The fisher is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North America. It is a member of the mustelid family, is in the monospecific genus Pekania; the fisher is related to, but larger than the American marten. The fisher is a forest-dwelling creature whose range covers much of the boreal forest in Canada to the northern United States. Names derived from aboriginal languages include pekan, pequam and woolang, it is sometimes misleadingly referred to as a fisher cat. Males and females look similar. Adult males weigh 3.5 to 6.0 kilograms. Adult females weigh 2.0 to 2.5 kg. The fur of the fisher varies seasonally, being glossier in the winter. During the summer, the color becomes more mottled; the fisher prefers to hunt in full forest. Although an agile climber, it spends most of its time on the forest floor, where it prefers to forage around fallen trees. An omnivore, the fisher feeds on a wide variety of small animals and on fruits and mushrooms, it prefers the snowshoe hare and is one of the few animals able to prey on porcupines.
Despite its common name, it eats fish. The reproductive cycle of the fisher lasts a year. Female fishers give birth to four kits in the spring, they nurse and care for their kits until late summer, when they are old enough to set out on their own. Females enter estrus shortly after giving leave the den to find a mate. Implantation of the blastocyst is delayed until the following spring, when they give birth and the cycle is renewed. Fishers have few predators besides humans, they have been trapped since the 18th century for their fur. Their pelts were in such demand that they were extirpated from several parts of the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Conservation and protection measures have allowed the species to rebound, but their current range is still reduced from its historic limits. In the 1920s, when pelt prices were high, some fur farmers attempted to raise fishers. However, their unusual delayed reproduction made breeding difficult; when pelt prices fell in the late 1940s, most fisher farming ended.
While fishers avoid human contact, encroachments into forest habitats have resulted in some conflicts. Despite the name "fisher", the animal is not known to eat fish; the name is instead related to the word "fitch", meaning a European polecat or pelt thereof, due to the resemblance to that animal. The name comes from colonial Dutch equivalent visse. In the French language, the pelt of a polecat is called fiche or fichet. In some regions, the fisher is known as a pekan, derived from its name in the Abenaki language. Wejack is an Algonquian word borrowed by fur traders. Other American Indian names for the fisher are Chipewyan thacho and Carrier chunihcho, both meaning "big marten", Wabanaki uskool; the Latin specific name pennanti honors Thomas Pennant, who described the fisher in 1771. Buffon had first described the creature in 1765. Pennant called it a fisher, unaware of Buffon's earlier description. Other 18th-century scientists gave it similar names, such as Schreber, who named it Mustela canadensis, Boddaert, who named it Mustela melanorhyncha.
The fisher was placed in the genus Martes by Smith in 1843. In 2008, advances in DNA analysis allowed a more detailed study of the fisher's evolutionary history; the fisher and the Martes genera were determined to have descended from a common ancestor, but the fisher was distinct enough to put it in its own genus. It was decided to reclassify the fisher as Pekania pennanti. Members of the genus Pekania are distinguished by their four premolar teeth on the upper and lower jaws, its close relative Mustela has just three. The fisher has 38 teeth; the dentition formula is: 126.96.36.199.1.4.2 Some evidence shows that ancestors of the fisher migrated to North America during the Pliocene era between 2.5 and 5.0 million years ago. Two extinct mustelids, M. palaeosinensis and M. anderssoni, have been found in eastern Asia. The first true fisher, M. divuliana, has only been found in North America. M. divuliana is indicated to be related to the Asian finds, which suggests a migration. M. pennanti has been found as early as the Late Pleistocene era, about 125,000 years ago.
No major differences are seen between the modern fisher. Fossil evidence indicates. Three subspecies were identified by Goldman in 1935, M. p. columbiana, M. p. pacifica, M. p. pennanti. Research has debated whether these subspecies could be positively identified. In 1959, E. M. Hagmeier concluded that the subspecies are not separable based on either fur or skull characteristics. Although some debate still exists, in general, the fisher is recognized to be a monotypic species with no extant subspecies. Fishers are a medium-sized mammal, comparable in size to the domestic cat, their bodies are long and low to the ground. The sexes have similar physical features, but they are sexually dimorphic in size, with the male being much larger than the female. Males weigh 3.5 to 6.0 kg. Females weigh 2.0 to 2.5 kg. The largest male fisher recorded weighed 9 kg; the fisher's fur changes with the season and differs between sexes. Males have coarser coats than females. In the early winter, the coats are dense and gl
Taiga known as boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting of pines and larches. The taiga is the world's largest land biome. In North America, it covers most of inland Canada and parts of the northern contiguous United States. In Eurasia, it covers most of Sweden, much of Norway, some of the Scottish Highlands, some lowland/coastal areas of Iceland, much of Russia from Karelia in the west to the Pacific Ocean, areas of northern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, northern Japan. However, the main tree species, the length of the growing season and summer temperatures vary. For example, the taiga of North America consists of spruces. A different use of the term taiga is encountered in the English language, with "boreal forest" used in the United States and Canada to refer to only the more southerly part of the biome, while "taiga" is used to describe the more barren areas of the northernmost part of the biome approaching the tree line and the tundra biome.
Hoffman discusses the origin of this differential use in North America and why it is an inappropriate differentiation of the Russian term. Although at high elevations taiga grades into alpine tundra through Krummholz, it is not an alpine biome. Taiga is the world's second-largest land biome, after deserts and xeric shrublands, covering 17 million square kilometers or 11.5% of the Earth's land area. The largest areas are located in Canada; the taiga is the terrestrial biome with the lowest annual average temperatures after the tundra and permanent ice caps. Extreme winter minimums in the northern taiga are lower than those of the tundra; the lowest reliably recorded temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were recorded in the taiga of northeastern Russia. The taiga or boreal forest has a subarctic climate with large temperature range between seasons, but the long and cold winter is the dominant feature; this climate is classified as Dfc, Dsc and Dwd in the Köppen climate classification scheme, meaning that the short summer lasts 1–3 months and always less than 4 months.
In Siberian taiga the average temperature of the coldest month is between −6 °C and −50 °C. There are some much smaller areas grading towards the oceanic Cfc climate with milder winters, whilst the extreme south and west of the taiga reaches into humid continental climates with longer summers; the mean annual temperature varies from −5 °C to 5 °C, but there are taiga areas in eastern Siberia and interior Alaska-Yukon where the mean annual reaches down to −10 °C. According to some sources, the boreal forest grades into a temperate mixed forest when mean annual temperature reaches about 3 °C. Discontinuous permafrost is found in areas with mean annual temperature below 0 °C, whilst in the Dfd and Dwd climate zones continuous permafrost occurs and restricts growth to shallow-rooted trees like Siberian larch; the winters, with average temperatures below freezing, last five to seven months. Temperatures vary from −54 °C to 30 °C throughout the whole year; the summers, while short, are warm and humid.
In much of the taiga, −20 °C would be a typical winter day temperature and 18 °C an average summer day. The growing season, when the vegetation in the taiga comes alive, is slightly longer than the climatic definition of summer as the plants of the boreal biome have a lower threshold to trigger growth. In Canada and Finland, the growing season is estimated by using the period of the year when the 24-hour average temperature is +5 °C or more. For the Taiga Plains in Canada, growing season varies from 80 to 150 days, in the Taiga Shield from 100 to 140 days; some sources claim 130 days growing season as typical for the taiga. Other sources mention. Data for locations in southwest Yukon gives 80–120 frost-free days; the closed canopy boreal forest in Kenozersky National Park near Plesetsk, Arkhangelsk Province, Russia, on average has 108 frost-free days. The longest growing season is found in the smaller areas with oceanic influences; the shortest growing season is found at the northern taiga–tundra ecotone, where the northern taiga forest no longer can grow and the tundra dominates the landscape when the growing season is down to 50–70 days, the 24-hr average of the warmest month of the year is 10 °C or less.
High latitudes mean that the sun does not rise far above the horizon, less solar energy is received than further south. But the high latitude ensures long summer days, as the sun stays above the horizon nearly 20 hours each day, with only around 6 hours of daylight occurring in the dark winters, depending on latitude; the areas of the taiga inside the Arctic Circle have midnight sun in mid-summer and polar night in mid-winter. The taiga experiences low precipitation throughout the year as rain during the summer months, but as fog and snow; this fog predominant in low-lying areas during and after the thawing of frozen Arctic seas
A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares or 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006. Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, are distributed around the globe. Forests account for 75% of the gross primary production of the Earth's biosphere, contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass. Net primary production is estimated at 21.9 gigatonnes carbon per year for tropical forests, 8.1 for temperate forests, 2.6 for boreal forests. Forests at different latitudes and elevations form distinctly different ecozones: boreal forests near the poles, tropical forests near the equator and temperate forests at mid-latitudes. Higher elevation areas tend to support forests similar to those at higher latitudes, amount of precipitation affects forest composition.
Human society and forests influence each other in both negative ways. Forests serve as tourist attractions. Forests can affect people's health. Human activities, including harvesting forest resources, can negatively affect forest ecosystems. Although forest is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition, with more than 800 definitions of forest used around the world. Although a forest is defined by the presence of trees, under many definitions an area lacking trees may still be considered a forest if it grew trees in the past, will grow trees in the future, or was designated as a forest regardless of vegetation type. There are three broad categories of forest definitions in use: administrative, land use, land cover. Administrative definitions are based upon the legal designations of land, bear little relationship to the vegetation growing on the land: land, designated as a forest is defined as a forest if no trees are growing on it. Land use definitions are based upon the primary purpose.
For example, a forest may be defined as any land, used for production of timber. Under such a land use definition, cleared roads or infrastructure within an area used for forestry, or areas within the region that have been cleared by harvesting, disease or fire are still considered forests if they contain no trees. Land cover definitions define forests based upon the type and density of vegetation growing on the land; such definitions define a forest as an area growing trees above some threshold. These thresholds are the number of trees per area, the area of ground under the tree canopy or the section of land, occupied by the cross-section of tree trunks. Under such land cover definitions, an area of land can only be known as forest if it is growing trees. Areas that fail to meet the land cover definition may be still included under while immature trees are establishing if they are expected to meet the definition at maturity. Under land use definitions, there is considerable variation on where the cutoff points are between a forest and savanna.
Under some definitions, forests require high levels of tree canopy cover, from 60% to 100%, excluding savannas and woodlands in which trees have a lower canopy cover. Other definitions consider savannas to be a type of forest, include all areas with tree canopies over 10%; some areas covered in trees are defined as agricultural areas, e.g. Norway spruce plantations in Austrian forest law when the trees are being grown as Christmas trees and below a certain height; the word forest comes from Middle English, from Old French forest "forest, vast expanse covered by trees". A borrowing of the Medieval Latin word foresta "open wood", foresta was first used by Carolingian scribes in the Capitularies of Charlemagne to refer to the king's royal hunting grounds; the term was not endemic to Romance languages. The exact origin of Medieval Latin foresta is obscure; some authorities claim the word derives from the Late Latin phrase forestam silvam, meaning "the outer wood". Frankish *forhist is attested by Old High German forst "forest", Middle Low German vorst "forest", Old English fyrhþ "forest, game preserve, hunting ground", Old Norse fýri "coniferous forest", all of which derive from Proto-Germanic *furhísa-, *furhíþija- "a fir-wood, coniferous forest", from Proto-Indo-European *perkwu- "a coniferous or mountain forest, wooded height".
Uses of the word "forest" in English to denote any uninhabited area of non-enclosure are now considered archaic. The word was introduced by the Norman rulers of England as a legal term denoting an uncultivated area set aside for hunting by feudal nobility; these hunting forests were not neces
New England is a region composed of six states of the northeastern United States: Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec to the northeast and north, respectively; the Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city as well as the capital of Massachusetts; the largest metropolitan area is Greater Boston with nearly a third of the entire region's population, which includes Worcester, Manchester, New Hampshire, Providence, Rhode Island. In 1620, Puritan Separatist Pilgrims from England established Plymouth Colony, the second successful English settlement in America, following the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia founded in 1607. Ten years more Puritans established Massachusetts Bay Colony north of Plymouth Colony. Over the next 126 years, people in the region fought in four French and Indian Wars, until the English colonists and their Iroquois allies defeated the French and their Algonquian allies in America.
In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced the Salem witch trials, one of the most infamous cases of mass hysteria in history. In the late 18th century, political leaders from the New England colonies initiated resistance to Britain's taxes without the consent of the colonists. Residents of Rhode Island captured and burned a British ship, enforcing unpopular trade restrictions, residents of Boston threw British tea into the harbor. Britain responded with a series of punitive laws stripping Massachusetts of self-government which were termed the "Intolerable Acts" by the colonists; these confrontations led to the first battles of the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and the expulsion of the British authorities from the region in spring 1776. The region played a prominent role in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States, was the first region of the U. S. transformed by the Industrial Revolution, centered on the Merrimack river valleys. The physical geography of New England is diverse for such a small area.
Southeastern New England is covered by a narrow coastal plain, while the western and northern regions are dominated by the rolling hills and worn-down peaks of the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains. The Atlantic fall line lies close to the coast, which enabled numerous cities to take advantage of water power along the many rivers, such as the Connecticut River, which bisects the region from north to south; each state is subdivided into small incorporated municipalities known as towns, many of which are governed by town meetings. The only unincorporated areas exist in the sparsely populated northern regions of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. New England is one of the Census Bureau's nine regional divisions and the only multi-state region with clear, consistent boundaries, it maintains a strong sense of cultural identity, although the terms of this identity are contrasted, combining Puritanism with liberalism, agrarian life with industry, isolation with immigration. The earliest known inhabitants of New England were American Indians who spoke a variety of the Eastern Algonquian languages.
Prominent tribes included the Abenakis, Mi'kmaq, Pequots, Narragansetts and Wampanoag. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Western Abenakis inhabited New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, as well as parts of Quebec and western Maine, their principal town was Norridgewock in Maine. The Penobscot lived along the Penobscot River in Maine; the Narragansetts and smaller tribes under their sovereignty lived in Rhode Island, west of Narragansett Bay, including Block Island. The Wampanoag occupied southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket; the Pocumtucks lived in Western Massachusetts, the Mohegan and Pequot tribes lived in the Connecticut region. The Connecticut River Valley linked numerous tribes culturally and politically; as early as 1600, French and English traders began exploring the New World, trading metal and cloth for local beaver pelts. On April 10, 1606, King James I of England issued a charter for the Virginia Company, which comprised the London Company and the Plymouth Company.
These two funded ventures were intended to claim land for England, to conduct trade, to return a profit. In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower and established Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, beginning the history of permanent European settlement in New England. In 1616, English explorer John Smith named the region "New England"; the name was sanctioned on November 3, 1620 when the charter of the Virginia Company of Plymouth was replaced by a royal charter for the Plymouth Council for New England, a joint-stock company established to colonize and govern the region. The Pilgrims wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact before leaving the ship, it became their first governing document; the Massachusetts Bay Colony came to dominate the area and was established by royal charter in 1629 with its major town and port of Boston established in 1630. Massachusetts Puritans began to settle in Connecticut as early as 1633. Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts for heresy, led a group south, founded Providence Plantation in the area that became the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1636.
At this time, Vermont was yet unsettled, the territories of New Hampshire and Maine were claimed and governed by Massachusetts. Relationships between colonists and local Indian tribes alter
In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves in the autumn. The term deciduous means "the dropping of a part, no longer needed" and the "falling away after its purpose is finished". In plants, it is the result of natural processes. "Deciduous" has a similar meaning when referring to animal parts, such as deciduous antlers in deer, deciduous teeth in some mammals. Wood from deciduous trees is used in a variety of ways in several industries including lumber for furniture and flooring, bowling pins and baseball bats and furniture, cabinets and paneling. In botany and horticulture, deciduous plants, including trees and herbaceous perennials, are those that lose all of their leaves for part of the year; this process is called abscission. In some cases leaf loss coincides with winter -- namely in polar climates. In other parts of the world, including tropical and arid regions, plants lose their leaves during the dry season or other seasons, depending on variations in rainfall.
The converse of deciduous is evergreen, where foliage is shed on a different schedule from deciduous trees, therefore appearing to remain green year round. Plants that are intermediate may be called semi-deciduous. Other plants are semi-evergreen and lose their leaves before the next growing season, retaining some during winter or dry periods; some trees, including a few species of oak, have desiccated leaves that remain on the tree through winter. Many deciduous plants flower during the period when they are leafless, as this increases the effectiveness of pollination; the absence of leaves improves wind transmission of pollen for wind-pollinated plants and increases the visibility of the flowers to insects in insect-pollinated plants. This strategy is not without risks, as the flowers can be damaged by frost or, in dry season regions, result in water stress on the plant. There is much less branch and trunk breakage from glaze ice storms when leafless, plants can reduce water loss due to the reduction in availability of liquid water during cold winter days.
Leaf drop or abscission involves complex physiological changes within plants. The process of photosynthesis degrades the supply of chlorophylls in foliage; when autumn arrives and the days are shorter or when plants are drought-stressed, deciduous trees decrease chlorophyll pigment production, allowing other pigments present in the leaf to become apparent, resulting in non-green colored foliage. The brightest leaf colors are produced when days grow short and nights are cool, but remain above freezing; these other pigments include carotenoids that are yellow and orange. Anthocyanin pigments produce red and purple colors, though they are not always present in the leaves. Rather, they are produced in the foliage in late summer, when sugars are trapped in the leaves after the process of abscission begins. Parts of the world that have showy displays of bright autumn colors are limited to locations where days become short and nights are cool. In other parts of the world, the leaves of deciduous trees fall off without turning the bright colors produced from the accumulation of anthocyanin pigments.
The beginnings of leaf drop starts when an abscission layer is formed between the leaf petiole and the stem. This layer is formed in the spring during active new growth of the leaf; the cells are sensitive to a plant hormone called auxin, produced by the leaf and other parts of the plant. When auxin coming from the leaf is produced at a rate consistent with that from the body of the plant, the cells of the abscission layer remain connected; the elongation of these cells break the connection between the different cell layers, allowing the leaf to break away from the plant. It forms a layer that seals the break, so the plant does not lose sap. A number of deciduous plants remove nitrogen and carbon from the foliage before they are shed and store them in the form of proteins in the vacuoles of parenchyma cells in the roots and the inner bark. In the spring, these proteins are used as a nitrogen source during the growth of new leaves or flowers. Plants with deciduous foliage have advantages and disadvantages compared to plants with evergreen foliage.
Since deciduous plants lose their leaves to conserve water or to better survive winter weather conditions, they must regrow new foliage during the next suitable growing season. Evergreens suffer greater water loss during the winter and they can experience greater predation pressure when small. Losing leaves in winter may reduce damage from insects. Removing leaves reduces cavitation which can damage xylem vessels in plants; this allows deciduous plants to have xylem vessels with larger diameters and therefore a greater rate of transpiration during the summer growth period
Northern Michigan known as Northern Lower Michigan or Upper Michigan, is a region of the U. S. state of Michigan. A popular tourist destination, it is home to several small- to medium-sized cities, extensive state and national forests and rivers, a large portion of Great Lakes shoreline; the region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry. Northern Lower Michigan is distinct from the more northerly Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale, which are located in "northern" Michigan. In the northern-most 21 counties in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, the total population of the region is 506,658 people; the southern boundary of the region is not defined. Some residents in the southern part of the state consider its southern limit to be just north of Flint, Port Huron, Grand Rapids, but more northern residents restrict it to the area north of Mount Pleasant: the "fingers" of the mitten-like shape of the Lower Peninsula; the 45th parallel runs across Northern Michigan.
Signs in the Lower Peninsula that mark that line are at Mission Point Light. Suttons Bay, Cairn Highway in Kewadin, Michigan on U. S. 131 Highway, Gaylord and Alpena. These are six of 29 places in the U. S. A. where such monuments are known to exist. One other such sign is in Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. Across the Straits of Mackinac, to the north and northeast, lies the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Despite its geographic location as the most northerly part of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is not included in the definition of Northern Michigan, is instead regarded by Michigan residents as a distinct region of the state, although residents of the Upper Peninsula say that "Northern Michigan" is not in the Lower Peninsula, they insist the region must only be referred to as "Northern Lower Michigan" and this can sometimes become a topic of contention between people who are from different Peninsulas. The two regions are connected by the 5 mile long Mackinac Bridge. All of the northern Lower Peninsula – north of a line from Manistee County on the west to Iosco County on the east – is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.
The geographical theme of this region is shaped by rolling hills, Great Lakes shorelines including coastal dunes on the west coast, large inland lakes, numerous rivers and large forests. A tension zone is identified running from Muskegon to Saginaw Bay marked by a change in soil type and common tree species. North of the line the historic presettlement forests were beech and sugar maple, mixed with hemlock, white pine, yellow birch which only grew on moist soils further south. Southern Michigan forests were deciduous with oaks, red maple, shagbark hickory and cottonwood which are uncommon further north. Northern Michigan soils tend to be coarser, the growing season is shorter with a cooler climate. Lake effect weather brings significant snowfalls to snow belt areas of Northern Michigan. Glaciers shaped the area. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges. Large lakes were created by glacial action.
The region has the four seasons in their extremes, with sometimes hot and humid summer days to subzero days in winter. With the expansive hardwood forest in Northern Michigan, "fall color" tourist are found throughout the area in early to mid-autumn; when the spring rains come, many roads and bridges become impassable due to flooding or muddy to the point a four-wheel drive cannot pass. Snow fall totals can vary throughout the region due to lake-effect snow from the prevailing westerly winds off of Lake Michigan, with average yearly snow fall of 141.4" in Gaylord to 52.4" in Harrisville. Both the high and low temperature records for all of Michigan are held by communities in Northern Lower Michigan; the high is 112 °F set in Mio on July 13, 1936 and the low is −51 °F set in Vanderbilt on February 9, 1934. In the northern-most 21 counties in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, the total population of the region is 506,658 people; the area was populated by many different ethnicities, including groups from New England, Ireland and Poland.
The Odawa nation is located in Emmet County. Native American reservations exist on the Leelanau Peninsula. There are 21 counties traditionally associated with Northern Michigan: Below is a list of cities and unincorporated communities in northern Michigan: Boating and camping are leading activities. Sailing, canoeing, bicycling, horse back riding, and'off roading' are important avocations; the forest activities are available everywhere. There are a great many Michigan state parks and other protected areas which make these a'pleasant peninsula.' These would include the Huron National Forest and the Manistee National Forest, plus the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness. Many city dwellers from "downstate" and nearby areas (notably Chi
The Canada lynx is a lynx species native to North America. It ranges across Alaska extending into the Rocky Mountains and New Mexico, it has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002. With a dense silvery-brown coat, ruffed face and tufted ears, the Canada lynx resembles the other species of the mid-sized feline genus Lynx, it is larger than the bobcat, with which it shares parts of its range, over twice the size of the domestic cat. In his 1792 work The Animal Kingdom, Scottish scientific writer Robert Kerr described a lynx from Canada, giving it the name Felis lynx canadensis; the taxonomy of the Canada lynx remained disputed through the early 21st centuries. In 1912, American zoologist Gerrit Miller placed the Canada lynx under the genus Lynx, with the name L. canadensis. Till as late as the early 2000s, scientists were divided on whether Lynx should be considered a subgenus of Felis, or a subfamily itself. American zoologist W. C. Wozencraft revised the classification of Carnivora in 2005, recognized the Canada lynx as a species under Lynx, along with the bobcat, the Eurasian lynx and the Iberian lynx.
In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group revised felid taxonomy, considering the Canada lynx a monotypic species. Wozencraft recognized three subspecies of the Canada lynx in Mammal Species of the World: L. c. canadensis Kerr, 1792 - Found in the North American mainland. L. c. mollipilosus Stone, 1900 – Described by American mammalogist Witmer Stone from a skin and skull of a male lynx killed near Wainwright, Alaska. L. c. subsolanus Bangs, 1897 – Described by American zoologist Outram Bangs from a lynx skin and skull collected near Codroy in Newfoundland. A study of the differences between L. c. canadensis and L. c. subsolanus showed that apart from a few variations, the standard measurements are not distinct. The researchers noted that, given that only a few differences exist between the two forms, L. c. subsolanus appears to have diverged only from the mainland form. The lack of appreciable subspecific distinctions led them to doubt the identity of the Newfoundland lynx as a separate subspecies.
According to a 2006 study based on genetic analysis, the ancestor of five felid lineages – Lynx, Puma and Prionailurus plus Otocolobus – arrived in North America after crossing the Bering Strait 8.5–8 mya. Lynx diverged from the Puma and Prionailurus plus Otocolobus lineages around 3.24 mya. The Issoire lynx, that originated in Africa 4 mya and occurred in Europe and northern Asia until it became extinct around 1 mya, is believed to be the ancestor of the four modern species of Lynx. A 1987 study suggested that the populations of the Eurasian lynx that reached North America 20,000 years ago moved toward the southern half of the continent, as the northern part was covered by glaciers; the southern populations evolved into the modern bobcat. When the continent was invaded by the Eurasian lynx for a second time, the populations that settled in the northern part of the continent, now devoid of glaciers, evolved into the Canada lynx; the 2006 study gave the phylogenetic relationships of the Canada lynx as follows: The Canada lynx is a medium-sized cat, similar in many ways to the bobcat.
This lynx is between 80 and 100 centimetres in head-and-body length, stands 48–56 centimetres tall at the shoulder and weighs 5–18 kilograms. At half the size of the Eurasian lynx, physical proportions do not vary across its range and are naturally selected to allow the animal to survive on smaller prey; the Canada lynx is sexually dimorphic, with males heavier than females. Like the bobcat, the Canada lynx has forelimbs shorter than the hindlimbs, so that the back appears to be sloping downward toward the front; the stubby tail, typical of lynxes, measures 5–15 centimetres. The coat is yellowish brown, can change colour seasonally; the dense, long fur insulates it in its frosty habitat. Although no melanistic or albinistic forms of the Canada lynx are known, "blue" lynxes have been reported from Alaska. Black hair tufts, a feature common to all lynxes, emerge from the tips of the ears, which are lined with black. In winter, the hair on the lower cheeks grow so long that it appears to form a ruffle covering the throat.
Some dark spots can be seen on the underbelly, where the fur is white. There are four nipples; the coat is short and reddish brown to greyish in summer, but becomes notably longer and greyer in winter, with a mix of greyish brown and buff hairs. The tail is marked with dark rings and, unlike the tail of the bobcat, terminates in a black tip; the paws, covered in long and thick fur, can support nearly double the weight the paws of a bobcat can bear. The Canada lynx has 28 teeth, same as in other lynxes but unlike other felids, with four long canines for puncturing and gripping; the lynx can feel where it is biting the prey with its canines because they are laced with nerves. It has four carnassial teeth that cut the meat into small pieces. In order for the lynx to use its carnassials, it must chew the meat with its head to its side. There are large spaces between the four canines and the rest of the teeth