The lion is unanimously recognized as the king of beasts. Such a high rank he received for his impressive appearance, noble temper and fear, which he had always inspired to people from time immemorial. This animal is a favorite object of heraldry, its images can be seen on the arms of most of the ruling dynasties, including those that for geographic reasons have never come into contact with this animal.
Lions are the only predators with such a pronounced sexual dimorphism. If females look like typical large cats, then males have a dense mane, which distinguishes them among all other animals.
The mane is by no means a symbolic, but a very real sign of the “masculinity” of the lion. Her growth directly depends on the amount of sex hormone testosterone – the higher the level of the hormone, the more magnificent the mane.
However, in different subspecies of lions, the size and color of manes can vary greatly from light to almost black, from a small mane on the neck and to a thick, exciting chest, paws and lower abdomen.
Among the lions are specimens with a very low level of pigment in the wool – white lions (not to be confused with albinos, which are completely pigmented).
Lions belong to the cat family, where they hold the honorable place … second in size. The second, because the first place belongs to the tiger, large specimens of which can reach 3 m in length and weight 270 kg. Lions reach a length of 2 m, and weigh up to 220 kg. At the joint maintenance in zoos lions almost always concede in fights of tigers.