Canadian lynx are medium sized cats that resemble gigantic housecats. The name Lynx comes from the Greek word “to shine”‚and may be in reference to the reflective ability of the cat’s eyes. They live in snowy climates. Canadian lynx are recognised by their long ear tufts and short tail with a black tip.
In winter‚ Canadian lynx have thick‚ long and grey fur. In summer‚ their fur is short‚ thin and light brown. Year-round they have black tips on the end of their tails and on their triangle-shaped ears. The black tufts of hair at the tops of their ears serve to enhance their already phenomenal hearing. Their wide face has longer patches of fur on the side of their face which looks like a beard. Canadian lynx have excellent eyesight: they can spot a mouse at 250 feet. Like all lynx‚ they have 28 teeth‚ with four long canines for puncturing and gripping. Lynx can feel where they are biting the prey with their canines because they are heavily laced with nerves.
Canadian lynx have short body‚ small tail and long legs. Their long‚ round feet act like snowshoes by distributing their weight to help keep on top of the snow. They also have sharp claws that retract helping them to climb‚ fight predators and capture prey. Their feet are covered in a thick layer of fur to keep them warm in the winter.
Generally‚ Canadian lynx are solitary animals except for females with offspring or siblings who have just separated from their mothers who hunt together for several months before separating. They usually hunt and travel alone and are slightly more active at night than by day. Canadian lynx shelter in areas of particularly dense forest.
After gestation period of around 64 days‚ female lynx give birth to the young in May or early June. Before birth‚ the female prepares a maternal den‚ usually in very thick brush‚ and typically inside thickets of shrubs or trees or woody debris. The dens are generally situated mid-slope and face south or southwest. Canadian lynx cubs have greyish buff fur with black markings. They are blind and helpless for the first 14 days‚ and weaned at twelve weeks. When their eyes open‚ they are a bright blue colour‚ but as they mature‚ the eyes become a brown-hazel colour.
The mother brings the food to her cubs and allows them to play with it before eating it‚ thus training their hunting skills. Cubs leave the den after about five weeks‚ and begin hunting at between seven and nine months of age. They leave the mother at around ten months‚ as the next breeding season begins‚ but do not reach the full adult size until around two years old.
On average‚ Canadian lynx are about 31to 41 inches in length‚ 19 to 22 inches in height and weigh around eight to14 kg. Males are larger than females.
Canadian lynx feed primarily on snowshoe hares. They are also known to eat mice‚ voles‚ grouse and red squirrel. They will hunt every one to two days and consume around 600 to 1‚200 g of food per day. They hunt both by ambush and by actively seeking out prey.
Canadian lynx are found in Canada‚ Alaska and North America. They can be found in forested areas and make their dens underneath fallen trees; tree stumps rock ledges or thick bushes.
Canadian lynx lives for about 15 to 20 years.