Enigma of lynx pee

During quite a lot of studies on the Eurasian lynx in Naliboki Forest and Paazierre Forest we realized that this species is still so poorly known (Sidorovich et al., 2019). Even a simple lynx pee hides several non-studied questions that were raised during investigation the species behavior. Several curious pee-related phenomena were registered that was already some achievement, but for every one still there is a pressing question how such a pee regime is possible on a morph-physiological level i.e. by means of which morph-physiological adaptations of the species.  Maybe somebody, after reading the post, will try to investigate the lynx pee questions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, the first lynx pee enigma is a regime of peeing. While marking, an average  lynx (first of all, adult males) does about ten urine marks per one kilometer of its walking-marking itinerary (Sidorovich et al., 2019). In this case urine is sprinkled by a little portion in the kind of high-pressure spray peeing. This little-portion urinating is already an interesting phenomenon. Since the mid December till early April adult lynxes do only high-pressure spray pee marks. During the summer time, when adult lynxes mark not so much, they mostly do a trickle pee.  In between these pee-different periods the same adult lynxes can do both kinds of peeing i.e. high-pressure spray one and trickle one. During the cold season subadult lynxes may do both  kinds of pee. Lynx kittens of the year do a trickle pee only. Which morpho-physiological adaptations provide the different regimes of lynx urinating? How such a pee switch works?

The second lynx pee enigma is that during ambush hunting, lynx may stay in an ambuscade up to two days and during this quite long time it does not do any peeing. Again, which morpho-physiological adaptations provide that?

Lynx in an ambuscade
Lynx in the ambuscade

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During walking-marking ways lynxes drink quite often, because they loose much water doing about ten urine marks per one kilometer on average.

Trickle urine mark of a female lynx
Trickle urine mark of a female lynx
Trickle urine mark of a male lynx
Trickle urine mark of a male lynx

However, the most surprising peculiarity is following. Doing high-pressure spray pee, lynxes are able to direct urine in the same small (about 3 cm) spot that is usually higher than their heights. While urinating, lynxes look in the front only. Anyway their urine marks appear in the same small spot, even if different lynxes urinate in the same marking point. This spot may be slightly covered by snow and anyway even in this case urine is directed to the same small spot. From a human point of view it could be hard to target by peeing in the same small spot, even if seeing that, but lynxes do that easily without any looking on the small spot they need to get their urine. How is it possible? It is hard to answer.


This yellow spot on moss of the tree trunk is the point to where different lynxes directed their urine mark.  In the photo on the right you see the same tree trunk with a spot of destroyed moss where lynxes stepped to be higher and hit the same marking target.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s