The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a North American cat that appeared during the Irvingtonian stage of around 1.8 million years ago (AEO). Containing 12 recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, including most of the continental United States. The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edges, and swampland environments. It remains in some of its original range, but local populations are vulnerable to extirpation by coyotes and domestic animals. The bobcat is vital for controlling pest populations. With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat resembles the other species of the mid-sized Lynx genus. It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.