Of the four Lynx species, Eurasian lynx are the largest. They are also one of the largest predators in Europe, third to only Ursus arctos and Canis lupus. Their size ranges from 18 to 36 kg, body length is 70 to 130 cm and shoulder height is 60 to 65 cm. Sexual dimorphism is present, with males being larger and more robust. ("Eurasian Lynx Online Information System for Europe", 2007; "WWF", 2009a; "WWF", 2009b; Nowell and Jackson, 1996)
The coat is varied in grey, rusty, or yellow fur. There are three main coat patterns: spotted, striped, and solid. Among those that are spotted, the pattern ranges among large spots, small spots, and rosettes. Patterns vary widely within and among regions. The belly, the front of the neck, the inside of the limbs, and the ears are whitish. The tail is short, with a solid black tip. Eurasian lynx have long legs, sharp retractable claws, a round face, and triangular ears. Characteristic features of Eurasian lynx are black tufts at the tips of the ears and a prominently flared facial ruff. The paws are large and fur-covered, which helps them to navigate in deep snow. ("Eurasian Lynx Online Information System for Europe", 2007; "IUCN RED LIST", 2009; "WWF", 2009a; "WWF", 2009b; Nowell and Jackson, 1996)
The skull of Eurasian lynx has characteristics typical of other felids : a short rostrum, rounded top, small M1, and lack of M2. They have features shared by other Carnivora as well: large, well-developed canines, and well-developed carnassial teeth. Unlike most other felids, Eurasian lynx have lost one upper premolar giving them the dental formula: I3/3 C1/1 P2/2 M1/1. ("Eurasian Lynx Online Information System for Europe", 2007)
Other Physical Features: Endothermic; Homoiothermic; Bilateral symmetry; Polymorphic
Sexual Dimorphism: Male larger
- Nowell, K., P. Jackson. 1996. Wild Cats: Status survey and conservation action plan. Cambridge, U.K.: IUCN: The Burlington Press.