Panthera leo

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Does the mane really make the lion? Certainly, luxurious locks are the feature that sets Panthera leo apart from the other large cats. But surprisingly, not all male lions have manes. And manes used to cover more of the lion than just the head. Ari Daniel Shapiro speaks with archivist Connie Rinaldo of Harvard University and curator of mammals Bruce Patterson of Chicago’s Field Museum to learn about the diversity of lions in the distant past and the challenges they face in the present.

Image Credit: H. Vannoy Davis, CalPhotos, California Academy of Sciences. CC BY-NC-SA

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