The four living species of the Lynx genus are believed to have evolved from the "Issoire lynx", which lived in Europe and Africa during the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene. The Pliocene felid Felis rexroadensis from North America has been proposed as an even earlier ancestor; however, this was larger than any living species, and is not currently classified as a true lynx.[12]
[edit]Eurasian lynx

The Eurasian lynx
Main article: Eurasian lynx
The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the biggest of the lynxes. It is native to European and Siberian forests. While its conservation status has been classified as "Least Concern", populations of Eurasian lynx have been reduced or extirpated from western Europe, where it is now being reintroduced.
During the summer, the Eurasian lynx has a relatively short, reddish or brown coat, which is replaced by a much thicker silver-grey to greyish-brown coat during winter. The lynx hunts by stalking and jumping its prey, helped by the rugged, forested country in which it resides. The cat will generally feed on small prey, such as, hares, rabbits, foxes, etc., and switch to larger prey only when food becomes scarce.[12]
[edit]Canada lynx

Canada lynx
Main article: Canada lynx
The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) or Canadian lynx is a North American felid. It ranges in forest and tundra regions[13] across Canada and into Alaska, as well as some parts of the northern United States. By 2010, after an 11-year effort, it had been successfully reintroduced into Colorado, where it had become extirpated in the 1970s.[14][15][16] In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Canada lynx a threatened species in the lower 48 states.[17]
Canada lynx are good climbers and swimmers; they construct rough shelters under fallen trees or rock ledges. They have thick coats and broad paws, and are twice as effective as bobcats at supporting their weight on the snow. The Canada lynx's diet is almost exclusive to and dependent on snowshoe hares and their numbers. They will also hunt medium-sized mammals and birds if hare numbers fall.[13]
[edit]Iberian lynx

Iberian lynx
Main article: Iberian lynx
The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is a critically endangered species native to the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe. It is the most endangered cat species in the world.[18] According to the conservation group SOS Lynx, if this species died out, it would be the first feline extinction since the Smilodon 10,000 years ago.[19] The species used to be classified as a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx, but is now considered a separate species. Both species occurred together in central Europe in the Pleistocene epoch, being separated by habitat choice.[7] The Iberian lynx is believed to have evolved from Lynx issiodorensis.[20]

Main article: Bobcat
The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a North American wildcat. With 12 recognized subspecies, bobcats are common throughout southern Canada, the continental United States, and northern Mexico.[21] The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits deciduous, coniferous, or mixed woodlands, but unlike other Lynx, does not depend exclusively on the deep forest, and ranges from swamps and desert lands to mountainous and agricultural areas, its spotted coat serving as camouflage.[22] The population of the bobcat depends primarily on the population of its prey.[23] Nonetheless, bobcats are often killed by larger predators such as coyotes.[24]
The bobcat resembles other species of the Lynx genus, but is on average the smallest of the four. Its coat is variable, though generally tan to grayish brown, with black streaks on the body and dark bars on the forelegs and tail. The ears are black-tipped and pointed, with short, black tufts. There is generally an off-white color on the lips, chin, and underparts. Bobcats in the desert regions of the southwest have the lightest-colored coats, while those in the northern, forested regions are darkest.

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