Both human cougars and cat cougars follow a biological imperative which is to reproduce, to procreate. Despite the impressive track record of some well-known women in their forties, described as “cougars”, the wild cat cougar, commonly called a mountain lion, outstrips the human in the effort to reproduce (or does she?).
A theory has been developed why women such as Sam Taylor-Johnson, 47, Demi Moore, 51, and Madonna, 56, choose men half their age.
The theory is this. As the male of the species becomes older his sperm becomes more defective. The enzymes in the egg of the female is able to repair fragmented DNA in male sperm. However, as a woman becomes older, the eggs that she produces are less able to correct any defects in the sperm.
As a consequence, an older woman who continues to wish to have offspring can significantly increase the chances of success by choosing a male partner who is half her age because instinctively she understands that his sperm is more perfect or to put it another way less defective.
In younger women the researchers suggest that the egg can correct any defects in the sperm. The sperm is described as a delivery device of genetic material while the egg is a much more complex structure.
Once a woman hits the age of about 40, it is believed that her eggs can no longer correct any defects in a man’s sperm so the woman instinctively selects a younger male partner.
Sam Taylor-Johnson’s husband is Aaron who is 24 years of age. Debbie Moore is with Ashton Kutcher who is 36.
That is the theory. Over to the ladies..
Here is a small selection of facts regarding the reproduction and development of the mountain lion (aka puma), commonly called the cougar.
In New Mexico, three females courted with two different males during a single heat period. One of the females was with a male cougar for two days and then over the next 3 days she was with a different male.
A study reported that copulation can occur between 2-20 times per day over a 6-11 day period.
Another study reported that one female cougar mated 11 times in 80 minutes, while another female copulated 9 times in 60 minutes. Another pair of cougars mated 23 times in 10 hours!
Copulation lasts less than 1 minute. Conception rates, as is the case the other wild cats, are not high. In a new Mexican study the success rate was 22%.
Not all females reproduce successfully. For example, in New Mexico, 75% reproduce live young.
The female Florida panther cycles again and mates soon after a litter is lost regardless of the time of year or for how long ago the litter was reared.
A female in northern Idaho was reported to not cycle again if her next litter would be born in the winter or at a time when the survival of a young was likely to be low.