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Bobcat (Lynx Rufus)

Pre-AP Biology. Period 8.
by

Aaron Phan

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Bobcat (Lynx Rufus)

Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) By: Aaron Phan Habitat The bobcat is an adaptable animal that prefers deciduous, coniferous or mixed woodlands but does not only depend on the deep forest as it can easily adapt to new habitats. Bobcats can be found in Southeastern Coastal US. The bobcat's habitat ranges from the humid swamps of Florida to deserts of Arizona or mountainous regions. Its spotted coat can act as a camouflage if swamps or rocky ledges are present. The bobcat population mostly depends on the population of its prey, so a habitat with an abundance of vegetation and lots of prey is ideal. Other factors in the selection of habitat type include protection from severe weather, availability of resting and den sites, cover for hunting and escape, and freedom from disturbance. Niche The bobcat's important role in its habitat is to control its prey population. The bobcat's prey selection depends on location and the abundance, season, and habitat. Some examples of prey include squirrels, rabbits , large ground birds, woodchucks, skunks, and racoons. Bobcat's help maintain homeostasis by controlling its prey population. What do they look like? Bobcats are about twice as large as the domestic/household cat. Bobcats are very similar to their larger relative, the Canada lynx, as they have long legs, large paws, black-tufted ears, and a whiskered face. The majority of bobcats are brown or brownish red with a white underbelly, a short, black-tipped tail and irregular spots throughout. Their fur is very soft and short. The cat is named for its tail, which appears to be cut or "bobbed." Males are typically larger than females, and there is also a geographic variation in size, with bobcats in the north typically being larger than those in the south. Although bobcats are very secretive, they are powerful animals that can pounce on their prey from up to three meters away before delivering a fatal bite, allowing bobcats to also hunt larger animals. Although bobcats are deceptively quiet and not vocal animals, the fierce growls and snarls that they make when they are hiding often leads people to believe that there is a Mountain Lion in the area. Reproduction Bobcats are polygamous breeders meaning that the male will have more than one mate during one breeding season. Male bobcats become sexually mature around 18 months old, while female bobcats become sexually mature at 9 to 12 months old. Breeding can occur during any time of the year, but mostly occurs during December to May. Dens can be found in caves, rock crevices, or hollow logs and trees. After a gestation period of 60 to 70 days, a litter of about 3 kittens is born. The survival of the kittens rely on the abundance and availability of food.Kittens begin to open their eyes for the first time when they are 10 days old, and continue to nurse through the second month.Male bobcats do not help raise the young kittens. Kittens remain with the female until the following spring or about 8 months. Genetic Variation A genetic variation in bobcats is fur color. Base coloration in bobcats can be light gray, yellowish-brown, buff, brown, or reddish-brown. Bobcats benefit from different fur colors because it camouflages the animal in its habitat.

Another genetic variation in bobcats is striped or spotted markings which acts like a camouflage in a wide range of environments. Related Species A closely related animal to the bobcat is the Canadian Lynx (Lynx Canadensis).This mammal has very thick fur that is light brown or gray with light black spots. It has large ears with long black tufts at the ends. Its tail is short with a black tip at the end.

Another closely related animal is the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx). This animal has grey, rusty, or yellow fur with three main coat patterns: spotted, striped, and solid. The belly, the front of the neck, the inside of the limbs, and the ears are white. The tail is short, with a solid black tip. Eurasian lynx have long legs, sharp retractable claws, a round face, and triangular ears. Eurasian Lynx Canadian Lynx What will forest fires do to the environment? Forest fires are devastating natural disasters that disrupts many habitats and environments around the world. The total bobcat population would decrease tremendously, if a forest fire were to occur in their environment (Southeastern Coastal US). Habitat destruction poses a much greater threat to animals than the fire itself. The bobcats' environment would be demolished as most plants would be burned, food sources would vanish and dens would be annihilated. Immediately after a forest fire, bobcats would be forced to move to other areas in order to find food and shelter. The length of time bobcats are forced to move out of the burned area depends on the size and severity of the burn, as well as the season during which the burn takes place. Bobcats must adapt and find alternative food sources and shelter. The only food sources that would be available after a forest fire would be small animals such as squirrels or adapted plants and insects. Some shelter alternatives would be nearby swamps or other unburned forests. Key Terms Here are some key terms that will be used throughout this presentation. It is important to know these terms to be able to fully understand the information that will be presented. Adapt: to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly.

Genetic Variation:Variations of genomes between members of species, or between groups of species thriving in different parts of the world as a result of genetic mutation.

Evolution: The change in the frequency of alleles over time.

Habitat: The place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows Who will survive? Due to the lack of food sources and limited shelter, bobcats without the necessary traits will die and bobcats with the mandatory traits will survive. To be able to survive after and during a forest fire, bobcats with wide eyes, long legs and are light in weight will most likely survive a forest fire. Bobcats must have wide eyes to be able to have a wide-angle view of their surroundings at top speed and to prevent falling or tripping over fallen trees, tree roots, or twigs. It is essential for bobcats to be able to escape a forest fire as quick as they can, so bobcats with long legs will be able to jump high and far over anything in their path to avoid tripping and injuring themselves. In addition, bobcats must be lightweight, so its muscles don't have that much weight to carry and to be able to run faster as seconds are very valuable when escaping a forest fire. Those without these traits will die off and be unable to reproduce, creating a greater chance in the gene pool for offspring to have the necessary traits to survive. What adaptations would bobcats need to develop to survive forest fires? After many years of forest fires in the area, there will be a noticeable change in characteristics or traits. Natural selection will occur and only bobcats with the necessary traits will survive and reproduce. Adaptations that might be present in bobcats after many years of forest fires may be similar to a cheetah as they have an oversized and powerful heart (to pump enormous amounts of blood), large nostrils, and lungs. Bobcats will need these traits to have a fast and deep air intake to be able to sprint at full speed without any complications as being able to flee forest fires quickly for bobcats is vital for survival. Another adaptation that bobcats may develop is an aerodynamic body structure that consists of a slender body, small head, flattened rib cage and long, thin legs to minimize air resistance. By having an aerodynamic body structure, bobcats will be able to escape forest fires in time to survive. Since bobcats are already very adaptable animals, they can easily change environments and find food, shelter and dens without any problems. What will bobcats look after many years? Works Cited (MLA) "Canada Lynx (Lynx Canadensis)." Canada Lynx. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. <http://www.wotcat.com/Mammal/Canada-Lynx/Lynx/canadensis.html>.

"Bobcat." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/bobcat/>

"Basic Facts About Bobcats." Bobcat. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2013. <http://www.defenders.org/bobcat/basic-facts>.

"Bobcat - Lynx Rufus." - NatureWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/bobcat.htm>.

"Animal Diversity Web." ADW: Lynx Rufus: INFORMATION. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Lynx_rufus/>.

"Reproduction." Reproduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. <http://www.rw.ttu.edu/sp_accounts/bobcat/reproduction.htm>.

"DEEP: Wildlife." DEEP: Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. <http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?A=2723>.

"Bobcat." Bobcat. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2013. <http://www.sibr.com/mammals/M166.html>.

"Bobcat | Colorado Parks and Wildlife." Bobcat | Colorado Parks and Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/Profiles/Mammals/Pages/Bobcat.aspx>.
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