Sunday, Aug 16, 2020 | Last Update : 02:11 AM IST

144th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra57273440144219427 Tamil Nadu3321052722515641 Andhra Pradesh2818171911172562 Karnataka2111081281823718 Delhi1519281351084178 Uttar Pradesh140775887862280 West Bengal98459671202059 Telangana9025966196684 Bihar8274154139450 Gujarat71064542382652 Assam5883842326145 Rajasthan5249738235789 Odisha4592731785321 Haryana4163534781483 Madhya Pradesh3902529020996 Kerala3811424922127 Jammu and Kashmir2489717003472 Punjab2390315319586 Jharkhand185168998177 Chhatisgarh12148880996 Uttarakhand96326134125 Goa871259575 Tripura6161417641 Puducherry5382320187 Manipur3752204411 Himachal Pradesh3371218114 Nagaland30119738 Arunachal Pradesh223115923 Chandigarh1595100425 Meghalaya11154986 Sikkim9105101 Mizoram6203230
  Life   More Features  12 Oct 2017  Pumas more social than previously thought: study

Pumas more social than previously thought: study

Published : Oct 12, 2017, 6:04 pm IST
Updated : Oct 12, 2017, 6:04 pm IST

The research shows that food sharing among this group of mountain lions is a social activity.

The research shows that food sharing among this group of mountain lions is a social activity. (Photo: Pixabay)
 The research shows that food sharing among this group of mountain lions is a social activity. (Photo: Pixabay)

Pumas, long known as solitary carnivores, are more social animals than previously thought, according to a study published today.

The study is the first to quantify complex, enduring, and "friendly" interactions of these secretive animals, revealing a rich puma society far more tolerant and social than previously understood.


"Our research shows that food sharing among this group of mountain lions is a social activity, which cannot be explained by ecological and biological factors alone," said Mark Lubell from University of California, Davis in the US.

The findings may have implications for multiple species, including other wild cats around the world.

"It is the complete opposite of what we have been saying about pumas and solitary species for over 60 years," said Mark Elbroch, lead scientist with the Panthera Puma Programme.

"We were shocked. This research allows us to break down mythologies and question what we thought we knew," said Elbroch, lead author of the study published in the journal Science Advances.


Pumas have been assumed to avoid each other, except during mating, territorial encounters, or when raising young. The population studied interacted every 11-12 days during winter.

That is much less frequent than more gregarious species like meerkats, African lions, or wolves, which interact as often as every few minutes, researchers said.

To document social behaviour, the scientists had to follow pumas over longer time spans.

The team collected thousands of locations in northwest Wyoming in the US from GPS-equipped collars and documented the social interactions of pumas over 1,000 prey carcasses.

Of those studied, 242 were equipped with motion-triggered cameras that filmed interactions and served as evidence of social behaviour.


"Suddenly, I was able to see what was happening when these animals were coming together," Elbroch said.

"By stepping back, we captured the patterns of behaviour that have no doubt been occurring among pumas all along," said Elbroch.

The research team analysed puma networks to reveal that the species exhibits social strategies like more social animals, just over longer timescales.

The study emphasises that puma populations are composed of numerous smaller communities ruled by territorial males. The loss of males, whether by natural or human causes, potentially disrupts the entire social network.

Tags: university of california, mountain lions, pumas, carnivores, social