Lynx vs Snow Leopard Who will win this battle between these two cats? The lynx is a solitary cat that haunts the remote northern forests of North America, Europe, and Asia. Lynx are covered with beautiful thick fur that keeps them warm during frigid winters. Their large paws are also furry and hit the ground with a spreading toe motion that makes them function as natural snowshoes. The Snow Leopard is sometimes known as the ‘Ounce’. It is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia and well known for its beautiful fur. Although sharing its name with the common leopard, the snow leopard is not believed to be closely related to the Leopard or the other members of the Pantherine group and is classified as the sole member of the genus ‘Uncia uncia’. DESCRIPTION Lynx are medium sized cats whose coats of fur vary in colour according to their climate range. All species of lynx have white fur on their chests, bellies and on the insides of their legs. Lynx have short tails, long whiskers and characteristic tufts of black hair on the tip of the ears. Lynx have long front and hind legs that support their thick set body which measures 26 – 51 inches in length and weighs about 11 – 37 pounds. Lynx have a tail length of 2 – 6 inches. Like all cats, the lynx has exceptional night vision due to a layer of mirror-like cells in their eyes. The Snow Leopard has a white fur coat with brownish/yellow tinges that is covered with rings of brown/black rosettes/spots. The markings help camouflage it from prey. Their fur is long and woolly and helps protect the cat from extreme cold. The snow leopards head, which has small ears and a distinctive heavy brow, is rounded and comparatively small for their body size, which can be up to 1.3 metres in length and weigh up to around 70 kilograms. Their long tail, which can measure as much as 90 centimetres, helps the cats balance as they move over rugged and often snowy terrain. The powerful limbs of the snow leopard are relatively short for their body size and are supported by large, powerful paws. HABITAT Lynx cats prefer cold, wilderness areas and high altitude forests with dense coverings of grass, reeds and shrubs. Lynx cats have very large ranges, by far the largest range of any other felids. Lynx make dens in rock crevices or under ledges. In harsh, severe weather and when breeding, lynx take shelter in caves or in hollow trees or logs. Although the Iberian lynx appears not to fear man, it will not live in areas where permanent settlements of humans are established. During the summer, the snow leopard inhabits mountainous meadows above the tree line in rocky alpine regions at an altitude of 8,900 feet to 20,000 feet. In winter, snow leopards descend to forests at lower altitudes. The snow leopard is generally associated with generally rocky terrain such as high valley ridges, rocky outcrops and mountain passes. An individual snow leopard inhabits a well defined home range, however, it does not defend its range aggressively when trespassed by other individuals. DIET Lynx cats are carnivores, diurnal hunters and feed up on a wide range of animals including reindeer, roe deer, small red deer, caribou, chamois, birds, small mammals, such as snowshoe hares, fish, sheep and goats. Although the lynx hunts mainly on the ground, it can climb trees and it can also swim, catching fish to assist its diet. Although not a timid hunter the lynx will rarely contest its prey if confronted by other carnivores and will leave the prey uneaten. Snow Leopards are opportunists when it comes to feeding. They are strictly carnivores and eat whatever meat they can find. One of the most beautiful of the cats, snow leopards are also exceptional athletes capable of making huge leaps over ravines. They can also bring down prey almost three times their own size including domestic livestock. Their prey includes the ibex, markhor, bharal, deer, boar, marmots, pikas and small rodents. The snow leopard is an ambush predator and will attack its prey from above when possible. It is an agile animal that can jump as far as 14 metres which helps it catch prey and traverse through the mountains. BEHAVIOUR Lynx cats are usually solitary creatures, however, small groups of lynx sometimes hunt and travel together. Male territories are larger and can overlap several female territories. Lynx cats are agile climbers and spend most of their time on the branches of trees, waiting for prey such as weaker mammals and terrestrial birds to pass beneath them. Lynx are very vocal animals and they can make an amazing variety of hissing, chattering and yowling sounds. Snow Leopards are crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk, in their hunting activities. Commonly, the cat is a solitary hunter, however, it may share the task with its mate during breeding season. REPRODUCTION The lynx breeding season occurs in late winter. Female lynx give birth to 2 – 4 kittens after a gestation period of 56 – 70 days, once a year. The kittens weigh 200 – 300 grams at birth. The female will nurse the kittens for 5 months, although some kittens can eat meat at one month old. The gestation period for the female snow leopard is around 98 days. Due to harsh weather conditions in the alpine regions, cubs are usually born in springtime with mating taking place in late winter. The litter size is usually between 1 – 4 cubs. The cubs weigh between 320 – 708 grams at birth. The cubs follow their mother on hunts at 3 months old and remain with her through their first winter. CONSERVATION STATUS The hunting of lynx cats is illegal in many countries. The Spanish Lynx is critically endangered, facing extinction and the killing of any individuals has been outlawed since the 1970s in Spain and Portugal. In 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Canadian Lynx a Threatened species. Lynx are hunted for their fur and by farmers to protect their farm animals, as they are considered to be a predator of domestic animals. In 1972, the IUCN placed the snow leopard on its Red List of Threatened Species as ‘Endangered’. Due to the high demand for their coats, snow leopards are illegally hunted for the fur trade. The pelts are a sought-after commodity in places like Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia where they are turned into coats and other garments. Snow leopard bones and body parts are also used for traditional Asian medicine. This time the fight is quite close. Both cats belong to the same mean class. Taking into account the animals that everyone hunts, we can say that the snow leopard is stronger both defensively and offensively. But that doesn’t mean the lynx has no chance in front of him. For example, in a battle between a mature lynx and a young snow leopard, the lynx will surely win. I’m curious what is your opinion about this fight? Who do you think will win you? I am waiting for your answers in the comments!