Cat of Many Names

This article reports a sad event, the snatching of a family dog by a mountain lion.

That misfortune notwithstanding, it solves a longstanding puzzle for me by clarifying that mountain lions, pumas, cougars, panthers, and catamounts are the same animal, i.e. different names for the same large cat.

Mountain lions (Puma concolor) are a large cat species native to the Americas, with a range stretching from Canada’s Yukon Territory to the Strait of Magellan in the south. In the U.S., they are mostly found in 14 western states, inhabiting environments including mountains, forests, deserts and wetlands.

This has led me to reflect on an opposite problem I’ve had with Spanish, which is the paucity of its lexicon for “elk” and “moose”; both are called “alce.” It does, however, distinguish “caribou” as “caribú.”

(Aristos Georgious, “Mountain Lion Snatches Family Dog As They Sat in Idaho Hot Spring,” Newsweek, 11-11-20)

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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