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Canada Lynx “Snowshoes”

12-16-13 lynx & bobcat feet IMG_3811Bobcats and Canada Lynx are in the same genus, and are roughly the same size (averaging 15 to 35 pounds), with Bobcats usually weighing a bit more than Lynx. The size of their feet is vastly different, however, and not proportional to their relative weights. A Lynx has much larger feet and longer legs than a Bobcat. Its range extends further north, which means it must be well equipped to deal with snow much of the year. A Lynx has big, furry paws, and when its feet land the toes spread way out. Both of these adaptations help a Lynx’s feet act like snowshoes, helping it to chase down food in the winter. Much of the time, this food consists of Snowshoe Hares –anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the diet of Lynx is made up of hares. The soles of Snowshoe Hare feet are also well-furred, particularly in winter, enabling them to run on soft, deep snow without sinking in very far. Because Snowshoe Hares are extremely fast and agile (reaching speeds of 30 mph and jumping 12 feet in a single bound), the feet of any serious predator must also be well adapted to traveling on snow.

Note: Bobcat sightings are much more frequent than Lynx in northern New England (the southern tip of the Lynx’s range) but breeding populations of Lynx have been documented in the last two years in the boreal forests of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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5 responses

  1. Micky

    How did you get those cats to line up ad show you their paws? (Just kidding)

    December 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    • You have no idea of the hours I put into the photographs on this blog!

      December 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm

  2. Sara DeMont

    Loved those kitty paws. Continue to be fascinated with all the blogs.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

  3. Mary Marro

    Seriously, were they skins, mounts or live?

    December 18, 2013 at 12:04 am

    • Skins, Mary…even I don’t get that close to wild cats!

      December 18, 2013 at 2:15 am

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