The Facts

  • Genus/Species: Lynx There are four species. 
  • Conservation Status: Threatened/ Endangered
  • Location: North America, Europe, Asia



The Scoop

Tufted Ears, Bobbed Tail

The lynx is found in secluded forests and mountainous regions as well as dense shrubs and grasslands. It lives in dens, in the crevices of rocks or under ledges. The lynx is covered with beautiful thick fur that keeps it warm during frigid winters and is distinguished by the tuft of black hair on the tips of its ears and its short, or "bobbed," tail. The back legs of the lynx are longer than the front legs, so the lynx looks a bit like it's tipped forward. Its hearing is very sharp and the tufts on their ears act like a hearing aid. The lynx has excellent eyesight too - it can spot a mouse 250 feet away. As a member of the cat family, lynx share many of the other characteristics that cats have, such as excellent climbing skills. These cats use scent marks, facial expressions, and different ear positions to help get their message across to other lynx and are very vocal too.

A lynx is about the size of a small to medium sized dog. It weighs about 11 - 45 pounds. All lynx are skilled hunters. They hunt mostly at night and are so stealthy that they are rarely seen. The Canadian lynx eat mice, squirrels, and birds, but prefers the snowshoe hare.  Bigger Eurasian lynx hunt deer and other larger prey in addition to small animals.

Humans are the lynx main predator and hunting is one of the main reasons. The Spanish lynx once roamed over large parts of the Iberian Peninsula but today they are very rare. The Eurasian lynx once lived in forests, but has been forced by man to find new ways of living in open woods and on rocky mountain slopes. Even with conservation efforts, the Lynx is threatened because of hunting by farmers.


Did You Know?

  • A 30 pound lynx has bigger feet than a 200 pound mountain lion. Its big feet act like snowshoes, allowing it to hunt effectively even in deep snow.
  • Lynx can make an amazing variety of hissing, chattering and yowling sounds.
  • The word Lynx is derived from the Greek word meaning 'to shine' and refers to the cat's bright eyes.
  • All species of lynx have white fur on their chests, bellies and on the insides of their legs.


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