Bobcat

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Category: Animal Info Pages


bobcatThe Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) is a muscular feline roughly twice the size of a domesticated cat.  The bobcat is a very well adapted predator, and the 13 recognized subspecies of bobcat range from southern Canada to northern Mexico and almost all points between.  Bobcat are commonly seen in most habitats including wooded areas, urban and forest fringe, and even semi-desert and swampland areas.  The average lifespan for bobcats is typically 6 to 8 years, with captive animals living almost quadruple that.  Bobcat live an almost exclusively solitary life, and have very little territorial overlap with other bobcats.

 

The bobcat is crepuscular, meaning that it is most active during hours of twilight, whether dusk or dawn, except during winter months when their prey is more active during daylight hours.  Bobcat can climb well, and will swim when they have to. They have excellent hearing, vision, and sense of smell.  The bobcat is an ambush predator which prefers a quick pounce or short chase, and will commonly hunt anything from insects to small deer.  They are terrific hunters, and are considered the number one threat to the endangered whooping crane.  

 

The bobcat's face appears triangular and wide due to tufts of hair under the ears.  They typically have a gray or yellow-brown to red-brown coat color, though there have been instances of solid black bobcats referred to as being melanistic.  Regardless of coloration, all bobcats exhibit a spot or striped pattern, and all have the stubby "bobbed" tail from which they derive their name.  Bobcat are believed to have evolved from the Eurasian lynx, finding its way to North America via the Bering Land Bridge during the Pleistocene Epoch.

 

Bobcat habitat and populations are greatly affected by coyotes and domestic animals, and bobcat have been extensively sought both for sport and their fur by humans.  The largest bobcat accurately measured on record weighed just under 50 pounds, and just over 49 inches long, whether you count the tail or not...