Thursday 15 December 2011

Is the bobcat a lynx?

Yes, the bobcat is part of the genus lynx. There are four cats that are part of this genus:
  1. Lynx lynx - Eurasian lynx
  2. Lynx canadensis - Canada lynx
  3. Lynx pardinus - Iberian lynx
  4. Lynx rufus - the bobcat
They all look like a lynx, which is helpful. It is the name that misleads as the three cats other than the bobcat have "lynx" in their name, whereas the bobcat does not.

The full classification for the bobcat is as follows: Kingdom: Animalia - Phylum: Chordata - Class: Mammalia - Order: Carnivora - Family: Felidae - Genus: Lynx - Species: L. rufus.

The group called "genus" is low in the taxonomic ranking. Classification of species is simply organising species in much the same way you organize files. The difference is that scientists use latin terminology, which is a throwback to the 1500s and before when scientists first classified the species.

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