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Bobcat (mammal)
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Bobcat (mammal)

Bobcat
Scientific Classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Felidae
Genus:Lynx
Species:rufus
Binomial name
Lynx rufus
The Bobcat (Lynx rufus, or Felis rufus) is a small wild cat indigenous to North America. They have reddish-brown or yellowish-brown coats that are streaked with black or dark brown and have prominent, pointed ears with a tuft of black hair at the tip. They are named for their short or "bobbed" tail. Bobcats stand approximately 25-30 cm (10-12 inches) high at the shoulder. The male Bobcat typically weighs from 11-16 kg (24-35 lb) and its habitat is most of western and southeastern United States and Mexico. There are few Bobcats in Canada, which is the primary habitat of the related Canada Lynx.

They breed in late winter or early spring and have a gestation period of about two months. A female may have one to six kittens each year. Although adapted to a variety of habitats across the country, they do not tolerate the deep snows. Bobcats move about their home ranges most actively in the hours near dawn and dusk, hunting small mammals. They seek cover in conifer stands and on rocky ledges.

Unlike the Canadian Lynx, which they resemble, bobcats are often highly adaptable to human-caused changes in environmental conditions; some biologists believe that there are more bobcats in the United States today than in colonial times.


A Bobcat in an urban surrounding

Bobcats are carnivores that typically hunt wild rabbits, hares, and rodents, but will also attempt to hunt the larger deer in winter months when other food is scarce.

Subspecies

Reference