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Any of three species of short-tailed forest cat (genus Lynx) found in Europe, Asia, and northern North America. The North American lynx (Lynx canadensis) is regarded as distinct from the Eurasian and Spanish (Iberian) species. The lynx has long legs, large paws, tufted ears, hairy soles, and a broad, short head. Its coat, which forms a bushy ruff on the neck, is tawny to cream-coloured and mottled with brown and black. Its dense, soft winter fur has been used for trimming garments. Lynx are approximately 30–40 in. (80–100 cm) long, without the 4–8-in. (10–20-cm) tail, and stand about 24 in. (60 cm) high at the shoulder. They weigh 20–45 lb (10–20 kg). Nocturnal and silent except during mating season, lynx live alone or in small groups. They climb and swim well and feed on birds, small mammals, and occasionally deer. Some regional populations of lynx are considered endangered.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lynx, visit Britannica.com.