As the lynx and ocelot are vaguely similair as well as lacking in detailed information available, they'll be combined together here, with the information for Lynx first, then Ocelot found below. To jump to Ocelot, click here.
A lynx is any of the four species within the Lynx genus of medium-sized wildcats. Neither the caracal, sometimes called the Persian lynx or African lynx, nor the jungle cat, called the swamp lynx, is a member of the Lynx genus.
Eurasian Lynx: Males weigh 18 to 30kg, females only 18kg. They are 81 to 129cm long and 70cm in height standing to the shoulders.
Canadian Lynx: Males and females weigh 8 to 11kg, are 80 to 105cm long and stand at 48 to 56cm.
Iberian Lynx: Males weigh 12.9kg, females 9.4kg. They are 85 to 110cm long and stand 60 to 70cm tall at the shoulder.
Bobcat: Bobcat males weigh 7.3 to 14kg whereas females weigh 9.1kg. They are 71 to 100cm long and stand 51 to 61cm at the shoulder.
Lynx have short tails and the characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears. They have a ruff under the neck, which has black bars, is not very visible, and resembles a bow tie. They have large, padded paws for walking on snow, and long whiskers on the face. The lynx's colouring, fur height and paw size varies by its climate range—in the Southwestern United States, the fur and colour are short-haired, dark and the paws are smaller and less padded; as the lynx ranges to its colder northern climates, the fur gets progressively thicker (for warmth), the colour gets lighter (for camouflage) and its paws enlarge and become more padded (for snowy environments).
The lynx's colouring, fur height and paw size varies by its climate range—in the Southwestern United States, the fur and colour are short-haired, dark and the paws are smaller and less padded; as the lynx ranges to its colder northern climates, the fur gets progressively thicker (for warmth), the colour gets lighter (for camouflage) and its paws enlarge and become more padded (for snowy environments).
Their body colour varies from medium brown, to goldish, to beige-white, and is occasionally marked with dark brown spots, especially on the limbs. All species of lynx also have white fur on their chests, bellies and on the insides of their legs, which are extensions of the chest and belly fur.
The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is the biggest of the lynxes. It is native to European and Siberian forests.
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. A favorite prey for the Lynx in its woodland habitat is Roe Deer they will feed however on whatever animal appears easiest as they are opportunistic predators much like their cousins.
The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) or Canadian lynx is a North American felid. It ranges in forest and tundra regions across Canada and into Alaska, as well as some parts of the northern United States.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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. The population of the bobcat depends primarily on the population of its prey. Nonetheless, bobcats are often killed by larger predators such as coyotes.
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.
Lynx are usually solitary, although a small group of lynx may travel and hunt together occasionally. Mating takes place in the late winter and they give birth from two to four kittens once a year. The gestation time of lynx is about 70 days. The young stay with the mother for one more winter, a total of around nine months, before they move out to live on their own as young adults. Lynx will create their dens in crevices or under ledges. They also feed on a wide range of animals, from white-tailed deer, reindeer, roe deer, small red deer, and chamois, to smaller, more usual prey: snowshoe hares, fish, foxes, sheep, squirrels, mice, turkeys and other birds, and goats. They also eat ptarmigan, voles and grouse.
The ocelot, also known as the dwarf leopard, is a wild cat distributed extensively over South America including the islands of Trinidad and Margarita, Central America, and Mexico. They have been reported as far north as Texas.
The ocelot ranges from 68 to 100 centimetres (27 to 39 in) in length, plus 26 to 45 centimeters (10 to 18 in) in tail length, and typically weighs 8 to 18 kilograms (18 to 40 lb), although much larger individuals have occasionally been recorded, making it the largest of the generally dainty Leopardus wild cat genus.
Certain ocelot subspecies are officially endangered, although the species as a whole is not. The following are the currently recognized subspecies of ocelot:
The coat pattern of ocelots can vary, being anything from cream to reddish-brown in color, or sometimes grayish, and marked with black rosettes. In many individuals, some of the spots, especially on the back, blend together to form irregular curved stripes or bands. The fur is short, and paler than the rest of the coat beneath. There are also single white spots, called ocelli, on the backs of the ears. Two black stripes line both sides of the face, and the long tail is banded by black.
The ocelot is mostly nocturnal and very territorial. It will fight fiercely, sometimes to the death, in territorial disputes. In addition, the cat marks its territory with urine. Like most felines, it is solitary, usually meeting only to mate. However, during the day it rests in trees or other dense foliage, and will occasionally share its spot with another ocelot of the same sex. Males occupy territories of 3.5 to 46 square kilometers, while females occupy smaller, non-overlapping territories of 0.8 to 15 square kilometers. Territories are marked by urine spraying and by leaving feces in prominent locations, sometimes favoring particular latrine sites.
Ocelots hunt over a range of 18 km2 taking mostly small animals, including mammals, lizards, turtles, and frogs, crabs, birds, and fish. Almost all of the prey that the ocelot hunts is far smaller than itself, with rodents, rabbits, and opossums forming the largest part of the diet. Studies suggest that it follows and finds prey via odor trails, but the ocelot also has very good vision, including night vision.
Ocelots typically breed only once every other year, although the female may mate again shortly after losing a litter. Mating can occur at any time of year, and estrus lasts from seven to ten days. After mating, the female will find a den in a cave in a rocky bluff, a hollow tree, or a dense (preferably thorny) thicket. Gestation lasts 79 to 82 days, and usually results in the birth of only a single kitten, with its eyes closed and a thin covering of hair. Litters of two or three kittens also occur, but are less common. The small litter size and relative infrequency of breeding make the ocelot particularly vulnerable to population loss.
Compared with other small cats, ocelot kittens grow quite slowly. They weigh around 250 grams at birth, and do not open their eyes for 15 to 18 days. They begin to leave the den at three months, but remain with their mother for up to two years, before dispersing to establish their own territory. Ocelots live for up to 20 years in captivity.