Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Identify a Lynx

There are currently four species of known lynx throughout the world. The majority of which currently reside in North American and the Himalayas. To be straight forward they are a relatively small wildcat. It would be inadvisable to take these cats as pets given the danger such animals pose to yourself and others. The purpose of this guide is to explain how to identify a lynx should one be spotted in the wild.

How To Identify A Lynx
Step 1:
Don't get too close, if you see such an animal think about your safety first and figuring out what it is second. Though reports of lynxes attacking human beings are rare, it still happens.

Step 2:
Look at the cat's size. Lynxes will range anywhere between thirty and eighty pounds depending on the particular breed or gender. The lynx can be up to three feet long and two feet high at the shoulder.

Step 3:
Look at the cat's shape. A lynx is stocky with a short neck, wide shoulders, and barrel-like body. Their legs stay roughly the same width all the way down to the paws, which are proportionally much larger than the average housecat would possess. The rear legs are slightly higher than the forelegs, making the cat seem arched and ready to pounce. Lynxes have rounded hind ends and short bobbed-tails as well.

Step 4:
Look at the cat's coloring. Their fur color can range anywhere from light tan to grey, this can be either a flat color or mottled with darker spots.

Step 5:
Look at the cat's head. A lynx will have a narrow snout, wide jaw, and no apparent neck. A wide ruff of fur will spread out on the underside of the cat's jaw and throat, giving its head a squared look. The most telling characteristic a lynx has are the black tufts of fur that stick out from the tips of the cat's ears. If the cat in question matches these criteria then you're looking at a bobcat and it would be in your best interest to back away in the direction you came from.

Tips & Warnings
Lynxes live in northern climates in high altitude forests primarily. They are capable of taking down prey much bigger than themselves such as deer when they are able. Lynxes are solitary predators, though they can easily climb trees they hunt on the forest floor. They are also surprisingly good swimmers and will happily paddle around rivers and streams while looking for fish. It's believed that some particularly large breeds of domesticated cat were at one time crossbred with Lynxes, whether or not this was intentional is unknown. One of the American breeds of lynx is called the Bobcat for the short bobbed-tail they possess.
Lynxes will often not approach a human being, if you see one back away immediately as you've probably stumbled across it. This is a dangerous situation as they are liable to attack if they feel threatened.

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