Eurasian Lynx: The Silent Hunter

Image: mpiet via Wikimedia Commons

The first thing you might notice about the Eurasian Lynx might be it’s unique ears, but don’t spend too long staring. These animals are the one of the largest predators in Europe and should not be underestimated.

The Eurasian Lynx is the largest among the lynx family, typically weighing around 50 to 60 pounds, However, some males can approach 100 pounds, pushing the definitions of the “mid-sized” cat category.

Eurasian lynxes roam the cold, lonely expanses of Northern and Eastern Europe, Russia, and interior China. Like its North American and Iberian close relatives, the Eurasian lynx is notoriously elusive, silently hunting across vast territories of the forest, only rarely allowing themselves to be seen by humans. Lynx have uniquely adapted feet for treading in deep snow; their furry paws are huge and broad, acting like snowshoes and distributing their weight so they won’t sink.

These cats are fantastically effective predators, and can seemingly take on anything they find in their chilly, boreal home. They tackle standard prey such as hares, rodents, weasels, and fowl, but will unflinchingly stalk and successfully attack boars, young moose, and deer. In fact, Eurasian lynxes are the only lynx species known to regularly hunt hoofed animals—a habit more attributed to the “big cat” species.

Unfathomably strong for their size, Eurasian lynxes are known to take down elk in excess of 450 pounds.