Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Animal Spotlight: The Bobcat

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The bobcat is one of three main felines that lives in North America, the others being the Canadian lynx and the mountain lion.  (Although other cats, like the jaguar, jaguarundi and ocelot, do occasionally make it up to Texas and Mexico, generally they just live in Central and South America).  Labeled "Least Concern" by the IUCN, the bobcat averages around three feet in length, and is named such for the short, "bobbed" tail.
A bobcat at The Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.  Note the short, stubby tail.
The bobcat is quite adaptable; it inhabits almost every single environment that the Continental United States has to offer, as well as most of Mexico.  There are thirteen recognized sub-species of bobcat.  Furthermore, despite its size, can be strong enough to take down small deer.  Here is a link to a video about a bobcat that I found to be quite interesting.


When we went camping last week, twice did we see paw prints that looked too small to be mountain lion prints, and were most likely bobcat prints.  I was quite excited; unfortunately (but not surprisingly) we didn't see any of the cats themselves.  Here is one picture from each of the times we saw the tracks. 

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