During the summer, the Eurasian lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which is replaced by a much thicker silver-grey to greyish-brown coat during winter.
Amazing Facts About the Lynx (Eurasian)
- The Eurasian lynx (‘lynx’) is the largest of the four species of lynx in the world. The Siberian lynx is the largest of the sub-species of Eurasian Lynx, with males weighing up to 38 kg.
- More than 90% of the Eurasian Lynx population live in the forests of Siberia.
- During the summer, the Eurasian lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which is replaced by a much thicker silver-grey to greyish-brown coat during winter.
- Their legs are short and powerful and their feet are large and round, to help them travel over deep snow. They are also padded underneath and so they are well adapted for hunting in severe winter conditions.
- Similar to a domestic cat, the male lynx will mark its territory by spaying trees with urine and scratching the trunks. It will also bury its faeces, except at the edge of its territory where they are left as scent-markers.
- Not as swift or powerful a runner as some of their feline relatives, they find prey by sight and sound. They hunt by stalking and ambushing or jumping their prey rather than chasing them down. This is helped by the rugged forested environment.
- They generally feed on small prey, such as hares, rabbits, birds and foxes and switch to larger prey only when food becomes scarce.
- While its conservation status has been classified as “Least Concern”, populations of Eurasian lynx have been reduced or extirpated from western Europe, where it is now being reintroduced.
- A lynx can jump 2m in the air to strike at a game bird as it takes off from the ground.
- The males are competitive in their search for a mate. The otherwise silent animal may be heard uttering a high-pitched shriek that ends in a long wail and it indulges in fierce fights with other male competitors.
- Females do not build nests. They prefer a natural, concealed lair (under a rocky ledge, in a hollow of a tree, or beneath a dense undergrowth) to raise their young.
- Young lynx will not survive their first winter without the presence of their mother. The furry kittens develop relatively slowly, opening their eyes at ten days old; venturing outside at around five weeks; weaned at two months old and learning hunting skills from their mother, they will not leave until the following spring.
- The name “lynx” originated in Middle English via Latin from Greek word “lunx”, derived from the Indo-European root “*leuk-“, meaning “light, brightness”, in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes.
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Carnivore
- Lifespan: Up to 17 years
- Size: Head and body 80-130 cm; tail of around 16-23 cm (males larger than females)
- Weight: 15-38 kg (males heavier than females)
- Habitat: Forests
- Range: Western Europe, Russia and Asia
- Scientific name: Lynx lynx