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PantheraLeoAtrox

Reconstruction of an American lion.

There are a number of lions or lion-like creatures that get reported frequently in areas that are not supposed to have lions. The Americas are the most notable of these places, since they have not had lions since prehistoric times (the cougar or "mountain lion" does not count as an American lion, since it is not a true lion).

African-atrox

American lion and an African lion side by side

North America's prehistoric lion was known as Panthera leo atrox. Although it was probably a subspecies of the African lion (Panthera leo). It was approximately one-third
Lion skel

Skeleton

larger than today's

African lions,

and it was black in color, according to some researchers. Males might have lacked manes. Obviously, unless there were also tan-colored specimens, these creatures could not explain sightings of normal-looking African style lions, though they could explain huge black panthers that keep getting sighted in the Americas.

South America also has mystery lions. The "jungle lion" of Peru is a red-furred lion that is regularly sighted in the Yanachaga National Park.

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