Bobcat (Lynx rufus).—Joe Van Wormer/Photo Researchers

Bobtailed, long-legged North American cat (Lynx rufus) found in forests and deserts from southern Canada to southern Mexico. It is a close relative of the lynx and caracal. Bobcats have large paws and tufted ears; are 24–40 in. (60–100 cm) long, excluding the 4–8-in. (10–20-cm) tail; stand 20–24 in. (50–60 cm) at the shoulder; and weigh 15–33 lb (7–15 kg). The fur is pale brown to reddish with black spots. Bobcats are nocturnal and generally solitary. They feed on small mammals and some birds and are important for controlling rodent and rabbit populations. They are sometimes found in suburban areas.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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