Lynx's diet and hunting behaviour

The lynx is a carnivore. Its list of prey animals is very long and encompasses everything from small rodents and birds to deer and reindeer. Hares and white-tailed deer are the lynx's preferred prey animals and in Lapland the lynx also eats a lot of reindeer. The lynx's teeth are not very well-suited for eating frozen meat. For this reason the lynx does not really feed on carcasses in the winter.

The lynx is a carnivore

Its list of prey animals is very long and encompasses everything from small rodents and birds to deer and reindeer. Hares and white-tailed deer are the lynx's preferred prey animals and in Lapland the lynx also eats a lot of reindeer.


How does the lynx hunt?

The lynx sneaks up on its prey and catches it by surprise with a quick pouncing attack. Large prey animals have neat bite marks in their necks, and often the lynx can only eat a portion of the prey's hind section. The lynx may sometimes cover its kills up, but it does not return to the carcass as surely as a bear does. In the south the lynx can better utilise the animals it kills, but the severe sub-zero temperatures in the north often prevent it from eating the entire animals.

An animal killed by a lynx will have bite marks in its throat and trachea that are visible upon closer inspection. Some carcasses also have small holes made by the lynx's sharp canines that become visible if the throat and trachea are opened. The distance between the lynx's canines is between 25–35 millimetres.

If the lynx isn't able to get to the animal's throat, it will try to bite it in the back of the neck instead. However, the lynx will never bite the animal below that point like wolverines often do. Sometimes the belly or sides of the prey animal display signs of the lynx's claws. These kinds of marks are unique to the lynx. The scene of a lynx kill rarely shows signs of a struggle.

It would seem the lynx begins eating the animal from its thighs and shoulders. It will not touch the animal's head or the upper part of its neck. The animal's lungs and stomach are also left intact. The lynx does not usually store its kill, but it may cover it up temporarily, especially the parts it has opened.