Lynx (Lynx lynx)

The lynx (Lynx lynx) is the only wild feline in Finland. As a typical cat, it is the most consummate predator amongst all large carnivores. Its diet consists almost exclusively of mammals and birds. In the olden days, any talk about the lynx was likely to focus on its valuable fur.

In the Middle Ages, the beautiful spotted fur of the lynx was a highly desirable and quite expensive luxury item in Scandinavia and Central Europe. Fur hunters could get their full year’s wages from selling just one pelt. In those days, people believed that there was no adversity so great that the beautiful pelt of a lynx could not make up for it.

A lynx in summer coat in the midst of trees. A lynx in summer coat. Photo: Hannu Huttu
A close-up of a lynx licking its lips. Lynx. Photo: Lassi Rautiainen.

Description of the lynx

In its appearance, the lynx is a typical cat. In summer, its coat has a reddish grey tone, but in the winter it turns a greyish white. The coat has brown or black spots and streaks, but some individuals have almost no spots. The legs of the lynx are longer in proportion than those of the domestic cat, and the back legs are longer than the front ones. Like all felines, the lynx has the ability to retract its claws completely. The lynx uses its claws for hunting, climbing trees or when walking on a slippery surface. While claw marks can usually not be seen in its tracks, they may be visible when the lynx has been walking in soft snow.The lynx is the most predator-like of our large predators. 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 lynx's legs are relatively longer than those of domestic cats and it has the ability to withdraw its claws like other felines. It uses its claws when hunting and climbing trees. Generally the claws are not visible in the lynx's tracks, but it might use its claws for additional support on hard snow.

Lynx caterwaul

Lynx tracks

The lynx leaves tracks that are typical of felines. The lynx has four toes that are visible in its tracks. The digital pads on the lynx's paw look small and round, sometimes they even resemble thin fingertips. When it moves the lynx keeps its sharp claws inside the paws, except in certain special ca...