What do mountain lions eat?

Mountain lions, also known as cougars or pumas, are opportunistic predators that primarily hunt deer and other ungulates. According to the provided search results, their diet consists of the following:
  • Deer are their main prey, with an adult mountain lion typically killing one deer per week on average12.
  • They also feed on smaller mammals such as coyotes, raccoons, rodents, elk, feral hogs, and even porcupines1.
  • Occasionally, they may hunt smaller prey like mice and rabbits2.
The search results highlight some key hunting behaviors of mountain lions:
  • They typically hunt alone from dusk to dawn, stalking their prey and pouncing when an opportunity arises12.
  • After making a kill, they may drag the carcass to another area, cover it with leaves/grass, and return to feed on it over several days1.
  • Mountain lions have excellent vision and hearing to aid in hunting, but a relatively poor sense of smell2.
  • Their powerful hind legs enable them to make impressive leaps of up to 40-45 feet when pouncing on prey2.
So in summary, while opportunistic and able to prey on a variety of smaller animals, mountain lions primarily subsist on hunting larger ungulates like deer, which make up the staple of their carnivorous diet.
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