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Timing of Feeding Bouts of Mountain Lions

Becky M. Pierce, Vernon C. Bleich, Cheryl-Lesley B. Chetkiewicz and John D. Wehausen
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 79, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 222-226
DOI: 10.2307/1382857
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1382857
Page Count: 5
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Timing of Feeding Bouts of Mountain Lions
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Abstract

Onset of feeding by mountain lions (Puma concolor) on individual prey was studied with an automatic camera near mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) that had been killed and cached by mountain lions. We categorized mountain lions as adult males, adult females, females with juveniles, and females with kittens. After sunset, females with kittens returned to kills significantly earlier than males, females, or females with juveniles. Early feeding by females with kittens might reflect avoidance of conspecifics, which are known to kill kittens. Alternatively, mothers with young kittens may remain closer to caches of prey than lone males, females, or mothers with juveniles. Increased energetic needs of lactating mothers also may dictate earlier feeding.

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