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The mane of the adult male lion, unique among cats, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the species. It makes the lion appear larger, providing an excellent intimidation display; this aids the lion during confrontations with other lions and with the species’ chief competitor in Africa, the spotted hyena. The presence, absence, color, and size of the mane is associated with genetic precondition, sexual maturity, climate, and testosterone production; the rule of thumb is the darker and fuller the mane, the healthier the lion. Sexual selection of mates by lionesses favors males with the densest, darkest mane.
Mature male lion (Panthera leo), Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-400 mm at 300 mm, 1/500 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 200
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Featured in 5 groups:
“For the Love of Cats”
“Indigenous to East & Southern Africa”
“Closeups in Nature”
“Welcome To The Jungle”
“The Group”

Views 880 / Favorited by 11 people / April 12, 2013

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