American lion Facts

American lion Facts
American lion is extinct subspecies of lion that lived 350.000 years ago (during the Pleistocene). It was numerous nearly in all parts of North America and in the northern parts of South America (from Alaska to Peru). American lion probably lived in the open habitats such as steppe-tundra and grasslands. Scientists are still not sure what led to the extinction of American lion at the end of the Ice Age, 13.000 years ago. Some of the most probable causes are rapid climate change and extinction of large herbivorous animals (in other words: lack of food). People had hunted American lions during Paleolithic era, which additionally contributed to decrease in the number of these animals.
Interesting American lion Facts:
American lion was 5 feet tall, 11.5 feet long and it weighed nearly 800 pounds.
American lion is one of the largest cats that ever lived on the planet. It was 25% larger and much stronger than modern lions.
American lion was slightly smaller than large, heavily built saber-toothed cat, but it was much smarter. This fact is based on the brain size and less fossils found in the obviously dangerous sites such as tar pits.
Scientific name of American lion is "Panthera leo atrox", which means "cruel lion" in Latin.
American lion is also known as "American cave lion" because it shares many genetic similarities with extinct Eurasian cave lion.
Based on the cave paintings, American lion was probably mane-less and covered with dark spots. It had thick coat suitable for cold weather.
American lion had 4-inches-long canine teeth (they were much larger in males), large, muscular body, very long, slender, but powerful front legs and retractable claws on the feet.
American lion was a carnivore. Its diet was based on the horses, deer, camels, sloths, mammoths and bison.
American lion was very fast animal. It was able to reach the speed of 30 miles per hour.
American lion had used powerful forelimbs with sharp claws to subdue its prey, before inflicting deadly wounds on the muzzle or throat, by using its long canine teeth.
Estimated bite force of American lion is 1.800 pounds per square inch, which is two times stronger than a bite force of modern lion.
American lion was able to hunt alone and in pairs (to kill small animals), or in large groups (to kill large animals such as mammoths and bison).
American lion had used cave, canyons and overhanging cliffs as shelter.
American lion had no natural enemies. Major competitors for food were saber-toothed cat, dire wolf and giant short-faced bear.
All facts about morphology, lifestyle and behavior of American lion are based on the more than 80 well-preserved fossils. The greatest collection of fossils originates from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

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