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Lynx Info
Genus:

Felis lynx

SIZE:
Height to shoulder:

2 ft

Body Length:

2 - 4 ft

Tail:

2 - 6 in

Weight:

11-60 lbs

BREEDING:
Sexual maturity:

1 yr

Mating Season:

Mid March ro early April

Gestation:

60 - 73 days

No. of Young:

Up to 4 though usually 1 or 2

Birth Weight:

197 - 211g (7 - 7.5oz)

LIFESTYLE:
Habit:

Solitary

Diet:

small mammales such as birds,hares,rabbits,foxes,and deer.

Lifespan:

15 yrs in wild usually 10 yrs or less/p>

Top Speed:

30 mph



COAT

Its coat varies in color from pale sandy gray to a rusty red.Its thin summer coat has faint spots.
In winter the coat becomes much denser and a frosty gray color.


FEET

Its feet are large,round,and padded underneath to help it travel over deep snow.



Distribution

Canada and Alaska south into Washington,Oregon,Idaho,and Montana, Parts of New England
New York,Michigan,and Wisconsin Also parts of the Europe and the Soviet Union.


Habitat

The lynx is found in forest among dense vegetation.It is a nocturnal hunter,and it occupies a home range that varies in size according to the availability of prey.When prey is abundant,the male roams over an area of up to 20 mils,while the female has a range half that size.When prey is scarce,the lynx roams farther to find food.The male marks his territory by shredding the bark on tree trunks and spraying them with urine.Like a domestic cat the lynx also buries its droppings, Still when it is marking the boundary of its territory,It leaves them unburied to warn other animals of its presence.


Food & Hunting

The lynx is not as fast as some of its feline relatives, so it locates its prey with its sharp eyesight and acute hearing,often ambushing it rather than chasing it.It catches its prey by waiting behind a boulder or on a low branch of a tree, attacking before the victim has a chance to escape.In northern Europe, the lynx hunts foxes,rabbits,hares, rodents,birds and small deer.In warmer parts of its range,the lynx buries the remains of a kill to eat later,but if it were to do so during the winter, the meat would freeze and become difficult to eat.In the United States and Canada, the lynx mainly hunts snowshoe hares.In these areas,the lynxpopulation fluctuates,paralleling that of the snowshoe hare whose population peaks every 9 to 10 years.the lynx also eats meadow voles,small deer and moose,caribou,and sheep.unlike its European relatives,the North American lynx hides meat by covering it with a thin layer of snow or leaves.


Breeding

The normally solitary male leaves its range and searches for a mate in mid March to early April.He fights with rival males,and can be heard making a high pitched shriek and wail during this time.After mating,the female gives birth to a litter of up to four kittens in a hollow tree or beneath dense undergrowth.The furry kittens are born blind and helpless, and they develop slowly.They open their eyes after 10 days and begin to venture outside the den five weeks later.The kittens are weaned at two months but remain with their mother until the following spring.


Lynx & Humans

The lynx was once more widespread than it is today,especially in Europe.The clearing of the forestland has destroyed the animal`s habitat and forced it to retreat into a smaller range.hunting has decreased its number as well.Like other members of the cat family,the lynx has been extensively hunted,primarily for its fur,but also for its meat.The main threat to the lynx is the farmer.Although some farmers see the lynx as beneficial since it kills foxes,rodents,and horseshoe hares, othersregard the lynx as a pest because it kills sheep,goats, and other livestock.In western Europe the species has been almost exterminated for this reason.


Did You Know ?

  • Studies of the lynx in captivity reval that its acute sence of smell can detect a rat at 250 feet.

  • Although the lynx swims a nd climbs well, it does not run very fast.

  • The name lynx is derived from Lyncaeus,the name of a sharp-eyed pilot on jason`s ship, the Argos.

  • A lynx can jump six feet into the air to catch a bird as it takes off from the ground.

  • In some parts of Europe,Stone Age man hunted the lynx to extinction.






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