Oh frabjous day! Caturday is happening on a Saturday. This makes it extra special, even without this week's subject.
The Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) can be found in eastern and southern Asian forests, as well as European and Siberian forests. It goes by many names, such as the northern lynx, common lynx, European lynx, or Siberian or Russian lynx. It had been almost completely extirpated from Western Europe, but is now being re-introduced to its historical habitats.
The Eurasian Lynx is the largest of all Lynx species. It can measure up to 51 inches (130 cm) in body length, and weigh 66 pounds (30 Kg). Compare that to the Lynx that's already been featured on Caturday, the Canada Lynx. Males are larger than females, and the largest specimens ever recorded have been large males from Siberia, one of which weighed 99 pounds (45 Kg)! The Eurasian Lynx's coat varies depending on the seasons. In the summer, their coats are short and reddish-brown. During the winter, their coats grow out and lighten to a sliver-gray color.
Eurasian Lynxes primarily hunt large mammals, birds, rodents and rabbits. Though it's risky for them to take on prey as large as roe or white-tailed deer (which are at least twice the size of the largest Lynx), the reward is more than worth it, especially during the winter, or for females that have cubs to feed. They are versatile hunters, and will change their tactics from stalking to ambush depending on the type of prey.
Based on the most current scientific consensus, there are ten recognized subspecies of Eurasian Lynx:
- Lynx lynx lynx (western Siberia, Scandinavia, eastern Europe)
- Lynx lynx carpathicus (Carpathian Mountains, central Europe)
- Lynx lynx martinoi (Balkans)
- Lynx lynx dinniki (Caucasus)
- Lynx lynx wardi (Altai Mountains)
- Lynx lynx wrangeli (eastern Siberia)
- Lynx lynx isabellinus (central Asia)
- Lynx lynx kozlovi (central Siberia)
- Lynx lynx stroganovi (Amur region)
- Lynx lynx sardiniae (Sardinia)
Female Eurasian Lynxes will give birth to a litter of one to four kittens after a gestation period of about 70 days. Unlike the Canada Lynx, the reproductive behavior of the Eurasian Lynx has nothing to do with the availability - or lack thereof - of prey. Males are not involved in raising kittens, and females will take their litter away from the birthing den after they reach three months of age. Kittens will stay with their mother until ten months. The Eurasian Lynx is a species of Least Concern, but re-introduction efforts are being made in Western Europe.