By Josie January 12th, 2023
Both the lynx and the bobcat are gracious felines and adept hunters. Seeing as they're so similar, how do we distinguish them?
Let's tease out their differences:
- Pointy ears
Appearance: Shared Traits
- Tufted ears (albeit the lynx's tufts are much more significant)
- Short tails
- Tufted paws
- Thick Fur
- The lynx is larger (they especially have much longer legs)
Appearance: Distinguishing Traits
- The Lynx has a more colorful coat
- The Bobcat’s coat tends to be more uniform in color
- Typically the Lynx has dark-colored fur around its face and chin
Unlike their domestic cousins, they can survive in harsh environments and even thrive.
Bobcats favor temperate areas like the Southern United States.
Lynx generally inhabit boreal forest regions, including North America and Europe.
Both use rock outcroppings or thick cane breaks as den sites.
Lynx are usually as long as 31 to 51 in (79 to 130 cm.)
Size of the Lynx
A full-grown Lynx’s weight varies between 18 to 64 lbs (8 to 29 kg.)
Their paws measure 3.5 to 5 inches.
Bobcats usually have a length of 26 to 41 in (65 to 105 cm.)
Size of the Bobcat
A full-grown Bobcat is between 11 to 37 lbs (5 to 17 kg.)
Their paws measure 2.25 inches.
Hunting Habits: Lynx
- Lynx are nocturnal animals that hunt and explore from dusk to dawn.
- They have adapted to this way of living by honing their senses in the darkness and locating prey without relying on sight.
Typically they prey on small mammals such as hares, squirrels, and birds.
Hunting Habits: Bobcat
- Bobcats are generally active during the day
- Along with mice and squirrels, bobcats enjoy consuming fruits and vegetables if available.
These wild cats can jump up to 12 feet and often use this ability to surprise their prey.
Amazingly, the species can breed with each other to create fertile offspring due to their similarities, despite being part of two separate species.
This has been observed reliably in captivity and on a few occasions in the wild.
Their role in the ecosystem
Their habits of burying bones and carcasses can further fertilize the soil and redistribute nutrients throughout their natural environment.
Both predators play an essential role; heir presence helps to ensure balanced populations of small prey animals.
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If you're ever lucky enough to spot either of these in the wild, you're fully equipped to tell them apart!