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How fierce is lynx, known as the “Wolf slaughtering machine”, which almost killed all the Wolf?

A lynx, wolf slaughtering machine, emerges contentedly from a wolf den. It’s not the first time for him to eat a wolf cub, and it won’t be the last!

lynx walk out wolf slaughtering machine

In the Nalboki forest of Belarus, lynx and wolves form a fierce competitive relationship, they have almost identical prey, medium-sized herbivores in the forest. Both sides will fight to the death for territory and prey.

However, because body size is smaller, lynx is no match for a pack of wolves, and even when facing with an adult wolf, lynx dare not easily start an attack. But in the competition between the two sides, lynx gained the upper hand, while the wolf was defeated to the point of die sonless.


How did lynx achieve the goal of making wolves’ die sonless?

forest wolf

Lynx is actually the general name of four animals under Lynx species, there is Spanish Lynx, Canada lynx, Bobcat and Eurasian lynx. The Eurasian lynx, which can suppress wolves, is the most powerful subspecies under Lynx.

A lynx looks very similar to a cat, but much larger than a cat. Adult lynx is around 130cm long and weighs 30kg, which is similar to a large dog and slightly smaller than a gray wolf. Therefore, lynx is also being called “big cat”.

The most distinctive feature of lynx from cat in appearance is that it has a cluster of black vertical hair on the tip of its ears, which is very noticeable.

As a feline animal, lynx is also a hunter that enhances its combat skill to the extreme. It has very sensitive sense of smell and hearing, and can follow the scent to find prey, as well as hear the movements of prey from dozens of meters away.

lynx cat in snow
lynx in snow

Lynx is a Nocturnality predator, They will hide and rest in the daytime. At night, they will start to search for prey in the vast territory. When lynx discovers the trail of its prey, it will slowly approach and then launch a surprise attack to kill the prey.

Despite their small size, lynx can prey on larger prey, such as medium-sized herbivores such as roe deer and deer. Sometimes, they can also prey on smaller sub adult wild boars.

Lynxes are very agile and cunning, often hiding behind large trees and launching sudden attacks when their prey is not on guard. Lynx is very good at climbing trees, they can quickly jump on a tree, and can also jump from one tree to another.

lynx hunt a rock sheep
lynx hunt a rock sheep

How can lynx suppress wolves?

You may say that even if lynx is agile, its body size is much smaller than wolf, and lynx lives alone, while wolves live in groups. So how can lynx suppress wolves? You can understand by looking at following data

Belarusian zoologists have observed and recorded the battle between lynx and wolves in the forest of Naliboki for 20 years, and calculated the relationship between the distribution density of lynx and the survival rate of wolf pups under half a year old from 1997 to 2017.

The results showed a reverse correlation between the distribution density of lynx and the survival rate of wolves under half a year old. That ‘s means, the higher the distribution density of lynx, the lower the survival rate of wolf pups under half a year old.

Moreover, zoologists have observed Lynx’s sneak attack on wolf den for many times, and even recorded at least 16 cases of Lynx’s active hunting of wolves, including 5 adult wolves, which is very rare in nature.

lynx hunt a rabbit
lynx hunt a rabbit

From 1999 to 2011, the distribution density of lynx in the Nariboki Forest was 0.45 per square kilometer, and the survival rate of wolf pups under half a year old was as high as 70%.

Between 2016 and 2017, when the distribution density of lynx increased to 2-5 per square kilometer, the survival rate of wolf pups under half a year old was only 4%, almost extinct.

So, lynx’s suppression of wolves is mainly reflected in hunting wolf cubs, which makes it difficult for wolves to reproduce. In the long run, the population of wolves in the Nariboki forest will sharply decrease.

lynx and wolf
lynx and wolf

Some people may wonder, aren’t wolves social animals? How does a lone lynx manage to steal wolf cubs? The reason is simple.

Firstly, the wolf packs in the Nariboki Forest are very small in size, many of which are in the state of a wolf couple. After the wolf couple gives birth to their cubs, they leave them in the nest when they go hunting.

And the lynx has already stepped on a spot near the wolf den before. As long as the wolf couple goes hunting, the lynx will take the opportunity to sneak into the wolf den and kill the wolf cubs, feasting on them.

Secondly, lynx is very alert and adept at climbing trees. When adult wolves return from hunting, lynx can sense in advance and immediately came out from the wolf den, quickly climb to a tree to escape, but wolves are powerless to do so.

In another words, lynx takes good use of its own advantages and specializes in slaughtering wolf cubs. On the one hand, it can fill the stomach, and on the other hand, it can limit the number of wolves in the future, reduce competitors, kill two birds with one stone.

lynx climbing a tree
lynx climbing a tree

Sometimes, when a lynx encounters a lone wolf in the forest, it will also launch an active attack. With its flexible body shape and more powerful jumping ability, the lynx quickly attacks the wolf and hunts down some adult or subadult wolves of the same size as the lynx.

How do wolves cope with the hunter of lynx?


Of course, wolves did not sit idly by, they adjusted their breeding strategies several times in order to reproduce. In order to avoid the lynx’s slaughter of wolf cubs, some wolf couples even moved out of the forest during the breeding season and went to the forest edge to live.

Lynx, on the other hand, are highly dependent on the forest, following wolves out of the forest is extremely dangerous, so lynx will not attack wolf pups who not live in the forest. But the wolf couple faces a new problem, which is that preys outside the forest is difficult to capture and they do not have enough food to feed their young.

wolf couple
wolf couple

So the wolfs had to move back to the forest and continue to fight against the lynx. However, this time the wolves became smarter and found more helpers, forming larger groups with other lone wolves as much as possible. A wolf pack is no longer a couple.

After the first wolf couple gave birth to their cubs, they would leave more than one adult wolf to take care of them every time they went hunting. Although this increased the difficulty of hunting, it allowed the wolf cubs to survive.

When two species living in the same habitat have the same Ecological niche and their prey overlap, they will form a fierce competition relationship, and they will try to suppress each other’s population size.

wolf chase by a lynx
wolf chase by a lynx

Lynx and wolf are in competitive relationship. Lynx cannot defeat adult wolves most of the time, but it can attack wolf cubs, which is why Lynx is known as the “wolf slaughtering machine”!


What else do you know about lynx?Welcome comment.

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