Categories: Lynx

Why do lynx have big feet?

The Canada lynx has “snowshoe-like feet”. The description explains why Canada lynx have big feet. Also the fur covering the paws is long and dense. The paws can be spread out. All these factors means that this medium sized wild cat can get around nicely in soft snow. This is vital to survival. Apparently lynx paws can support twice the weight of bobcat paws.

Lynx Mother and Cub

The paws of the Eurasian lynx are wide “with well-developed webbing between the toes”. In winter the undersides of the paws are covered with long, dense, shaggy fur. All of these features are designed to allow the Eurasian lynx to travel through deep snow with relative ease.

Lynx versus bobcat paws

For the lynx the weight per surface area of the foot is between 34-60 grams per cm2. This means that the paws of the Eurasian lynx support around three times more weight on snow than that of the forest wildcat.

Canada lynx feet

One of the world’s rarest wild cats is the Iberian lynx. It lives in Portugal and used to be found in Spain. I cannot find a description of the feet of the Iberian lynx. This species of lynx has no snow to navigate. I would suspect that its feet are not as well developed as those of the Canada and Eurasian lynx. As seen on this page the bobcat (a member of the lynx family or lineage) has significantly smaller paws that the Canada lynx.



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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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