Panthera atrox (American lion) skeleton

Panthera atrox (American lion) skeleton

The American lion (Panthera leo atrox or P. atrox) is one of the largest types of cat ever to have existed, slightly larger than the early Middle Pleistocene primitive cave lion, P. leo fossilis and about 25% larger than the modern African lion. The head-body length of the American lion is estimated to have been 1.6–2.5 m (5 ft 3 in–8 ft 2 in) and it would have stood 1.2 m (3.9 ft) at the shoulder. Thus, it was smaller than its contemporary competitor for prey, the giant short-faced bear, which was the largest carnivoran of North America at the time. The American lion was not as heavily built as the saber-toothed cat Smilodon populator, which may have weighed up to 400 kg (880 lb). Sorkin (2008) estimated the American lion to weigh roughly 420 kg (930 lb), but a more recent study showed an average weight for males of 256 kg (564 lb) and 351 kg (774 lb) for the largest specimen analyzed. Photo: Skeleton from the La Brea tar pits at the George C. Page Museum, wikipedia

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