The African lion feeds on buffalo and other wild animals.
The different species of lions include African, Asian, American, mountain, cave, and white lions. These classifications, however, are points of contention among many paleontologists and zoologists because of the findings and conclusions that resulted from studying the remains and genetic makeup of these mammals. This list includes extinct species of lions as well as several endangered lions. Some lion species are extinct in the wild but still exist in captivity.
A species known as cave lions is extinct, but cave drawings show them hunting together, as pride lionesses do.
Africa is the natural habitat of the African lion, a large carnivore that roams the continent’s open plains and forests and feeds mainly on deer, pigs, buffalo and small animals. Males can grow to a length of 4 feet (1.2 meters) or more and an approximate weight of 350 pounds (159 kg). The Cape lion, which once inhabited the Cape of the African continent and South Africa, has been extinct since the 19th century. Berber lions, a species of lion extinct in the wild, inhabited the Atlas Mountains in North Africa and roamed the lands of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
Asiatic lions are critically endangered and almost completely restricted to the forests of Gujarat, India.
Asiatic or Asiatic lions are critically endangered and almost completely restricted to forests in Gujarat, India, where they live under state protection in the hope that their population will not disappear from the wild. It is for this reason that they came to be called the Indian lion species, although they were once known as Persian lions when they roamed from the Mediterranean to India. These animals are usually smaller than their African counterparts, have shorter manes, and have other characteristics that distinguish them from the lions of Africa.
Although wild white lions once inhabited the Timbavati region of Africa. This species of lion is sometimes considered separate from the African species because Timbavati was the only region of the continent they inhabited. White lions, which range in color from fawn to white, were declared extinct in the wild in 1994.
Mountain lions, also known as cougars, panthers, catamounts, cougars or simply lions, once roamed a wide range of western parts of Canada, a large area of the United States from coast to coast, and Argentina. They lived in the gorges, foothills and woods of these regions, feeding mainly on animals of the deer family. This species of lion is endangered and on the verge of extinction in the eastern United States, and its population has been significantly reduced in the western territories.
According to some scientists, the American lion may not be a true member of the Panthera leo genus or the lion family. In the past, it inhabited the lands of present-day Canada and the United States, where fossils have been found. Some paleontologists claim that while the American lion shares characteristics with modern lions and tigers, it is more closely related to the jaguar.
Cave lions, which probably did not live in caves, are also extinct, but cave drawings provide a representation of their appearance and an idea of their behavior, such as hunting in packs. Although cooperative hunting is characteristic of lionesses, also called lionesses, some scientists disagree with categorizing the cave lion as a lion. Those who reject such a classification believe the animal was more closely related to the tiger.