Lynx facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Lynx
Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Type species
Lynx lynx
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

Lynx lynx
Lynx canadensis
Lynx pardinus
Lynx rufus

Lynx ranges

The Lynx is a small cat. It is a genus with four species. The four species are in Eurasia, Spain, Canada and America, and do not overlap much.

Appearance

Lynx kitten
Lynx kitten

Lynx have short tails, and usually some hair on the ears. They have large paws (feet) padded for walking on snow, and long whiskers on the face. The colour of the body is from light brown to grey and is sometimes marked with dark brown spots, especially on the legs. They weigh about 5 kg or about 11 pounds (approximately the size of a large domestic cat) and can weigh up to about 30 kg (66 pounds).

Lynx are similar to a regular house cat, but larger. They have a powerful body on short, furry legs attached to hefty feet, and a bobbed, black-tipped tail. The fur is spotted and yellowish-brown to grey. It has a collar of fur around the face, giving a triangular shape. They also have long black ear tufts. The smallest species are the bobcat and the Canada lynx, while the largest is the Eurasian lynx, with considerable variations within species.

Behaviour

Lynx lynx - 05
Eurasian lynx - Zoo of Madrid, Spain

Lynx are usually solitary, although a small group may travel and hunt together occasionally. Once a year the female gives birth to between two and four kittens. The young stay with the mother for one more winter, a total of around nine months, before moving out to live on their own as young adults.

Habitat

Lynx live in the high altitude forests with many shrubs, reeds and grass. They hunt only on the ground, but can climb trees and swim. Lynx make their dens in crevices or under ledges.

They can be found in the some places in northern Scandinavia, in North America and also in the Himalayas. Since the 1990s people try to move part of the population of the Eurasian lynx to Germany. They can also be found in Białowieża Forest (northeastern Poland), and southern Spain.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife tried to move other wild Lynx populations from Canada back to the United States.

Diet

Lynx lynx-4
An eurasian lynx at Skåne Zoo, Sweden

Lynx eat mainly arctic hares (a large member of the rabbit family). They sometimes eat squirrels, ptarmigan (birds that look like large pigeons), and grouse (which look like fancy chickens). The Iberian Lynx feeds mostly on rabbits and hares.

Conservation

Lynx lynx cub 20050709
Lynx cub

The Iberian lynx is the most endangered feline in the world. There are only two populations (together, 300 animals), in the southern Spain. Hunting lynxes is illegal in many countries.

National animal

The lynx is considered a national animal in the Republic of Macedonia and is displayed on the reverse of the 5 denar coin. It is also the national animal of Romania.

Images for kids


Lynx Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.