Panthera leo
Lion skull
African lion

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African Fossils Forum


This is the modern (not fossilised) skull of an African lion (Panthera leo leo) Lions are one of the four large cats that belong to the Genus Panthera. Lions are increasinly threatened both in Africa and in Asia due to pressure from rising human populations encroaching on their natural habitats.

The lion evolved between 1 and 0.8 million years ago in Africa and spread north appearing in Europe around 0.7 million years ago. Lions became extinct in northern Europe some 10000 years ago at the end of the last glacial period.

Adult male lions can weigh up to 250 kilograms and the adult males are bigger than the females. Other species of Panthera include the leopard, tiger and the jaguar.


The specimens displayed on this site are published specimens unless otherwise indicated. The information about the artifacts on this site is of a general nature only and unless otherwise indicated, has been written either by members of the African Fossils team, the National Museums of Kenya or the Turkana Basin Institute. The printed models are not of a high enough resolution to enable accurate scientific measurements and have generated using photogrammetry and in some cases low resolution digital models have been generated using laser scanners.

The information in this site is subject to change without notice.

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All copyright for the images and 3D models on this page belong to African Fossils and National Museums of Kenya and are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike License.