Lynx(redirected from Bobcat (mammal))
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lynx, name given to several related small, ferocious members of the cat family. All have small heads, tufted ears, and heavy bodies with long legs and short tails. All are primarily terrestrial, although they are able to climb trees. The Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx, is found in coniferous forests of N Eurasia. As a result of hunting by humans and the general deforestation of Europe, the northern lynx is now very restricted in its European range and may be extinct in W Europe, but efforts have been made to restore it to parts of its former range.
The Canada lynx, L. canadensis, is similar in size and appearance as well as habitat to its Old World counterpart; it ranges from the northern limits of the Canadian forests to the extreme N United States. The Canada lynx may attain a length of more than 3 ft (90 cm), with a 5-in. (13-cm) tail, and may weigh up to 40 lb (18 kg). Its long fur is yellow-brown to grayish, slightly spotted with black. It has long black ear tufts and large feet, adapted to moving on deep snow. A nocturnal hunter, it preys on a variety of game, sometimes as large as deer, but is particularly dependent on the snowshoe rabbit as its staple diet. The Canada lynx population fluctuates in cycles correlated with the fluctuation of the snowshoe rabbit population. Efforts have been made to return the Canada lynx to parts of its former range in the United States (Colorado).
The bobcat, L. rufus, also known as bay lynx or wildcat, is a small North American lynx found in thickets, swamps, and rocky areas from the S of Canada to central Mexico. It has a longer tail, shorter ear tufts, and smaller feet than the Canada lynx; its coat is a redder brown and more spotted. It commonly weighs about 20 lb (9 kg), although some individuals grow much larger. It lives on a variety of small and medium-sized prey; its raids on livestock and poultry have made it a target of farmers. The Iberian lynx, or Spanish lynx L. pardinus, which once ranged over the Iberian Peninsula, is now found only in small areas in S Spain, where its population numbers about 1,000 to 1,500.
The term lynx is also used for a number of unrelated cats. The jungle cat, or jungle lynx Felis chaus, of N Africa and Asia, is more closely related to the domestic cat. It lives in a variety of habitats, especially open woodlands and scrub. The caracal, Caracal caracal, of the dry country of Africa and W Asia, is also called the Persian, African, or desert lynx.
Lynxes are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Felidae.
Lynx(links) A constellation in the northern hemisphere between Ursa Major and Gemini, the brightest stars being one (Alpha [α] Lyncis) of 3rd magnitude and several of 4th magnitude. The area contains many faint double stars. The faint globular cluster NGC 2419 is estimated to be more than 64 000 parsecs distant, further from us than the Magellanic Clouds and therefore beyond the confines of the Milky Way. As a result it has been nicknamed ‘the Intergalactic Tramp’. Abbrev.: Lyn; genitive form: Lyncis; approx. position: RA 8h, dec +47°; area: 545 sq deg.
(Felis [Lynx] lynx), a true cat having a body length of 82–109 cm, a tail length of 20–24 cm, and a weight of 8–19 kg (in rare cases, up to 32 kg). The legs are strong and relatively long, and the paws very large. The ears are tufted, and the animal has whiskers. Coloration varies from monochrome (straw-colored or red) to spotted.
The lynx is distributed in Europe, North America, North Asia, Middle Asia, and—to a lesser extent—Southwest Asia. The cat inhabits extensive, dense forests in valleys and mountains; it sometimes enters the forest steppe. The lynx feeds primarily on hares, murine rodents, and birds; it sometimes attacks such ungulates as roe deer and musk deer. The cat hunts mainly at night. The lynx leads a settled life, migrating only when food is scarce. The cat climbs trees easily. Mating takes place in February or March. After a gestation period of nine or ten weeks, a litter usually containing two or three young is born.
Lynxes have a population that fluctuates with the food supply. The cats are of minor commercial value (the fur is used). They are harmful to the hunting industry, since they destroy commercially valuable animals.
REFERENCEMlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2, part 2. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1972.
["The Lynx Distributed Programming Language: Motivation, Design and Experience", M.L. Scott, Computer Langs 16:209-233 (1991)].
Version: 2.4-FM (1995-10-25).
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