases, this is a well known fact. It occurred upon first contact with the Spaniards in the early 1500’s and the diseases spread throughout North America for hundreds of years before European colonization began in earnest. You do realize there was a substantial delay between discovery and colonization, don’t you? That delay was long enough for Indian populations to decline, much to the benefit of American wildlife.

    You are a naive racist, if you think Indians didn’t often kill animals for the hell of it, just like many hunters do today. What makes you think they are different from any other humans when it comes to killing? Are they somehow superior in moral judegment?

    Here’s a link to a video of Africans killing water buffalo, elephants, and hippos with hand held spears. Realize this: it is less advanced technology than the atlatls used by paleo-Indians.

    I guess you can stop “doubting.”

  20. MAS_RAYMAN Says:

    Cougar can beat but I think it just wants to avoid fight

  21. MAS_RAYMAN Says:

    Cougar can beat Jaguars but I think it wants to avoid fight because its low on stamina

    • Derek Bates Says:

      Yes, I agree

      • Alex Says:

        Actually the jaguar is a much more powerful cat than the cougar if you search jaguar vs cougar there is a video where you will see a mother jaguar chasing away a full grown male cougar. How ever this to cats will most likely avoid eachother

      • Derek Bates Says:

        I agree, jaguars are like the pitbulls of big cats.

  22. Astonishing Cougar Attacks on Bison, Bears, and Humans | GeorgiaBeforePeople Says:

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  24. Mike Says:

    Very interesting data. Well organized and presented. I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I have had the privilege of many sightings and a few close encounters with Mountain Lions. They are majestic, fascinating and sometimes just plain scary. Thanks for the article. Mike, Piedmont SD.

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