Panthera leo sinhaleyus

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Sri Lankan lion
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Pantherinae
Genus: Panthera
P. l. sinhaleyus
Trinomial name
Panthera leo sinhaleyus
Deraniyagala, 1938

The Sri Lankan lion (Panthera leo sinhaleyus), also known as the Ceylon lion, is an extinct prehistoric subspecies of lion, excavated in Sri Lanka. It appears to have become extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, c. 37,000 years BC. This lion is only known from two teeth found in deposits at Kuruwita. Based on these teeth, P. Deraniyagala proposed this subspecies in 1939. However, there is insufficient information to determine how it might differ from other subspecies of lion. Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct subspecies of lion by its being "narrower and more elongate" than those of recent lions in the British Natural History Museum collection.

See also[edit]


  • Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Rajith Dissanayake, Madhava Meegaskumbura. 2005. A second extinct big cat from the late Quaternary of Sri Lanka. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement No. 12: 423–434. National University of Singapore. Online pdf