Genus: Lynx (Total members of this genus: Canadian lynx, Eurasian lynx, Iberian lynx, and Bobcat)
Species: Lynx Canadensis
Background on the Lynx Genus
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 Canadian Lynx
The Canadian lynx lives in both Canada and the US, including Alaska. It digs the forest mostly but also will inhabit the snowy tundra and scrubland in the north. It’s an interesting looking animal, it has the trademark lynx ears with the tufts on top, tough thick set body, extra long hind legs, and the instantly recognizable lynx stumpy tail.
The Canadian lynx has giant feet tufted with fur so he can walk on the snow-his fur padded feet are twice as good at supporting weight as a bobcat’s paw. The body is typically lightly spotted with grey frosted fur. It’s size can vary, from two feet to four feet (60-120 cm). It weighs 18-30 lbs (8-14 kgs). Unlike a lot of other wild cat species, the Canadian lynx is diurnal (active during the day, sleeps at night!). Its favorite meals are snowshoe hare, rodents, and deer. It is a solitary animal but they have been observed hunting in groups. It is a shy cat and while its not a timid hunter, it will rarely fight over a carcass even if it’s the one who captured it. The Canadian lynx lives up to 15 years in the wild and up to 21 in captivity. People hunt them and shouldn’t.
p.s. The photograph of the lady holding a recovering CanadianLynx was taken at the Frisco Creek Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, formerly known as the Dietrich Native Species Treatment Center, in Colorado. This center played a key role in Colorado’s Canada lynx recovery effort, and continues to do so today.