Many people may get confused when it comes to spotting the difference between lynx vs bobcat. There is quite a confusion amongst the whole cat family due to their similar appearances.
The general differences between lynx vs bobcat vary on various parameters. In this article, we will examine all these characteristics one by one.
LYNX VS BOBCAT: WHO IS LARGER?
Lynxes are short-tailed cats, found in the forest regions around the continents of Europe, Asia, and North America. Like other animals of its genus, furs cover the bodies of lynxes. This helps them to adapt themselves to the cold forestry region of the North.
Whereas one does not consider bobcats among large cats, they are medium-sized cats. The most adaptable place of bobcats is on the continent of North America. North America is the place of origin and evolution of Bobcats. Apart from the countries of North America, Central America is also the hub for one of their subspecies. Grey fur around the body and whiskered face make their appearance adorable.
People can see lynxes rarely at the time of days. This is due to the reasons that lynxes are among those animals which prey at night. One can find a large species of lynxes over different regions with contrasting features. This makes the study of the whole genus a little bit complex.
LYNX VS BOBCAT: THE DIFFERENCES
There is no doubt to state that lynx and the bobcats are of different species. But both of them share a single genus Lynx. The Lynx genus has four species that vary from each other. Bobcats are one of them. The other species are ‘The Eurasian Lynx,’ ‘The Spanish Lynx,’ and ‘The Canadian Lynx’. Among all the species of the genus, bobcats are the most common.
They have resembling features. We cannot state that all lynxes and Bobcats are the same, but they belong to the same genus. They show similar characteristics and are identical. From the size of the tail to the pattern of the body, there are lots of variations.
Apart from bobcats, all three species are more widespread, while bobcats just dominate the regions over North America. They can be found in the forested areas which are rich in food sources. This does not hold for bobcats. Bobcats are surprisingly more adaptable to the swamps and marshes and even to the desert and scrubs of the west.
IS LYNX A CAT? COMPARISON BETWEEN LYNX VS BOBCAT IN TERMS OF SEVERAL FEATURES
I have already mentioned above how different species vary under the same genus Lynx. Compares with all the other three species of lynx, bobcats may be a little bit problematic. But for some sort of ease, we will assist some basic generalization for Eurasian, Spanish, and Canadian lynxes to compare it with bobcats.
1. Size And Appearance
Bobcats have long tufts of furs around the ears and cheeks. The ear tufts of bobcats are of an approximate length of 2.5 centimeters. The black tufts furs provide bobcats an outward appearance. Based on its appearance, bobcats are bigger. Bobcats look overgrown than an ordinary lynx of the same age. But the size of the feet of a lynx is larger in comparison with a bobcat. This is specifically provided to the lynxes apart from bobcats to provide them ease while navigating through the snow.
Bobcats are adapted with long furs around cheeks and ears to provide hearing aids to them. Tufts are present in all the species of lynx. It is one of the main features which differentiate them from other cats. Species of lynx such as Canadian lynx have shorter tales with few bandings over it. Bobcats, on the other hand, are notary for its long tails and distinct banding on the reddish-brown surface.
Lynxes are generally grey with faded spots. The tails of lynxes are shorter than bobcats. The tails of the bobcats are back tips. On the other hand, the tail of a bobcat has a black tip but is white underneath. The color and the length of the tail of lynxes and bobcats would help you lot to differentiate between them at first sight. The legs of lynxes are generally longer. In lynxes and bobcats, the back legs are longer but are distinctly visible in lynxes. Bobcats have shorter legs, in which the hind legs are little longer than the front legs.
The diets of all the lynx species vary. Starting right from the Canadian lynx, they are generally dependent on snowshoe hares. These are abundantly available in the cold forests of Canadian mountains. About 65% of the total food sources are primarily from hares. Other small arctic desert animals serve as the remaining fraction of the food sources.
Spanish lynx also preys upon hares. The difference is that they are not so overwhelmingly dependent on hares for food. Rabbits also serve as a primary food source for Spanish lynxes. Sudden changes in the habitat and the availability of food have adversely affected their population. Spanish Lynxes are now declared as an endangered species. This is the result of the decline in the population of rabbits, in which they are primarily dependent.
The Eurasian lynx is considered extraordinary in hunting. They prey upon animals that are larger than their size. Reindeer, which is about thrice the size of a typical reindeer, is the primary food source. This style of hunting of Eurasian lynx separates them from other species of lynxes. The diet of Bobcats is not fixed at all. Sometimes they prefer small birds and rodents while sometimes pounce upon large deer. Birds, rodents, lizards, carrion, snakes, and deer are the primary sources of food for Bobcats. Preying upon deer is occasionally.
The main reason for the difference in the diet of other lynx and bobcats is due to the difference in the size of the paw. Bobcats species adopt with the smaller paws. This makes it difficult for them to catch hares. Small paws do not comply with the snow-covered surface.
The behavior of animals is different from the context of behavior for humans. When discussing the behavior in animals, we generally consider there hunting styles. In the whole genus of Lynx, the behavior of bobcats is more fierce and frightful.
The hunting style of bobcats also looks more arrogant. Due to their behavior, they earned a special name from themselves. “Spitfires of animal kingdom” are the name provided by them due to their extreme attitude and behavior. The behavior of other lynx species is like other cats. They are neither much fierce nor too soft.
4. Family Life
Many animals, and especially cats, are solitary animals. The family life of lynx and other bobcats are so similar that there is an almost negligible difference between their family lives. Being a solitary animal, lynxes prefer to stay and pray alone. It is only the time of breeding when adults come together. The children are born in the wake of the spring season in dens. The mother serves as the only parent throughout the infant period. The mother provides the first nursing to the infants. At about the age of 10 months, they started to fend themselves. The main difference between lynxes and bobcats appear in this phase. Being nutritive strong, the cubs of bobcats are generally stronger and can start fending themselves before ten months.
Maturity attains to them at the age of 2 years. In the case of bobcats and some other lynxes, the children may leave the mother quite before the age of 2. Some may separate their path for the search for food or water. All the lynx make the same sound of yowl and growl. Most of their characteristics are similar to cats. Well, they are solitary cats. Most surprisingly, they too purr like the household cats. Leaving scent marks is common for the whole cat family. Lynxes and Bobcats leave scent marks for marking their areas.
Weight is also a classic feature that varies greatly in all species of the Lynx genus. Some of the subspecies of Eurasian lynx can even reach the limit of 35kg. Eurasian lynx has left other species behind in terms of weight. The average weight of a lynx is about 10 – 25 kg. The weight of Siberian lynxes in this term is quite extraordinary.
The weight of an average Bobcat is about 8.6kg. This is quite surprising, the weight of the largest breed of lynx ranges below the average rate. There is a reason for this fact. The appearance and the size of a bobcat look bigger due to the overgrown furs and tufts. In reality, the bobcats are bigger but mainly due to the outgrown furs, which are light in weight. The weight of Canadian lynx lies in the range of 8 – 11 kg. This range of weight is not as impressive as Eurasian lynx but complies with the average weight of the Lynx genus.
The life span of lynx varies from the habitat, provided to them. In the natural habitat, a lynx can live for around 17 – 20 years. The availability of food is also a necessary feature. In recent times, the life span of the Eurasian lynx has reduced due to the non-availability of food.
The lifespan of lynxes is getting reduced overtime. There is a desperate need to take action against it. The whole population of lynxes comes to a threatening situation. There are around 300 Spanish lynx around the globe in the year 2020. We will look more about the same in the following paragraphs.
7. Conservational Status
Sudden changes in the habitat and the food sources of all the animals, led to the introduction of new comparison criteria. The whole population of lynxes is a significant threat. Iberian lynxes are amongst the most endangered species in the world. With roughly 300 individuals of the same species, IUCN declared it as critically endangered.
Iberian lynx is the most threatened carnivore in the whole of Europe. There are disappearing from lots of regions for the situation. The most primary reason for this decline is the lack of food sources. Iberian lynxes are dependent more on rabbits, which are now barely accessible in the colder regions.
One cannot consider the population of bobcats as threatened, but the concern is required. Hunting of bobcats needs to be monitored. For their elegant furs, hunters usually hunt them. For this, the forest authorities restrict the hunting to a certain extent. North American states have also laid down specific laws for their protection.
Estimates show that their population rages between 700,000 to 1,500,000 alone in the USA. After certain restrictions, the population of bobcats now stabilizes. The regular concern of the government and organization s required for lynxes. In terms of population, bobcats are large in number. But they are generally found only in North America while lynxes are widespread.
As discussed above, there are many contrasting features that help a lot in differentiating a lynx vs bobcat. Bobcats are also part of the genus Lynx. They are generally bigger with long tails. While the lynxes have shorter tails but longer legs. The behavior and attitude of bobcats are fierce and arrogant, while other lynxes have that typical style.
Like lions and tigers, they are also part of the tiger family. Many of their features resemble a cat. But in some cases, a cat can be the prey of a lynx easily.
The life span of Canadian lynx can even extend to 27 years. But due to the loss of the natural habitat for their survival, many get expired before the lifespan of 10 years. Moving further to the Spanish lynx, also called as the Iberian lynx, the average life span is around 13 years. It is also just a typical estimate. Due to certain activities, the natural habitat is interrupted.