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Contact: Greg Borzo
Field Museum

King of the beast soaks up some sun

Caption: This lion lives in the Alexandria Zoological Park in Alexandria, La. The new research helps explain the correlation between climate and manes and may lead to revisions in the lion's family tree. For example, maneless Ice Age lions were once thought to be a separate subspecies of the African lion, aka Panthera leo. But now scientists know that P. leo retains longer, denser manes in colder climates, so they may determine that the Ice Age maneless lion was a completely different species than P. leo.

Credit: Photo by Bruce D. Patterson, Courtesy of The Field Museum

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Related news release: Lion mane linked to climate

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