Cougars are great gardeners


? Discover the Hidden Role of Top-Level Predators in Ecosystems ?

Today, we’re delving into a fascinating ecological tale that might change the way you see apex predators. Did you know that large hypercarnivorous felids, so meat-loving big cats like cougars, are more than just top-tier predators?

? These majestic creatures, with their strictly carnivorous diet, are now known for a surprising twist: seed dispersal! Research reveals that cougars could be effective secondary long-distance seed dispersers, impacting plant populations in unexpected ways.

?Cougars accidentally ingest and disseminate significant quantities of seeds from plants consumed by their primary prey, the Eared Dove. In fact, they’ve been found to spread as many as ~5,000 seeds per km2 annually!

?? What does this mean for ecosystems? It’s an exciting revelation that highlights the intricate interconnections within nature. Secondary long-distance seed dispersal can lead to the colonization of new areas, maintaining gene flow between plant populations, and supporting the health of plant communities.

? So, if you’re intrigued by the hidden ecological roles of these hypercarnivorous apex predators and how they impact plant life, this is your chance to get connected and join us for a better resource use. ?