Genus: Lynx (Total members of this genus: Canadian lynx, Eurasian lynx, Iberian lynx, and Bobcat)
Species: Lynx rufus
Background on the Lynx Genus (the Bobcat is a type of Lynx)
A lynx is any of the four species within the Lynx genus of medium-sized wild cats, which includes the bobcat. The name “lynx” originated in Middle English via Latin from the Greek word λύγξ, which is derived from the Indo-European root leuk, meaning (“light, brightness”)- in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes.
Neither the caracal, sometimes called the desert lynx, nor the jungle cat, called the jungle lynx, is a member of the Lynx genus.
The four lynx species have the largest range across the world of any felid, and are found on both sides of the Atlantic.
All Lynx or (Lynxes, you can say it either way) have a short tail, characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears, and large padded paws for walking on snow. Their paws may be larger than a human hand or foot.
Body colour varies from medium brown to goldish to beige-white, and is often marked with dark brown spots, especially on the limbs. All species of lynx have white fur on their chests, bellies and on the insides of their legs.
Lynx’s pupils contract to circles instead of slits in daylight. Generally the pupils of most small cats contract to vertical slits, while those of tigers and most other big cats contract to a circle. There some exceptions, just to name a couple: the snow leopard’s eyes apparently contract to a sort of oblong shape and the Pallas cat’s eyes contract to circles even though it is a smaller cat.
The Bobcat (or North American Bobcat) is a lynx species found across the North American continent; it lives from southern Canada all the way to northern Mexico- including most of the continental US in between. The Bobcat is a very adaptable predator and can thrive in semidesert, urban edge, forest edges, swamps, and scrubland- it will even live near the ocean (I saw one cross the Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu in the late 2010’s).
The Bobcat isn’t as big as the Canadian lynx or as furry, it’s typically about twice the size of a housecat. It has many subspecies and a vast range of color patterns, it can be almost orange with black spots, or greyish grizzled silvery brown with very delicate spots. All of them have the typical tufted lynx ears and stubbo tail. Though the Bobcat competes with humans and sometimes coyotes for viable territory, and humans have hunted it extensively, populations are still pretty healthy. Its favorite food is bunnies and hares and jack rabbits, but it will also eat chickens, rats, bugs, even deer occasionally.
The Bobcat is a solitary creature and marks its territory with urine, claw marks, and strategically placed feces. The Bobcat breeds from winter to spring, which is when the lil kittens are born. This mysterious hunter features heavily in Native American lore and the folklore of early American settlers.
Update: This is very cool: an international organization (part of the United Nations) stepped in and told the United States “No, you cannot remove the North American Bobcat protections” (the Us was getting ready to allow indiscriminate hunting of the bobcat). I’m really looking forward to when all of nature is a global heritage site and no one country can decide to fuck it over just cuz it’s in their borders. Good job United Nations!!!