Is a mountain lion bigger than a wolf?

Yes, the mountain lion aka puma and cougar is slightly bigger than the wolf on average but it is hard to make a clean comparison because the weight and size of the mountain lion varies a lot of its range . So the mountain lions in the middle of its distribution (Brazil for instance) are perhaps smaller than the gray wolf while the Canada mountain lion at its northern extremity is bigger. Also the internet is less precise than I’d like it to be on wolf weights and sizes. This does not help. Despite that, here are some numbers.

Wolf

Grey wolf
Gray wolf. Photo: SheltieBoy on Flickr.
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The average adult wolf nose to tail length (the full length from the tips of nose and tail) is between 1.4 and 1.8 meters (4.5 and 6 feet). Or in centimeters this is between 140 and 180 centimeters. Their weight is between 50 and 100 pounds (22 to 50 kilograms). Source: pbs.org (Nature).

Alternatively, The National Wildlife Federation tells us that the weight of a male grey wolf is between 70-145 pounds and for females between 60 and 100 pounds. Another website (Animal Corner) states that they weigh around 75 – 125 pounds (34-57 kilograms) and that they are 50 and 70 inches long from nose tip to tail tip. This is 127 cms to 178 cms.

See also: When were dogs first domesticated?

Mountain lion

Puma and collie size comparison
Puma and collie size comparison. Illustration: PoC.

I’ll provide some variations because as mentioned the mountain lion size and weight varies a lot over the huge area in which it is found. They are larger in the far north (Canada) and far south (Chile) than in center (the tropics). I have more data because I use an excellent book source.


Canada: male full length (head+body+tail) – 12 males were measured: 2.17 meters or 217 centimeters. This is just over 7 feet (7.12 feet). The average weight was 71 kilograms and the weight range was between 57 and 76 kilograms. 71 kilograms is 156 pounds.

The head and body length was 1.38 meters or 138 centimeters or 4.5 feet. The tail length was 79 centimeters or 2.6 feet.

Canada: female full length – 36 females were measured: 1.95 meters or 195 centimeters. This is 6.4 feet. The average weight was 44 kilograms (97 pounds) and the weight range was 34 to 50 kilograms.

The head and body length was 1.24 meters or 124 centimeters or 4 feet. The tail length was 71 centimeters or 2.3 feet.


Chile (South America): male full length – 6 males were measured: 2.1 meters or 206 centimeters. This is 6.8 feet. The average weight was 68.8 kilograms (152 pounds) and the weight range was 55 to 80 kilograms (121 to 176 pounds).

The head and body length was 1.3 meters or 131 centimeters or 4.3 feet. The tail length was 74.5 centimeters or 2.4 feet.

Chile (South America): female full length – 4 females were measured: 1.94 meters or 194 centimeters. This is 6.4 feet. The average weight was 45.1 kilograms (99 pounds) and the weight range was 36.5 to 57 kilograms (80.4 pounds to 125 pounds).

The head and body length was 1.22 meters or 122 centimeters or 4 feet. The tail length was 72 centimeters or 2.36 feet.


Brazil: male full length – 7 males were measured:  1.88 meters or 188 centimeters. This is 6.2 feet. The average weight was 53.1 kilograms (117 pounds) and the weight range was 41.5 to 68 kilograms (91 pounds to 150 pounds).

The head and body length was 1.19 meters or 119 centimeters or 3.9 feet. The tail length was 67.9 centimeters or 2.2 feet.

Brazil: female full length – 10 females were measured: 1.7 meters or 171 centimeters. This is 5.6 feet. The average weight was 36.9 kilograms (81 pounds) and the weight range was 25 to 45 kilograms (55 to 99 pounds).

The head and body length was 1.07 meters or 107 centimeters or 3.5 feet. The tail length was 63.9 centimeters or 2.1 feet.

See also: Mountain Lions Versus Coyotes

Source: Wild Cats of the World, page 270. If you see any errors please leave a comment. Thanks.

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