Description of the lynx

The lynx's legs are relatively longer than those of domestic cats and like other felines it has the ability to withdraw its claws. The claws are generally not visible in the lynx's tracks.

The lynx is Finland's only wild feline

  • Body length: 70–140 cm (tail 15–25 cm)
  • Weight: usually between 8–25 kg, the male is larger than the female

In the summer the lynx's coat is a reddish grey but in the winter it turns into a grey-white colour. The fur has brown or black spots and streaks in it. The ears have tufts of black hair on the tips. From the back the lynx's ears are light and very visible in the dusk. The lynx's round eyes are yellow and the pupils are round.

The lynx's legs are relatively longer than those of domestic cats and like other felines it has the ability to withdraw its claws. The claws are only visible in the lynx's tracks in exceptional cases, such as on hard snow. The tip of the lynx's tail is black.

Anatomy

The most important senses for the lynx are its sight and hearing. Its short muzzle is indicative of its relatively poorly developed sense of smell.

The lynx is the purest carnivore of our four large carnivore species and its skull is the most specialised one of the bunch. Its canines are especially long, sharp and flattened like knife blades. They are very effective killing tools. The lynx's carnassial teeth are very strong, well-developed and the ideal shape for cutting meat. The molars, which are usually tasked with grinding and mincing coarser food, are next to non-existent. The structure of the lynx's teeth indicates that it can have trouble cutting up frozen meat, not to mention coarser food.

The lynx's jaws are relatively short and powerful and the prominent zygomatic arch offers a good attachment point for the animal's large jaw muscles. The lynx's skull doesn't have bone ridges, but its high shape provides a wide attachment surface for the large muscles at the back of the lynx's neck. These muscles work as shock absorbers and distribute the impacts the animal incurs when it hunts to the entire body.