Bobcat - Research Paper Example

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Bobcat The Bobcat is a medium sized mammal which originates from the southern part of North America. It belongs to the Felidae cat family and has been dated back to approximately 1,7 million years ago during the Irvingtonian age…
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[Teacher’s Bobcat The Bobcat is a medium sized mammal which originates from the southern part of North America. It belongs to the Felidae cat family and has been dated back to approximately 1,7 million years ago during the Irvingtonian age. Though this species predominantly occupies North America, it is widespread and highly adaptable with twelve subspecies being recognized in the northern part of Mexico, South of Canada, and several parts of the United States. The species prefers a wooded environment, however, can also live in semi desert areas and swamps. The species is approximately double the size of an average domestic cat. The species tends to reserved, hence, they are rarely seen by the public. The Bobcats vary in their color, a phenotype which is dependent on the animal’s geographic location. This paper will analyze Lynx rufus, its physical characteristics, behavior, reproductive traits, predators and some interesting fact about the animal. The Bobcat is the smallest member of the Lynx species (Lariviere et al., 1-8). They range from 47 to 126cm in length and tails which are approximately 16cm long (Lariviere et al., 1-8). An adult male is approximately 15kg. As mentioned above, the phenotype of the animal varies depending on the region from grayish-brown to tan. In certain surroundings the bobcat has spots that are utilized as camouflage from predators. It has pointed black tipped ears and a white underside. The bobcat also appears to have a wide face which is a result of extended hair below the ears. Its eyes are yellow with dark pupils and a red-pinkish nose (Lariviere et al., 1-8). The animal’s eyes physiologically adapted for nocturnal activity and other senses of that are enhanced include vision, smell and hearing (Newbury, 12-32). Lynx rufus is crepuscular and is constantly on the move before sunset until midnight and from dawn until sunrise. On a daily basis the animal moves approximately 10km (Fraser, 81-96). In the winter and fall seasons, the Bobcats are diurnal as they accustom themselves to the behavior of their prey. The bobcats often habit hollow trees and rocks and often my mark their territory with feces and urine. They also mark their territory with unique claw marks on trees (Fraser, 81-96). The males are responsible for patrolling the homes, which may include female territory. However, the females and males do not interact until the breeding season. The male bobcats often attempt to avoid each other in order to reduce the chances of an injury occurring during a fight (Fraser, 81-96). As mentioned above, male and female bobcats only interact during mating season (White, 30-35). Both species are not restricted to one partner and often mate with multiple partners. The female go through a gestation period of approximately 9 weeks. A female bobcat often gives birth to a letter approximately 3 to 6 kittens (Fraser, 81-96). This procedure takes place in an occluded and safe den. Bobcats are born blind and often gain their sight after 10 days (Lariviere et al., 1-8). The main diet for the kittens is their mother’s milk which they consume until they are able to hunt. Births often occur early in the spring or late in the winter with the kittens remaining with their mother for a period of approximately 8 months. At this age they are able to hunt and fend for themselves (Lariviere et al., 1-8). The males not often included in raising the young. The bobcats are carnivores and mainly feed on hares, rabbits, lizards, birds and mice (Riley et al., 5-13). However, depending on the diet they can hunt larger prey such as deer or eat fresh carrion (Riley et al., 5-13). Bobcats hunt in an elusive manner utilizing the element of surprise. The often sneak up on the prey night and pounce on it with a large amount of force. In fact, they have the strength to kill animals which are much larger than them (Riley et al., 5-13). Bobcats are often the dominant animal in their territories hence they have very few predators. Their contracts mainly include wolves and cougars. The kittens are more vulnerable and their predators include owls and coyotes. However, the biggest threat to the species is humans which hunt them for their fur. In addition, their habitants of being destroyed to create more living space. Interesting facts about the Bobcat include its ability to pounce on an animal from over 3 m away. This skill has enabled them to kill larger prey. In certain areas, they have been mistaken for mountain lions due to their loud growls. The animals also share a striking resemblance with the Red Lynx (Lariviere et al., 1-8). In conclusion, it is safe to say the Bobcat is one of the many animals that are at risk of extinction. Their soft fur and the destruction of their habitats have caused a population to decrease. These animals are not dangerous to humans and it is the duty of reserves to protect their species. Words: 825 Works Cited Fraser, A. F. "Principal species of wild cats." Feline behaviour and welfare (2012): 81-96. Lariviere, Serge, and Lyle R. Walton. "Lynx rufus." Mammalian Species 563 (1997): 1-8. Newbury, Roberta Kay. "Behavioral ecology of the bobcat in a region with deep winter snows." (2013). Riley, S. P. D., et al. "Bobcats (Lynx rufus)." ), Urban carnivores: ecology, conflict, and conservation. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD(2010) White, Stacy J. Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) Reproduction in Southeastern Kentucky. Diss. Eastern Kentucky University, 2010. Read More
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