Physical Description

 

    The Bobcat looks like a house cat and gets it’s name from it’s short, stumpy tail, which is about 5 inches long, dark on top and white on the bottom. Bobcats are about 2 feet tall. They weigh about 20 pounds. Bobcats are bigger than house cats, but too small to eat people.

 

   Bobcats are light brown and reddish brown. Their fur is spotted when they are babies, but the spots go away when they are grown up. Bobcats’ coats look like a brownish orange gray in the winter and a reddish brown in the summer.

  

    Both Bobcats and house cats keep their claws inside their toes. Their claws are very sharp. When Bobcats leave foot prints, their claws don’t show. (You can tell paw prints of a dog from those of the Bobcat because claw marks do show up in dog tracks, while the Bobcat tracks are without claw marks.)

 

      Like house cats, Bobcats are curious but they are shy. Bobcats never come up to people. They are not very good pets. Bobcats have sharp teeth. Bobcats are carnivores and have the scientific name Felis. It has to do with felines, the cat family.

 

     As you can see, Bobcats and House Cats are similar but they have some important differences.

 

 

Habitat

 

    Bobcats only live in North America. Most Bobcats live in the United States. There are many habitats in which Bobcats live. Most Bobcats live where there are trees such as the Coastal Plain in North Carolina. They like swamps such as the Great Dismal Swamp in the northeast part of our state. Bobcats also live in the Mountain Region of North Carolina. They like open forests that have been there for a long time. Bobcats like their dens to be made of hollow trees, rock piles, or brush piles.

 

    Bobcats don’t only live in North Carolina. They also live in other places. Bobcats mostly choose places with lots of prey. Bobcats are also found in Mexico. There, they live in dry desserts and dry oak forests. In the United States they live in forests in the North.

   

    Many plants and animals live with the Bobcats in the Great Dismal Swamp. Some of the animals are Black Bears, Otters, Bats, Raccoons, Minks, Gray Fox, Red Fox, Gray Squirrels, White Tailed Deer, Cotton Mouth snakes, and Cane Brake rattle snakes. There are more animals that live with the Bobcat. They are the Copperhead snake, Spotted turtles, Yellow-Bellied turtles, lizards, salamanders, frogs, toads, and wood ducks.

                                                                                                                                  

 

     There are also a large variety of plants that live in the Great Dismal Swamp. Some of them are the Beech tree, the Loblolly tree, the Pond Pine tree, the American Elm and Tulip tree, Swamp White Oak tree, Water Oak tree, and Sycamore tree. 

 

    There are also many plants and animals that live in the mountains. Some of the animals are Black Bears, River Otters, Cougars, Bald Eagles, White Tailed Deer, Panthers, Golden Eagles, Squirrels, and Chipmunks.   Some of the plants that live in the mountains are Wild Flowers, Red Maple Trees, Lady Slipper Flowers, Dog Hobble Flowers, Dog Wood Flowers, Sourwood Flowers, Bloodroot Flowers, Joepye Flowers, Fire Pink Flowers, Butterfly Flowers, Foam Flowers, Magnolia Trees, Rhododendron Flowers, and Fraser Tree.

 

     The Bobcat lives in other places, but the Coastal Plain and the Mountain Region are the most popular in North Carolina. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Chain

 

 

    Bobcats eat a variety of animals such as rabbits, rodents, birds, bats, and deer. Adult deer are hunted in the winter. They also eat sheep and goats. They crawl up behind their prey and then pounce so they can kill the animal and eat it.

 

    Bobcats are consumers because they eat other living things to get their energy.  One of the Bobcat’s favorite foods is squirrel. Squirrels eat nuts and seeds. Nuts come from oak trees so the sun provides energy for the oak trees. When a Bobcat dies, a decomposer such as a vulture, will come eat it.

 

    Each animal in the food chain has an important part. If any animal in the food chain disappears, all the animals would be affected. If the Bobcat became extinct, the rabbits and squirrels would increase population, but other animals eat rabbits, too, such as foxes. Then the foxes would increase in population because there would be more rabbits for them to eat.   

 

    As you can see, the Bobcat is part of a very complicated food chain.                                                           

 

 

 

   

 

Guided Tour

 

     Well, the sun is coming up and it’s morning; time to go see my friends!   Hello, my name is Bob the bobcat. My relatives live in the mountains and swamps. I live in the Great Dismal Swamp. The Great Dismal Swamp is a swampy marshy place with lots of trees, grass, shrubs, lakes, and rivers.        

 

     Oh! Here come my friends Otter, raccoon, and lizard. Otter spends most of his time in the river. Raccoon spends his time in the on land.   Oh no! Here comes Mr. Copperhead snake! He is a Grandfather snake and has been trying to catch me for years. He has never caught me because the color of my coat helps me blend in with my surroundings.  Mr. Copperhead’s skin helps him blend in, too. He’s one predator that I don’t want to mess with.  Otter and raccoon will have to go home in an emergency like this!

 

     I start my tour in the woods. The Great Dismal Swamp is full of adventures so you will see a lot of things. Oh! There’s a Red Maple Tree and a Cypress Tree right beside it!  Oh and there’s toad. Toad has just moved here so the only friend he has is frog.

 

     It is noon and it is getting hot. Now lets go into the lake. The lake is sandy with lots of salamanders. There is a lot of adventure there, too. Oh look! There are fish and otter. We can say hi to otter and watch him catch some fish.  Now lets go to some more parts of the river. Oh! There’s toad and frog again! Lets go on land again and search for some more things. There’s a Sweet Gum Tree! There’s a Gray Squirrel in it. A Gray Squirrel! That can be a good prey item for a carnivore like me.  Now it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry. 

 

     Let’s go further into the woods. There’s a Water Oak Tree. No wonder, we’re by another lake. There’s a Wood Duck! There’s a spotted turtle and a yellowbellied turtle!

 

    Well it’s getting dark and it’s time for me to start hunting. I hoped you liked your tour! See ya!

   

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

”An Introduction to Food Chains” designed by erika sass, Loyola Marymount  University.  Posted on March 21, 2002.  Accessed in October 2002.

http://www.lmu.edu/education/edcourse/ed634/spring02/foodchain/foodchain.htm

Note: Author and e-mail were not available. 

 

“Bobcat (lynx rufus floridanus)” Authored by Michael Wisenbaker.  Sponsored by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Accessed in October 2002.

http://www.floridawildlifemagazine.com/species/bobcat.htm

Note:   e-mail address and post date  were unavailable.

 

“CSG Species Accounts: Bobcat (Lynx rufus)” Sponsored by  The World Conservation Union.   Accessed in October 2002.

http://lynx.uio.no/jon/lynx/rufus-04.htm

Note: Author, e-mail address, and post date were unavailable. 

 

“Bobcat (Felis rufus or Lynx rufus)” Sponsored by the Pelotes Island Nature Preserve .  Accessed in October 2002.

http://pelotes.jea.com/AnimalFact/Mammal/bobcat.htm

Note: Author, e-mail address, and post date were unavailable. 

 

“The Great Dismal Swamp: A History” Sponsored by the GREAT DISMAL SWAMP NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. Accessed in October 2002.

http://www.albemarle-nc.com/gates/gdsnwr/

Note: Author, e-mail address, and post date were unavailable. 

 

“PATC - Bob Pickett's 2002 Trail and Field Notes”Author, Bob Pickett pickett@nadn.navy.mil Accessed in October 2002.

http://www.patc.net/hiking/pickett/pickett2002.html#041902

Note: Post date was unavailable.

 

 

“Grandfather Mountain: Wildlife Habitats” < habitats@grandfather.com>

Sponsored by Grandfather Mountain. Accessed in October 2002.

http://www.grandfather.com/habitats/habitats.htm

Note: Author, and post date were unavailable.

 

“Common Plants in the North Carolina mountains”  Sponsored by: Mountain Land Company <paul@ncmountainland.net> Accessed in October 2002.

http://www.ncmountainland.net/nature/plants.html

Note: Author, and post date were unavailable.