|Panthera leo atrox|
|Name||Panthera leo atrox|
|Name Translation||American Lion|
|Period||Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene (1 million years ago-4,000 years ago)|
|Location||North America, South America|
|Length||11 feet (6 inches, 3.5 metres long), 5 feet (1.5 metres) tall|
Approximately one hundred specimens of American lions have been recovered from the La Brea Tar Pits, in Los Angeles, so their body structure is well known. The features and teeth of the extinct American lion strongly resemble modern lions (cave paintings show that in fact the american lion lacked a mane.), but they were considerably larger. Allthough like all other cave lions it was not a true lion.
However at least one authority considers the American lion (along with the cave lion), to be more closely related to the tiger; the braincase, in particular, appears to be especially similar to the braincase of a tiger.
However, mitochondrial DNA sequence data from remains of the American lion from Wyoming andAlberta show it is a sister lineage to the cave lion, and likely arose when an early cave lion population became isolated south of the North American continental ice sheet.
Distribution This extinct lion was found in throughout North America as well as northern South America(However, the fossil remains found in Peru likely correspond to large jaguars.). It had 5 razor-sharp retractable claws and sharp teeth (larger than those of other extinct cats). The most well known fossils found were out of the Rancho La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, although some were also found in Alaska. The American lion is prominate in the US & Canadain fossil record.
- The American Lion appeared in three episodes of Wild New World aka Prehistoric America.
- The American Lion appeared in Ninth episode of Jurassic Fight Club called the Mega Lion and was killed by a short face bear.