The American Lion – Earth’s Largest Known Wild Cat

The American Lion – Earth’s Largest Known Wild Cat

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Did you know that the largest known wild cat of all time roamed America? It was nearly the size of the largest modern day Liger. (Ligers are made in breeding programs. The liger is a hybrid offspring of a male lion and a female tiger. They do not exist in the wild)

The extinct American Lion was larger than the massive modern day Siberian tigers of Asia. Scientists believe that it may have had the largest brain of any cat to ever exist. The head-body length of the American lion was around 8 feet long. It stood 4 feet at the shoulder and has been estimated to weigh in around 930 lb. The features and teeth of the extinct American lion highly resemble modern lions, but they were considerably larger.  New science papers are telling us that the American Lion may actually be more closely related to the Jaguar than previously thought. It may have not even been a lion! This feline went extinct around 11,000 years ago.

The earliest American Lions known in the Americas south of Alaska are from the Sangamonian Stage (the last interglacial). After that, the American lion spread widely from Alberta to Maryland, down through Mexico and into Peru. It was more common in western North America than anywhere else.

 

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Research Paper: American Lion is more closely related to the Jaguar – https://phys.org/news/2010-05-scientists-american-lion.html

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