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Did you Know

Animals - Lynx

The lynx is a member of the cat family and one of the bigger felines of North America. Lynx are best known for their short stubby tails and the long tufts of black hair on the ears of a lynx.

There are three different types of lynx with these being the North America lynx found in Canada and Alaska, the European lynx found in Spain and Portugal and the Asian lynx which is found in Turkestan and central Asia.

The North American lynx is the biggest species of lynx and some of these lynx individuals have extremely thick and fluffy looking fur which keeps the lynx warm in the freezing Canadian winter. The European and Asian lynx species are much smaller in size and have personalities that resemble those of a domestic cat, rather than a large feline.

The lynx tends to inhabit dense shrub and grasslands in the forests of North America and parts of Eurasia. The lynx hunt small mammals, birds and fish, and the lynx are prey to few predators.

Although the lynx is a ground mammal, lynx are often known to climb trees or swim in order to catch their prey. Lynx hunt small mammals, birds and fish but prefer to hunt larger mammals like reindeer, deer and elk if the lynx can find and catch them.

The lynx has large paws which help the lynx to balance and also give the lynx more power when pursuing potential meals. The lynx also has extremely acute hearing which allows the lynx to hear oncoming prey and predators over long distances, and the lynx also has a strong jaw and sharp teeth which the lynx uses to bite down on its prey.

Lynx are usually solitary animals and will spend their time both hunting and resting alone, however a small group of lynx may travel and hunt together occasionally. Lynx mating takes place in the late winter and the female lynx will give birth to two to six kittens after a gestation period of about 70 days. Female lynx will usually give birth to a litter a year. The young lynx kittens stay with the mother lynx for around nine months meaning that the lynx kittens will have the mother lynx to watch over them during their first winter. The lynx kittens then move out to live on their own as young adults. It is known that adult lynx will give their young the prey to play with it before they eat it as this thought to develop their hunting skills.

Lynx live in dens in rock crevices or under ledges which gives the lynx a safe place to rest as well as a home for when the lynx kittens arrive and need safely looking after. Lynx do not normally take their kill back to their den, the main exception to this is when the mother lynx is providing for her lynx kittens. Lynx children love to wrestle with each other.