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Lion Vs. Puma

mountain lion
Portrait of Beautiful Puma. Cougar, mountain lion, isolated on black backgrounds. Via Depositphotos

Welcome to the wild Rrvalry Lions vs. Pumas. Let’s jump right in!

These two apex predators of the mammal family, lions and pumas, are often compared since both are from the same genus of Panthera. Yet, each offers unique behavioral traits, making them both a force in their habitats. If you’re an animal enthusiast looking for these two majestic creatures’ differences and similarities, this blog post provides educational insight into their behavior on land.

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siberian tiger vs. african lion
Lion via Unsplash

Did you know there is a shared ancestry between lions and pumas? Even though they are two distinct cats, their evolutionary past indicates that both species evolved from the same proto-cat ancestor. While pumas prefer living in the forests of North and South America and keeping to themselves, lions live in groups of two or more individuals while inhabiting more open habitats. 

Despite their appearances and behavior differences, both species represent a well-established branch of the feline family tree. Furthermore, scientific studies have confirmed that lions are the closest relative to pumas!

The Debate Between Lions And Pumas 

patagonian puma
Puma via Unsplash

The debate between lion and puma lovers is long and passionate. While both big cats have many similarities, key differences set them apart. For example, lions are larger than pumas and have a signature fur mane around their neck. 

Unlike lions, the puma coat will range depending on their location – in the greater mountainous regions, they often sport coats of longer fur. In contrast, those in more temperate climates sport shorter hair. Furthermore, lions are highly social animals living in pride. At the same time, pumas tend to be solitary creatures, although they may gather together during mating season. 

Finally, when it comes to hunting techniques, lions hunt. At the same time, pumas rely on stealth stalking to capture their prey – making them an exciting addition to any zoo or safari experience!

Puma Vs. Lion: Family And Scientific

african lion
African Lion via Unsplash

The Puma and the Lion belong to the Felidae species of cats, so much is true. However, their similarities can only be found on a scientific level. After all, the Lion is significantly larger than the Puma, and it resides in Africa. Its spotted cousin inhabits North and South America; they also have different family dynamics. 

That being said, there’s no denying that each has its charm, boasting extraordinary physical attributes that make them uniquely unique in their rights. Regarding family, however, Lions are certainly more friendly – congregating in two or more groups with multiple female members. In contrast, Pumas travel alone and stick to their territories with mated pairs as their only company.

Physical Characteristics Lions Vs. Puma 

observing puma
Puma via Unsplash
  • Comparison Of Size, Color, And Weight Between Lions And Pumas
  1. Size – Lions:

Adult lions are 4-6 feet long and weigh 550 pounds. Male lions typically weigh more than females, with a more significant disparity seen in African lions than in American lions.


Adult pumas typically measure 3-5 feet long and weigh 75-150 pounds. The size difference between male and female pumas is less than that of lions. However, males are generally slightly larger than females.

  1. Color – Lions:

Their coats usually have a tawny yellowish hue, with some black around the mane area. This coloration helps them blend into their environment, making it easier to ambush their prey and stalk through tall grasses without being detected.


The coat of a puma is typically gray-brown with a paler underside. The coloration of a puma helps it camouflage itself from potential predators like wolves, bears, and other large cats. Additionally, their coats contain rosettes – circular markings that form spots or stripes – which also help them blend into their surroundings even better.

  1. Weight – Lions:

As mentioned, adult lions can weigh up to 550 pounds, with males weighing more than females. In addition to having heavier frames, male lions also have more giant manes and longer canine teeth, which they use for hunting and defending themselves against other predators.


Adult pumas generally weigh between 75-150 pounds, with males typically weighing slightly more than females. Although they’re not as heavy as male lions, they still possess powerful bodies for pursuing their prey over long distances at fast speeds while evading potential predators.

  • Precise Details About Each Of Their Body Parts

Regarding body parts, both cats have muscular bodies, large heads, long tails, and powerful legs with retractable claws to help them grip their prey. Lions also have a thick mane of fur around their neck and face. At the same time, pumas lack this feature but possess spots along their sides that serve as camouflage when hunting in forests or tall grasses.

  • Behaviors Associated With Physical Characteristics

The behaviors associated with the physical characteristics of these two cats vary significantly due to their size difference. Lions are territorial animals and engage in aggressive interactions to protect their territory from intruders such as other lions or large predators like hyenas or leopards. 

Pumas are solitary animals that prefer not to interact with others of their kind if given a choice. Instead, they rely on stealthy tactics when hunting for food, such as waiting silently in trees for unsuspecting prey to pass below them before attacking from above.

  • Hunting Habits -What They Prey On In The Wild 

Lions mainly prey on large mammals and can also hunt smaller animals like rodents and hares when necessary. Pumas typically hunt deer, raccoons, rabbits, and other small mammals.

  • How They Hunt Differently From One Another 

Lions usually hunt in groups of around ten individuals. At the same time, pumas are solitary hunters who rely on stealth and speed to capture their prey. Lions tend to herd their prey toward a particular spot before attacking them, while pumas will stalk their victim until they have the opportunity to launch a surprise attack from behind or above.

Hunting Techniques Used By Lions And Pumas

gorilla vs lion
Lion via Unsplash
  • Lions: Teamwork for Large Prey: Lions are known for working together in teams to capture larger prey. This hunting strategy type is called a “surround and attack” technique. The lions will surround their quarry from all sides and launch their attack. The lions can successfully bring down animals such as buffalo or antelope using coordination, strength, and speed.
  • Pumas: Masters of Ambush: Unlike the lions, pumas have developed a unique hunting style that centers around surprise attacks. They use the element of surprise to their advantage by hiding in tall grass or tree branches before leaping out at unsuspecting victims.

These ambushes involve powerful jaws and claws that allow them to quickly take down their prey without knowing what hit it. In addition, they sometimes use “stalking” techniques to follow their prey silently over long distances before striking when least expected.

Check out Cougars and Other Animals That Ambush Prey.

Wrapping Up on Lion Vs. Puma

Mountain lion on grass
Cougar lion on grass in texas park. Image via Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Both animals have distinct advantages and disadvantages in the battle of lions vs. Pumas. Lions are more aggressive, with their strength and roar providing an intimidating presence on the African savannahs. But, the agility and speed of pumas make them adept at hunting smaller prey and avoiding larger predators like lions. Ultimately, these two fierce competitors possess unique characteristics that can be advantageous in certain situations.

Thanks for following along with us! Next up Discover Baby Foxes.

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