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A lynx  is any of the four species within the Lynx genus of medium-sized wildcats.

The name "lynx" originated in Middle English via Latin from Greek word "λύγξ", derived from the Indo-European root "*leuk-", meaning "light, brightness", in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes.

There is considerable confusion about the best way to classify felids at present, and some authorities classify them as part of the genus Felis.Neither the caracal, sometimes called the Persian lynx or African lynx, nor the jungle cat, called the swamp lynx, is a member of the Lynx genus.

Lynx have short tails and characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears.

They have a ruff under the neck, which has black bars (not very visible), resembling a bow tie.

They have large, padded paws for walking on snow, and long whiskers on the face.Their body colour varies from medium brown to goldish to beige-white; and occasionally, is marked with dark brown spots, especially on the limbs.

All species of lynx also have white fur on their chests, bellies and on the insides of their legs, which are extensions of the chest and belly fur.

Also, the lynx's colouring, fur height and paw size varies by its climate range in the Southwestern United States, the fur and colour are short-haired, dark and the paws are smaller and less padded; as the lynx ranges to its colder northern climates, the fur gets progressively thicker (for warmth), the colour gets lighter (for camouflage) and its paws enlarge and become more padded (for snowy environments).

The paws may become larger than a human hand or foot.

The smallest species are the bobcat and the Canada lynx, while the largest is the Eurasian lynx, with considerable variations within species.