Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 28/11/2011

Here kitty, kitty.


 Eurasian Lynx, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

Aren’t those eyes hypnotic? (Sorry, Dear Reader, I should have warned you yesterday that I would be asking questions early on today). Lynx are fast becoming one of my favourite creatures to photograph, especially as they always look pleased to pose (their markings make them look like they’re permanently smiling), well, that’s when they’re not hiding from view.

Ironically, there has also been the patter of tiny paws this year, and when the female made a den to give birth in right in front of the enclosure where everyone could see. Unfortunately the kittens are quite grown up now, so I haven’t managed to snap them at their cutest but they still retain some of their appeal even though they’ll soon be as large as their parents.

Lynx are found on most continents, with the exception of Australia, and could therefore be considered the most wide spread of the “big cats” (even though they’re medium sized). Lions are found through out Africa and in a limited pocket of Asia, Tigers are exclusively Asian, Leopards are probably the most wide spread in terms of numbers but aren’t present in North American (and only as the subspecies, the Jaguar, in South America) – whereas the Lynx is found thoughout Europe and Asia, in North America as the Bobcat, Iberian Lynx in Spain and the massively fluffy Canadian Lynx in…. well, I’ll leave you to figure that one out. The more observant of you out there will have noticed I’ve missed out one continent of note.. Africa.. and I’ve tried to gloss over it, Dear Reader, as the species from there is a contentious one. The Caracal, a species found through out Africa, Asia and the Middle East, was once refered to as the Persian Lynx but has been classified in it’s own genus and is no longer considered part of the Lynx genus (but for this article, we will so the whole premiss of this paragraph works – anyway, who said Journalism had to be based on facts of any sort*)

Big cat lovers out there may notice a similarity between the Lynx and another medium-big cat I’ve photographed recently, though one with less fluff… the Serval. This African species is actually related to the Caracal more than the Lynx but there is no doubt that there is a similarity – but then when evolution has been at work for ten of thousands of years on an apex predator (Lynx, you’re number one in your market space**), hunting similar prey and from similar origins, things will tend to resemble one another… look at cars these days.. this doesn’t explain where duck billed platypus come from though (I suspect higher forces were playing something akin to Mr Potato Head (or beetle drive for those of us who remember if) and this was one of the loser’s efforts***)… or Jedward.

I did hear something rather amusing on the radio this morning (Radio 4, Dear Reader); there was an article how the UK is lagging behind in terms of people graduating in computer studies and that we need to improve our standing in the world in this discipline. That in itself isn’t remotely funny, what had me chuckling was a quote from some politician or other “Computer code should be taught in schools, it should be the new Latin”. This works in two ways, Latin isn’t taught in that many schools in the UK and goes to show how out of touch some or all of the politicians are (not so much funny as ironic) but what did amuse me is that he wanted to teach a dead language to students that is of little use in the work place (with a few exceptions), and as we know how fast moving politics in the UK can be, it’s probably be something like Delphi!

*The Leveson Inquiry is testament to that.
** I really have been around the US Software industry for far too long (one week? one month? or a life sentence, you can make up your own mind there).
***”What not-yet-on-earth have you made there?” God #1,
“Don’t blame me, I kept rolling a 4 each turn, and this was all that was left” God #2
“So what are you going to call it, an Aquatic Mole?” God #1
“I was thinking something like a “suck build batty mouse”, seeing as that’s all the parts I used” God #2
“Hmmm, not really got a ring to it has it… who’s going to believe it exists****? God #1
****This was actually the case in Victorian England, scientists believing explorers had stuck animal parts together.

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Responses

  1. A beautiful mesmerizing image.

    • Thank you – the eyes certainly hold you in their gaze don’t they?

  2. What deep portrait!


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