Talk:American lion

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What is "plain coloured"?



The color of the plains?

how relevant is the molecular phylogeny cite?[edit]

The molecular phylogeny reference is to the european cave lion, not the american, so its relevance is open to question, unless there is other literature which argues strongly that they are the same species.-- 06:20, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Cause of the extinction[edit]

What's the posited cause of the extinction? Did the Indians kill it?TCO 03:18, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Most likely, like the Australian megafauna extinction the cause would not be one thing, it could be a combination of hunting, habitat changes, the extinction of other large species used for food etc. The fact is we proberly will never know, as evidence for ancient extinction is rarer that the fossils. Enlil Ninlil 04:42, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Cave Lion[edit]

Why is the cave lion present in the classification chapter ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 22 January 2008 (UTC)


There is no weight estimate in the article. Since one of the most notable things about this species is its large size, one should be provided. Vultur (talk) 17:49, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Ok of you go toodaloo, with a reference please. Enlil Ninlil (talk) 01:16, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I added the estimate of 500 kg from Carbone et al. 2007 (the paper is at [1]). He is citing Anyonge 1993, but I cannot access that on my computer.
This is on the larger end of estimates for P. (leo) atrox; can you find a smaller estimate for this species? Vultur (talk) 22:48, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Hey shouldn't american lion(650lbs) be the largest feline, even larger than the amur (600lbs) and the bangla(550lbs) tiger ? Shouldn't we write that ?Upol007 (talk) 17:57, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Body mass estimations are a tricky thing. It often depends on what bones (skull, tooth, limbs...?) you messure. I would also say 500 kg is on larger end of the estimates. But P. l. atrox in fact was one of the largest cats ever, rivaling the siberian tiger and P. l. fossilis in size. If I find time i will also have a look for extimations.--Altaileopard (talk) 17:13, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

On the topic of size, it should be noted that the statement "a quarter larger again than an African lion" is in reference to linear measurements, not mass. An animal even a quarter longer/wider/thicker will weigh (1.25^3) ~ twice as much. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

In the introduction, it says, "The American lion was one of the largest types of cat ever to have existed, and the largest lion in history, slightly larger than the Early Middle Pleistocene primitive cave lion, Panthera leo fossilis, and about twenty-five percent larger than the modern African lion." Then in the next section, "Description", it says, "The American lion was once believed to be the largest subspecies of lion." So, which is it? Anybody? Pandarsson (talk) 06:04, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

NOT EVEN CLOSE Stop speculing and saying b*** s**t. On the 100 skelettons found, the size of the American Cave Lion goes from 1.6m to 2.5m for the biggest. The Early European Cave lion was 1.5 to 2.4m long and was the smallest, the late one was up to 2.7 and was bigger than even the biggest American Cave Lion recorded. As for the African Lion, there is a subspecies known as Barbary lion wich can be 3m long. BIGGER than any Cave Lion. And for the Tiger, The Bengali Tiger is about the same size as the Barbary Lion, but the Siberian Tiger is one of the biggest felidae ever: the smalest male are "only" 2.7m long, and the biggest are 3.3m long for a 300kg weigh. There was a 3.58m specimen killed in 1958. That said, the smaler siberian tiger are about the size of the biggest cave lion ever. The only comparable Felidae is the sabertooth populator wich didn't have a long tail so was less long, but had a similar weigh. Now, the biggest felidae ever is an hybrid Liger: Tigress goes with male Atlas Lion => Liger. Extremely rare because the tigress is a bit violent so the lion usually goes away. Bigger than a Tigron (femmal Lion with Tiger male) because the growth inhibitors are genetically incompatible when the femmal is a Tiger so the cubb is just born bigger. Liger are about 3.5m long and weigh 400kg. Hercule, an amercian Liger is now the biggest one i believe and is 490kg. Nook (died 2007) was weighed at 550kg and the 1973 Guinness world records reported an 18-year-old, 798 kg (1,759 lb) male liger living at Bloemfontein zoological, suffuring morbid obesity. Just stop saying American Cave Lion was the biggest. He wasn't even close to modern natural felidae. Making it sound sensational is dumb when you just have to go look on the same Wikipedia to find out it is all lies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicolasticot (talkcontribs) 05:42, 30 June 2011 (UTC)


Currently, the page states that the La Brea Tar pits have uncovered fewer fossils of the American Lion than of other predators, and suggests that the american lion might not have preyed on entrapped animals as much. This has been marked as (Original Research?) It is not original research. That theory was first put forward by Chester Stock in 1930, and can be found in Rancho La Brea: A Record of Pleistocene Life in California, Science Series # 37 Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. I was unable to edit the Wiki page to reflect this myself, but hopefully someone else will.

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus. This conversation has gone stale and there doesn't seem to be consensus for a move. The fact that the request was changed halfway through means that this probably hasn't been a completely valid discussion (especially as the requested move page will be listing a different request to here) so I think a speedy renomination is sensible should anyone wish to make one. Dpmuk (talk) 23:38, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

American LionPanthera leo atrox — See below. FunkMonk (talk) 23:14, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

When, exactly, did lion become a proper noun? I suggest a move to American lion (which is now one of the stupidest & most needless redirects I've seen). TREKphiler hit me ♠ 09:32, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
How about moving to Panthera leo atrox? Then we'll prevent confusion with the puma, which is called the same. FunkMonk (talk) 05:59, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Panthera atrox may be more appropriate since the some workers contend that it was not a lion. Cephal-odd (talk) 05:28, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I agree. Some info:[2] Should this be made into a formal move request? FunkMonk (talk) 10:00, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
That blog post conveniently ignored all the ancient DNA evidence that shows that atrox is closely related to the modern lion, see here. Panthera atrox is absolute unacceptable based on the same evidence. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 17:46, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm no expert but the PDF you linked says, among other things: "However, the status of these groups as species or subspecies, and their relationships to each other and to extant Panthera remains unclear..." I don't see how you can say that calling atrox a species and not a subspecies is unacceptable based on that. Powers T 01:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Until now, it has been seen as a subspecies, and yes, there are some indications that maybe it is warranted to make them species, but the evidence is incomplete, so the default, subspecies, should remain. If we as wikipedia are upgrading it to species while the major articles treat them as subspecies, we are doing original research. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 02:33, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Except when it was first identified, it was as a separate species, and it only later was classified as a subspecies. I'd need to see more evidence that the subspecies classification is the current scientific consensus before agreeing to a move. Powers T 13:11, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I suggest that the page name "American lion" become a disambiguation page for all usages (book, this cat, the cougar) after the move. (talk) 07:44, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree. FunkMonk (talk) 11:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, given the controversy over the exact taxonomy. Powers T 14:37, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no controversy, the article simply contains outdated information. FunkMonk (talk) 15:41, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, regardless, the common name is better than the scientific one. Powers T 16:38, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
No the common name is worse, for as is noted, P. atrox was much closer to a jaguar then a lion, as such "American lion" is inaccurate misleading at best and should be avoided per naming conventions.--Kevmin § 16:47, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
It ain't closer to the Jaguar, That is outdated data. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 17:46, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
See what I mean about controversy over the taxonomy? American Lion or American lion is just fine. I've never heard the Puma called that, so I doubt there's any significant ambiguity that can't be resolved with a hatnote. Powers T 13:11, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Support The scientific name is a much more accurate name and the page needs to be updated with the pertinent changes in taxonomic thinking.--Kevmin § 16:47, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a subspecies to start with, and moving it to a species name would only increase the confusion. I would support moving it to Panthera leo atrox. Thee is no evidence that this species is not a subspecies of the cave lion, so American Cave Lion would also be appropriate. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 17:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, too bad, I don't follow mammal paleontology closely, so seems like there indeed is controversy. FunkMonk (talk) 18:52, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
The fun is that the cladistic studies are inconsistent with each other, and many traits used for the analysis are subject to convergent evolution because of prey type for example. So, skull studies using either specific traits or geomoprphometric data are notoriously difficult. Which is why we get these opposite results by the same researcher. In such a case, it is better to reply on the molecular data, which is less prone to convergence. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 18:57, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I've changed it to P. leo atrox then, my initial reason for moving was that American Lion was ambiguous anyway, not that it was not a lion. FunkMonk (talk) 19:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Please don't change the proposal in the middle of the discussion! You've now potentially invalidated any !votes that came prior to your change! Powers T 01:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
That would depend on the specific case. Here, from what I can see, all it changes is that KimvdLinde might support. FunkMonk (talk) 01:15, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I scratched off my support to the subspecies name until it has been established the common name is an issue. Currently, I am not convinced. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 14:08, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Are we really sure that "American Lion" is used more often for this species than Panthera leo atrox? That's what the policy is about, not that we use any common name available. A Google search wouldn't help, since American lion is used about other species as well. FunkMonk (talk) 11:27, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The only uses of "American Lion" to refer to the cougar appear to be primarily rhetorical or metaphorical, not literal. I think we're safe with a hatnote. Powers T 13:21, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

About P. atrox: size and species.[edit]

I think this is quite ridiculous. Many of the size quoted in Wikipedia are grouse exaggerations. This article is the same thing. The book “Quaternary extinctions: a prehistoric revolution” state a head-body length of 1.6 – 2-5 m. for P. l. atrox., however, and without ANY evidence, some people insist in putting figures of up to 4 m!!! Please, let’s be realistic. If you take a closer look, you can see that this same source state that the African lion had a head-body length of 1.8-2-4 m., which is a clear exaggeration (The largest African lion, measured between pegs, reached 206 cm, according with Stevenson-Hamilton). So, it is obvious that, the REAL head-body length of P. l. atrox was somewhat less. I will restore the original estimation.

By the way, the final study reveals that this “lion” was NOT a lion at all, but some new species of giant jaguar. The source is “Christiansen, Per, & Harris, John M. (2009). "Craniomandibular Morphology and Phylogenetic Affinities of Panthera atrox: Implications for the Evolution and Paleobiology of the Lion Lineage". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29 (3): 934–945” and is allready quoted in the article. By the way, the Christiansen & Harris (2009-2010) document is the most recently, so, his study refuted that of Barnett et al. (2008-2009). Check the dates of publications.

I will wait for other coments to restaur the status of “species” to this particular animal, but I will change this exagerated body size righ now. --AmbaDarla (talk) 00:35, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

I dont think the Christiansen paper has refuted the Barnett paper at all. The Christiansen paper does an analysis of skulls, but fails to include any from Panthera leo spelaea, which according to the DNA evidence is the sister species/subspecies of atrox. Its like doing a study of the great apes and concluding that humans are a part of the gorilla lineage becuase you didnt study any chimps or bonobos. Additionally- the Barnett paper gives a statistical Bootstrap estimate of how much confidence to place in the grouping of atrox with spelaea (0.73). The Christiansen study does not have any such objective assessment of the relationships. It should be noted that many in the paleo community feel that Christiansens paper is highly flawed. (talk) 09:35, 5 October 2010 (UTC)Ross

There are more than 100 complete skelettons, there is no need to make a skull analysis to find the size: you just have to look at the whole damn thing. The max size is 2.5m, no more. All the talk about 4m are just plain lies. As for the D.N.A you are mentioning, the analysis said just the opposite you just said: It is not related to Panthera Leo Spelaea, nor related to any other lion - it isn't even considered a cave lion by the scientific comunity and just keep the name. Another crap cracker. Now for the guy upstairs, barbary lion IS 3m long, still living you can go check on the link, and the siberian tiger is 3.3m long.--Nicolasticot (talk) 05:50, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Barnett et al. (2009) don’t have a real statistical value in the case of Panthera atrox, as the only use 4 specimens, when all the other ones came from the upper part of the ice block and belongs to Panthera (leo) spelaea or Panthera (leo) vereshchagin. Christiansen & Harris (2009) does have objective assessment of the relationships of the Eurasian cave “lion” and P. atrox and I don’t know any member in the paleo community that feel that Christiansens paper is highly flawed, just some lion-biased fans that want to.

Finally, the measurement of 2.5 m for Panthera atrox is the maximum in head-body length, not total length, which in this animal, reached 3.0 to 3.5 m. Besides, there is no evidence that the Barbary lions were of 3 m long, that web page in the article of the Barbary lion is just unreliable. Besides, it is no safe to say that those captive lions from several private Zoos are real Barbary lions, as they could be just heavy maned lions. Lions in the Rabat Zoo, in Morocco, are probably the last pure specimens in existence. The evidence from Mazák (1970), Yamaguchi & Haddane (2002) and Patterson (2004) show that the past Barbary lions were no larger than the East African lions, which had a maximum total length of c.290 cm between pegs (Patterson, 2004). AmbaDarla (talk) 07:32, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

First thing first, it is a biological standart to include the tail in a head-body length for vertebrae as it mainly focus on the vertabral column and the skull. The body is what contain the spinal cord. The only cases were the standart goes off is when there is no spine in the tail (very few species) or when the subspecies suffer from a "surgery fashion" (for example when man systematically cut down the ears and tail of a dog subspecies- nowaday it less likely done but 40 years ago all danish dog suffured this dangerous operation/ a better example would be the lizards that are getting rid off their tail to escape a predator). Now why do they bother to specify head/body? Because the world also knows bipedian animals that stand up. The mesurement for a primate isn't head-body, nor it is the comon "height" wich is taken by the ground to the upper shoulder.
Second: You can check on pictures, there are tons of them where a man or a woman stands next to an Amecian Cave Lion skeletton to see its size, or even better, you can take a pencil and draw it with both size and see wich ratio height/Length looks like the skelettons. Well it appears some people do not have comon sense or a great perception of distances so i will make it short: You guys have no clue what 3.5m is and you are just playing around making up a sensational fake. Well if there wasn't a standart for head-body lenght, that would mean the siberian tiger wich can be 3.3m long would actually be 4.4long. OMFG! We just found a new pachydermae!
Third: The only thing unreliable here is what you write: Barbary Lion are almost common knowledge. Not only Wikipedia but dozens pages over internet all say the same: 2.4 to 3m for barbary lion: Female 2.4 to 2.7 and 2.6 to 3m for male. You just have to go google barbary lion, or Atlas lion. For what it's worth, it's a species that lived in northern africa and a suspected cousin and maybe the link to the late Eurasian Cave Lion wich was only recently found not related to the early one. For the record the Late one is 2.7m long (do i need to tell about de the tail?).
--Nicolasticot (talk) 11:54, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
You are completely wrong, web pages don’t reflect real data or real measurements. Head-body length is not the same than total length, this is common knowledge for anyone that have actually measure a cat. Sorry for you, but you are a true ignorant here (nothing personal). Check this out: The tigers measured by Dr Karanth (in Nagarahole NP, India) were measured first in its head-body length, and latter the tail. Mazák (1981) give figures of total length, so an Amur tiger of 330 will have a head-body length of 220-225 cm. Is an idiocy to confuse head-body length with the total length, is not logic to confuse two different measurements.

When you measure a cat, you take the length from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail in a straight line (or between two pegs). Latter, you measure the tail length, chest girth, shoulder height and the length of feet (Nowell & Jackson, 1996). The total length is the simple add of head-body length and the tail length. THIS is the standard protocol to measure cats of any size.

Latter, any picture in the web will show you that Panthera atrox is one of the largest cats ever, they were about the same size than modern ligers, which estimated shoulder heights of 110-125 cm. By the way, 3.5 m long is a reasonable maximum total length for the American lion, with a head-body length of 2.5 m and a tail of 1 m.

Finally, I repeat, there is any evidence that Barbary lions were any larger than the East African lions, check the book of Dr Bruce Patterson: Besides, Yamaguchi & Haddane (2002) mentioned this: “The largest Barbary lion skull so far measured, which is partly broken, has an estimated greatest length of c. 360 mm (Mazák, 1970; Yamaguchi, unpublished). Although 360 mm is not small, big skulls of sub-Saharan lions easily reach a maximum length of over 380 mm, and some even over 400 mm (Hemmer, 1974; Best, 1981; Yamaguchi, unpublished).”

As you can see, REAL SCIENTIFIC studies state the fact that Barbary lions were no larger than present populations of lions. Web-pages are no reliable is size issues, there are many pages that state than Barbary lions measured 10 ft in total length, but they offer no evidence of that, nor even a single real specimen measured. Many private owners and even some zoos states to have Barbary lions, but they don’t have any evidence of that and genetic test shows that this lions are just mix specimens with heavy manes. Even the Asiatic lions in captivity show large manes. So, heavy manes are not a way to establish if a lion is Barbary or not.

One of the largest specimens of Eurasian cave lion measured 2.1 m in head-body length, with a shoulder height of 1.2 m. So, is obvious that these animals were just 8-10% larger than present lions and no larger than present Amur-Bengal tigers; based on this, is evident than Panthera atrox was much larger than Panthera (leo) spelaea.

The only “pure” specimens of Barbary lions are in the Rabat zoo (Morocco) and possibly in the Addis Ababa zoo (Ethiopia). AmbaDarla (talk) 07:06, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Report downstairs. -- (talk) 13:30, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Classification confusion[edit]

Is the American lion more often considered a species or a subspecies? The article takes both positions at different points with little discussion. The intro assumes subspecies status with no mention of alternatives, while the classification section presents species status as the majority view and mentions that some consider it only a subspecies. This should be harmonized so that the dominant view is presented first in both locations, but I'm not sure which one is more accepted. --Khajidha (talk) 12:52, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Okay, someone put the alternative name in the lead but the problem still remains. The lead and the taxobox treat the subspecies form as the usual one and the species interpretation as the minority view while the classification section takes the opposite position. This difference is jarring and confusing. --Khajidha (talk) 15:50, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
You're right, it is confusing and inconsistent. I think I've improved things a little by adding the species version to the lead para, and I've put a citation-needed on the mention of P atrox in the body of the article. Is there an accepted WP source for extinct mammals? If so we should go with that, but if not, then we ought to have both versions, each with refs. Richard New Forest (talk) 22:52, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that both are there, but with little explanation or consistency. The taxobox gives the name as Panthera leo atrox, meaning that it is considered a subspecies. Meanwhile, the classification states that it "is considered a distinct species ... Panthera atrox." This needs to be harmonized. BOTH should be mentioned, but preference should be given to the majority view (whatever that is) with the other listed as a dissenting opinion. The phrasing in the classification paragraph makes me think that the full species view is the standard and the article should be changed to reflect that. --Khajidha (talk) 11:06, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
It's now considered a kind of jaguar, so the current taxobox is incorrect. FunkMonk (talk) 23:18, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I can make the changes that the article needs. If all of you are agree, I will do it in a maximum of three days, to allow more comments and suggestions. As matter of fact, I propose other names for the article, like “Panthera atrox”, “American giant panther” or even “Giant jaguar”. Personally, I will like the first one, and been an extinct animal, we should use its scientific name. AmbaDarla (talk) 06:25, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I have rephrased the classification section to harmonize it with the intro. I don't think I messed up any refs, but would welcome another opinion as to whether new citations are needed. --Khajidha (talk) 15:25, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Additions without citation[edit]

There have been fact tags on this article for 3 years... really? How about not editing or making additions without an attached citation ok?Tirronan (talk) 13:42, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Estimating P. atrox's weight[edit]

I would like to present my understanding of current scientific data and estimates on the subject and appreciate everyone's feedback. Ofcourse since this involves a bit of guesswork and original research, I don't expect it to make it to the main article.

Study by Sunquists

Study by Sorkin

I am using these studies as the base of my assumptions. (This is as I posted on an other forum).

There seems to be a lots of debate on the weights of Smilodon populator, American lion and other extinct felines. Misconceptions include average weights of 500 or 550 kg for both. I have compared the sizes of the two Smilodons, American Lion and extant felids. I had to do some guesswork to connect the missing links. The weights of the Siberian Tiger seem to be older ones. I am also presuming that if the Tiger can reach 380 kg in world record specimens, the African Lion too can touch 350 kg although the current world record is 313 kg. I am rather weak when it comes to formatting so I am using this rudimentry format.

Smilodon populator / American Lion / Smilodon fatalis / Siberian Tiger / Bengal Tiger / African Lion (Weight in kg)

Lower average - 220 / 180 / 160 / 160 / 150 / 140

Upper average - 360 / 320 / 280 / 250 / 230 / 210

Exceptional (1) - 400+ / 350+ / 300+ / 270 / 250 / 230

Exceptional (2) - 455 / 400 / 320 / ~300 / 270 / 250

Exceptional (3) - 470 / 420 / 350 / 320 / ~300 / ~280

World record - 500+ / 450+ / 360+ / 384 / 389 / 313 (~350)

I am increasing the Bengal tiger and African lion's (lower) weights and downgrading the Siberians as the modern trend (compared to Sunquist's study).

(From the main articles) The average height at shoulder for Smilodon populator and American Lion is 1.22m and 1.2m while length excluding the tail is 2.6m and 2.5m respectively. American Lion is most certainly lot less muscular than S. populator. Shoulder height for S. fatalis is 0.91-0.99m (Same as a Bengal tiger). While modern lions can reach heights of 1.2m, that would be an exceptionally big lion. I am using figures from memory which put the extant lion's average height at 1.01m-1.10m and 0.91m-0.99m for the tiger. There are reports of large(st?) Smilodons reaching 1.6m height or 3.5m long American Lions but these would be the world record specimens.

Sorkin's study says maximal(is that a word?) for Smilodon populator, American Lion and Siberian Tiger is 470, 420 and 320 kg. Now 320 certainly isn't the absolute maximum for the Siberian, although the 384 figure is not scientifically confirmed, the Guiness records accepts 389 kg for the Bengal Tiger. The 1.6m height keeps poping up on the internet time-to-time under the name Smilodon nectator or necator (or Smilodon populator nectator?).

The average weights for the Bengal tiger and African lion are 210-220 kg and 185-200 kg. Now if I take the arithmatic mean of the lower and upper average weights of the American lion, I get 250 kg (180+320=500, 500/2=250). But more individuals will be leaning toward the lower limit than the upper limit. So the recent estimate of the American lion's average weight being 235-240 kg is correct. Likewise the mean for the S. populator is 290 kg, downgrading this accordingly gives an average weight of 260-270 kg.

The Cave lion would be somewhat heavier than the Siberian tiger and very slightly heavier or equal to S. fatalis. While the European homotherium (latidens) will be a bit lighter or equal in weight to the Siberian tiger. Machairodus kabir would be around 350 kg and the Giant European homotherium (crenatidens), 400 kg at the level where the American lion is 420 kg and Smilodon populator 470 kg (Upper exceptional, approaching world record).

P.s The main article is in shambles, this doesn't sound very encyclopediac The American Lion is thought to be the largest cat that ever lived! It stood taller than the African Lion at 5 foot (1.7M) and 11.5 foot (3.5M) in length from nose to tail and weighing about 700-800 lbs on average, with great examples over 1000 lbs well over the Euro-cave lion weight of 400 kg. This Prehistoric Cat had a very muscular body with longer legs taller than an African Lion, it stood 5 feet and was faster, with 4 inch plus canine's. This Top Ice Age Predator had an estimated bite force of 1800 lbs. per square inch. That is twice the bite force of today's modern lion. Ranged from Alaska to the middle of South America. It, also, had the largest brain to body size of any lions ,(or of any cats, either, living, or extinct, for that matter), suggesting it was social and highly intelligent. Devang.dn (talk) 06:51, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Please feel free to edit, just cite what you add.Tirronan (talk) 17:46, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Pictoral comparison of Panthera atrox (by Segio de la Rosa) and Smilodon populator (from ABC's walking with beasts).

Devang.home47 (talk) 05:48, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Here again another deformation of the truth: First, Largest American Lion are 2.5m INCLUDING THE TAIL. Second, the root of the siberian tiger subspecies is 2.7m to 3.3m and is endemic to north idia, china and siberia. The specimen that are 2m long are a genius derivated from siberian tiger, wich suffered nanism over the time and are almost all betwin the Indus Valley and Turkey.

The smilodon populator was in fact 2.1 to 2.4m long, but his tail was a lot smaller thus the boddy was simply more massive. When an american Lion is 2.5m long with a 80cm tail, his boddy is 170cm long. The smilodon populator had a 15 to 30cm tail and his body alone was about 2m long. Now if you make the effort to go on the siberian tiger page, you can read something like "only comparable in size with the biggest felidae ever". You will also see on the tiger page that the Begali tiger is 1m to 1m10 at the shoulder ( and not 90cm to 99cm like you said ) and the siberian tiger is up to 1.20m (the same as Smilodon Populator, Late European Cave Lion and American Cave Lion).

Well i got really upset reading all this bull shit (-pardon the langage but really...). Pseudo scientific comments, assumptions, extrapolations and data corruption. I hope the people who are looking for real information and not sensational news will make the effort to go on wikipedia's other pages.

The real size order is more like:

Smilodon Populator(350kg and more) >Siberian Tiger(3.3m and 300kg)>Barbary Lion (3m and 275kg)=Smilodon Fatalis (275kg)>Late European Cave Lion (2.7m)>American Cave Lion (1.6 to 2.5m)>Common Lion(2 to 2.4m)>Early European Cave Lion(1.5 to 2.4m).

--Nicolasticot (talk) 06:20, 30 June 2011 (UTC)


Hello! I just wanted to clear up a little about the American Lion's classification, just a little bit. This article says that it is its own separate species, more closely related to the Jaguar, than to the modern Lion. However, I have just read about a recent genetic study claiming that its DNA is much more similar to that of a Lion, thus making its official binomial scientific name, Panthera leo atrox. Is this true, or is it false? Because it is in a peer-reviewed journal, then, I think that means that I can add it to this article, but in an NPOV way. However, before I do that, I just want to check on the three most major theories, about its classification, here: 1. It is a subspecies of the Lion, Panthera leo. 2. It is in its own separate species, Panthera atrox, due to it being much more closely related to the modern Jaguar, Panthera onca. 3. It is in its own separate species, Panthera atrox, due to its being much more closely-related to the modern Tiger, Panthera tigris. So, my bottom line here, is, Do any of you known exactly which big cat - The Lion, The Jaguar, or The Tiger - it was the most closely-related to? Thanks! :) ! Fast Biter (Talk). 17:21, 22 June, 2011. (UTC).

It's possible both studies are correct. It could have DNA more similar to a lion but still be phlyogenetically closer to a jaguar. Think of a gibbon: we know that it closer to humans than to monkeys, because it is on the ape branch of the primate family tree. But it's much closer to the common ancestor of monkeys and apes, so its DNA is probably closer to that of monkeys than to humans. But still, gibbons are recognized as apes, not monkeys, despite their ancestral DNA info, because it better reflects the real relationships. MMartyniuk (talk) 23:16, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

About the size issue[edit]

I have seen many mistakes in the article that I have corrected.

First: The size of P. atrox is well described, with a head-body length of 1.6-2.5 m and a tail between 0.5 to 0.8 m, although I have saw some tails that maybe were up to 1 m long. Here is the source: This is head-body length, NOT total length. In this last measurement, this great cat could reach up to 3.30-3.50 m. Some guy, apparently, don’t have understand this.

Second: Barbary lions have been mentioned largely as the largest subspecies of lion, however there is NO ONE REAL evidence of this, and all the records, even skulls measurements, show that they were no larger than present East African lions (Patterson, 2004). So, there is no need to mention them. An East African lion had a maximum total length of c.290 cm between pegs, so it is obvious that P. atrox, with up to 350 cm (11.6 ft) in total length, was much larger than ANY present cat.

Third: The body mass issue is incorrect again. The maximum body mass estimation from Sorkin (2008) was of 420 kg, which could be real for a very large specimen. However, Christiansen & Harris (2009) estimated a highest weight of 351 kg for the largest specimen in Rancho la Brea (LACMHC 2900-3), which have a condylobasal length of 410.4 mm and a greatest length of 458 mm. The average weight estimated by these last authors is of 255.65 +/- 41.34 kg (average +/- standard deviation).

Please take in count this data before any new edition on body size of this species. AmbaDarla (talk) 07:34, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

You really are hard here. There is just a little problem with the catergorical assumption you made: barbary lion only went extinct in the wild and even more, it was in the 20th century -it is a well known subspecies that is way more known than the american lion: Thru history, Atlas Lion was a present to emperors, kings and sultans. There is plenty about it, in litterature, in pictures, in studies and data. Saying there is no evidence is just bad faith: Panthera Leo Leo, first description along with Panthera Leo and Panthera Tigris, Linneues manuscript, 1758, by Linnée. We are not talking about a fossil here, we are talking about a beast that was still hunted after the first world war and that has plenty stuffed specimen in museum all around the world : Four of them at the "jardin des plantes" of Paris, one is a cubb, one femal and one of the 2 male being 2.9m long.
LoL 2mn on internet, i just found out the smithsonian zoo in DC even has one of the few ALIVE.
--Nicolasticot (talk) 13:46, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
There is any evidence that Barbary lions were any larger than the East African lions, check the book of Dr Bruce Patterson: Besides, Yamaguchi & Haddane (2002) mentioned this: “The largest Barbary lion skull so far measured, which is partly broken, has an estimated greatest length of c. 360 mm (Mazák, 1970; Yamaguchi, unpublished). Although 360 mm is not small, big skulls of sub-Saharan lions easily reach a maximum length of over 380 mm, and some even over 400 mm (Hemmer, 1974; Best, 1981; Yamaguchi, unpublished).” As you can see, REAL SCIENTIFIC studies state the fact that Barbary lions were no larger than present populations of lions. Web-pages are no reliable is size issues, there are many pages that state than Barbary lions measured 10 ft in total length, but they offer no evidence of that, nor even a single real specimen measured. Many private owners and even some zoos states to have Barbary lions, but they don’t have any evidence of that and genetic test shows that this lions are just mix specimens with heavy manes. Even the Asiatic lions in captivity show large manes. So, heavy manes are not a way to establish if a lion is Barbary or not. One of the largest specimens of Eurasian cave lion measured 2.1 m in head-body length, with a shoulder height of 1.2 m. So, is obvious that these animals were just 8-10% larger than present lions and no larger than present Amur-Bengal tigers; based on this, is evident than Panthera atrox was much larger than Panthera (leo) spelaea. The only “pure” specimens of Barbary lions are in the Rabat zoo (Morocco) and possibly in the Addis Ababa zoo (Ethiopia). AmbaDarla (talk) 07:09, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I was about to let it go, tired and all but out of curiosity i wanted to check on your link. So i clicked!
I was stuned by the fact it was possible to put such a long boggus link which show nothing but a forbiden page of a book in spanish. Well it doesn't matter, as i said before: i am tired... So from now on i will just add actual links, some that are actually working, to serious books or official website ( .org and all ) from the scientific community ( university, phd, museum and all ).
The first link goes to a french book by Pierre Darmangeat. There is no data about the size of felidae but some interresting facts about tigers: Origins, cousins, actual and prehistoric ones and more importantly, geographic situations for all subspecies. Pretty interesting but you gotta speak french.
The second link is to the portal (IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group - Cat Species ), a transcription of lennaeus manuscript ( 1758 ) and a passage from the 1981 Mazak (Mazak, V. 1981. Mammalian Species. Panthera tigris, 152: 1-8. )
Those are the average mesurements for all tiger subspecies crossed directly by observants phd Hermer Mazak and Herrington ( Linnée's data from Linnaeus 1758 is alson crossed ) - There is nothing like "exceptional" features. quote:
Tiger subspecies have been evaluated using both morphological and molecular methodologies (Hemmer 1978b, 1987; Mazák 1981, 1983; Herrington 1987)
Well, there you can read Panthera Tigris Altaica males are going 2.7 to 3.3m long. Same number you will find for all scientific description of the siberian tiger. Note that i am here talking about pureblood subspecies - Unlike the numbers usually given, this is not the average size for the whole species wich counts that 8 subspecies.
Another link, this time about lions.
Gir Forest and the saga of the Asiatic lion, from Sudipta Mitra.
This book center on astiatic lions but there are many passage about other subspecies, like at the page 108 there is a quick reference to panthera leo atrox and panthera leo leo ( barbary lion ).
At the page 110, you will find mesurements about lions subspecies asiatic, serengeti and north african one (leo leo), male and female. You should love it, nowadays most people don't make a difference betwen serengeti lions and others and just goes as if only the serengeti lion exists. Oh my! Ain't that what you are doing?
Another fun fact in this book, page 109 i believe is giving a standart exemple of head body length mesure. Another reference to it in the IUCN/SSC web site: It is called Basal Metabolic Rate, it is the standart and it includes the Tail. So maybe the size of the American Lion was taken from the birth of the tail to the nose, but then it wouldn't be valid, not official and finaly, not acceptable for a scientific publication because off the standart. So either it includes the tail and it's just the size of a big serengeti lion, or else it's simply unreliable. The size taken from the birth place of the tail is something done at a veterinary study for pets, and almost to dogs only ( because sometimes their tail are cut ); The naturalist doesn't take the size the same way: From the nose to the end of the tail, on the back of the animal, alongside the spine and to the number obtained is added the tail's size betwin parenthesis. It is an international format and norm wich makes naturalism analysis a non vernacular method that all doc around the world can understand without having to speak the language of the observant.
Here is the Grzimek Encyclopedia of the mammals.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=67beff34a801c763&biw=1920&bih=860
I could go on but with another 20links easy, but i'll stop after this one, and i hope you will go there because... well, this is a university link...
From the Michigan Zoology Museum and University, ladies and gentlemen:
Here i must insist for you to have a look at the ".edu" in the website. It stands for "education" so i really wish you could go there.
Pardon me for what's next but i must quote you: "There is any evidence that Barbary lions were any larger than the East African lions". I tried, really tried enduring this one, i promess. In the 3 previous link i gave, the Panthera Leo Leo presentation starts with " Barbary Lion, or Atlas Lion/Berber(e) Lion is the largest subspecies of the Panthera Leo." They all starts with something like that. Even Wikipedia's barbary lion starts the same way... Under Napoleon, the great scientific expedition in north Africa had naturalist that reported the panthera leo leo from the atlas mountain chain had a black "crinière" and was an average 50cm longer than Panthera Leo (wich is Serengeti lion). The thing is this expedition became the heart of the "Universalis encyclopedea" biology part, the direct concurrent of the Britanica Encyclopedia. Saying "there is no evidence" here is just bad faith. There are data, witness testimony, naturalist's observations, conclusions... There is also stuffed animal, living one, pictures and movies since the early XIXth century. Now come and say there is no evidence. I can also say bull shit, look: The african and asia elephant are the same, there is no evidence saying otherwise. No wait! Let's say there isn't an asian elephant, is even more close to say there is only one species. And i can finish saying "nobody can tell otherwise, cause there's no evidence and i don't care even if naturalist, museum, encyclopedia or the world wild fondation are saying there is".
The American Lion is just a beautyfull example of what people can do to make sensational information. Deformations of a standart to create a Yeti like beast, you could also give it's weight in short tons to make it appear more impressive. As for the pictures on the net, if you make a research of "Liger" or "Ligre", you will see what an actual cat of 3.5m (including the tail) looks like.
Liger are about 3.5m long and 400kg. (490 for Hercules, 550kg for Nook (died 2007)). Wich is even heavier than a Smilodon Populator - this is what a 3.5m cat is about.

I am now really tired so this is a goodbye. With love.
--Nicolasticot (talk) 15:23, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, but hat “bogus” link that you ignore is nothing more than the book “The lions of Tsavo” from Dr. Bruce Patterson, and is in English. If the page is forbidden now is not my problem, you can check a week latter and the page will be available, and I can’t put the image of the page as the laws of Wikipedia forbid to publish images of books with copyrights. Here is the link again, from the first page. So don’t be a liar, the book is in English and is not a bogus source.

These entire links are useless for you, as NO ONE of them support your claim. No one mention ANYTHING about the difference of TOTAL length against HEAD-BODY length. Besides, there is NOTHING about your silly claim that Barbary lions are larger, so you are wrong when you try to prove something that don’t understand.

You first link is just an amateur book, not even a scientific one. You want a real good book, check “Big cats, kingdom of Might” here in google book. That’s a real scientific book and is in English. There are good examples of REAL total length and head-body length of the big cats.

By the way, you simple ignore the link of Dr Sunquist book “Wild Cats of the world” when are the head-body measurements of tigers. You are ignoring the facts.

The second link that you put, mention general data of tiger and the TOTAL LENGTH records, and those measurements are ONLY from Mazák (1981), not by all the other people that you mention.

The book of Sudipta Mitra had very bad reference about size, as he quotes that Asiatic lions measured 2.5 m in head-body length, which is not true. Two males reported by Heptner & Sludskii (1992) had head-body lengths of up to 195 cm, which means that the total length of those specimens, including tail, was of 275-285 cm. Check the book in Google books to. Check the link:

And this:

Even if the link is very long, this shows that you are completely wrong.

The document from Nowell & Jackson shows who the measurements most be made, and the HEAD-BODY length don’t include tail.

In this link:

The length is of 2.40 to 3.30 m, but there is nothing about Basal Metabolic Rate, that’s a mistake in the web page. Besides, these measurements are OBVIOUSLY total lengths.

So you can put 20, 30 or 100 links, but NO ONE of them is mentioning what you are stating here. As matter of fact, you are embarrassing yourself, as you are confusing two different measurements here. Or how do you think that an animal with a skull of up to 467 cm (in the case of Panthera atrox) will have a total length of just 250 cm??? This could be just in your mind. The giant Panthera atrox was as large as present Ligers (head-body length of up to 250 cm, which means that they had total lengths of 330-350 cm as maximum), but you apparently ignore the size of this animal, you probably don’t know that this animals was estimated to weight up to 420 kg and by REAL scientists. Many, if not all the weights reported from ligers in the web are just estimations. No one of them had been weighed by scientists, so, who reliable could be those weights if they are not taken by scientific proposes but just for show issues???

And I repeat, THERE IS NO REAL DATA THAT STATE THAN BARBARY LIONS WERE LARGER!!! ALL the measurements in literature from these animals came from skins and the few skulls kept in museums show animals of the same size than those from East Africa. I had never said that there were no data of this, after all, Mazák, Patterson and Yamaguchi here the scientist that stated that these lions were no larger than present African lions. Old reports, hunting records and “witness testimony” are not reliable, only scientific corroborations and material data. And there is no one video of a Barbary lion in the wild.

Now, stop this nonsense right now, total length is not the same than head-body length. And Panthera atrox were as large as modern ligers. THIS are REAL facts, and everyone here knows this. AmbaDarla (talk) 08:35, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Here is some REAL data about the size of the Barbary lions:

First, here is the specific page of the book of Dr Patterson.,+the+Barbary+lion%22&hl=es&ei=d3EVTs7QG8e20AGF77VH&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Although%20often%20regarded%20as%20huge%2C%20the%20Barbary%20lion%22&f=false No, keep saying that it is a bogus source, if you dare.

Here is more, from Guggisberg: Largest Barbary lion from Brehm measured 2.80 cm in total length. Alfred Pease HEARD of a lion, so he was not a real witness, so he can’t say how that lion was measured and with a head-body length of 2.50 m, that measurement came, obviously, from a skin. Check that there is very different “Head-body” length than “total length”.

Finally, check this captive Barbary lion: With a head-body length of six feet four inches (or 194 cm), this lions even living in captivity, was no larger than most African lions.

There you go. AmbaDarla (talk) 08:56, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

It really IS a lion, Folks![edit]

You see, I have 2 new links to share with you: The first is a 2003 study by Burger et. al.. It proves that atrox is the sister taxon to spelaea. And isn't spelaea considered a subspecies of the lion? I mean, come on, after all, EVEN THIS ARTICLE states that spelaea is the sister taxon, of atrox, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I mean, just plain, good, old, common sense, would obviously have it that, since spelaea is considered to be a lion subspecies, then, the same would be the case, for atrox, right? It also confirmed, again, through analysis of well-preserved DNA, that there were two main clades, of "Cave" Lions: The spelaea group, and the atrox group. The spelaea group consists of spelaea, itself, as well as fossilis and vereschagini. The atrox group consisted of just plain, well, atrox, itself. The "Cave" Lion clade was the sister clade of the "Modern" Lion clade, which consists of the African, the Barbary, and the Asiatic lions.

Now, the second study was conducted by Ross Barnett et. al.. It finds empirical support for three distinct clades, among the species of Panthera leo. The first consists of the modern-day lions, of Africa and Southern Asia. The second consists mainly of the Eurasian and Beringian cave lions, which, as stated above, includes the spelaea, fossilis, and vereschagini (sub)species. And, finally, the third clade consists of the American Cave Lion, the atrox.

I'm afraid that I currently cannot provide links, to these sources, at the moment, because it is now 12:41, A.M., where I live, (which is in Omaha, Nebraska, by the way), and I am very tired, and I am right about to go to bed, right now. However, tomorrow, I WILL provide links to those two sources! Cheers! :D!

.P.S.: Oh, and, by the way, you might have noticed that I often say, "just plain", a lot. Yeah, I know, I say it, all the time. Everyone always says that, about me. XD! Mozzyepic24 (Talk) 24:43, 17 July, 2011. (UTC).

Here is my position in this theme, in base of the new evidence and the complete studies presented.

First: Panthera atrox is NOT a pure lion, period. This sick thing of putting names of present animals to the prehistoric ones is the real problem. Panthera atrox was a unique species that is related with jaguar closer than lions. But it is not a lion or a jaguar either. Genetics says it is related with Panthera (leo) spelaea, but fossils says that is related with jaguars, so obvious conclusion, this is a unique cat related with other ones, but it is not them.

Second: The document of Barnet et al. (2009) don’t debunk any other paper, as matter of fact, his document is from January of 2009, while the document of Christiansen is of September of 2009, and also was accepted rater fast. Also, Christiansen concluded: “The great North American Pleistocene pantherine felid Panthera atrox has had a turbulent phylogenetic history, and has been claimed to show affinities to both the jaguar and the tiger; currently, it is most often regarded as a subspecies of the extant lion. The cranial, mandibular, and dental morphology of Panthera atrox was compared with those of extant lions, jaguars, and tigers using bivariate, multivariate, and shape analyses. Results indicate that the skull of Panthera atrox shows lion affinities, but also deviates from lions in numerous aspects. Mandibular morphology is more similar to jaguars and tigers and, as with cranial morphology, the mandible shows a number of traits not present among extant pantherines. Multivariate analyses grouped Panthera atrox separately from other pantherines. Panthera atrox was no lion, and cannot be assigned to any of the extant pantherines; it constituted a separate species. A possible scenario for evolution of P. atrox is that it formed part of a pantherine lineage that entered the Americas in the mid-Pleistocene and gave rise to the extant jaguar and Panthera atrox in the late Pleistocene of North America. These studies suggest that previous models of lion biogeography are incorrect, and although lions may have been present in Beringia, they did not penetrate into the American mainland.” So, is the contrary, Christiansen paper invalidate the study of Barnett, in the specific case of Panthera atrox, let's see why.

If you see the sample from Barnet et al. (2009), there is only four specimens of Panthera atrox there, while all the other specimens are of Panthera leo vereshchagini from Alaska and Canada, over the ice plaque in Beringia, remember that “although lions may have been present in Beringia, they did not penetrate into the American mainland” (Christiansen & Harris, 2009). Also, the sample size is not as large as some lion fans clamed, using only 20 specimens from America (just four are Panthera atrox), and 21 from Europe and Russia. Christiansen & Harris (2009) used 23 specimens from collections “at the George C. Page Museum (LACMHC) and thus all from the latest Pleistocene locality of Rancho La Brea (11,000-40,000 years BP). Only well-preserved and largely complete specimens were chosen for study. These were reviewed in light of a comparative database of consisting of 78 tigers (44 <;32 ,), 106 lions (63 <; 43 ,), and 57 jaguars (35 <; 22 ,)”. So, Barnett makes the mistake of including all the specimens of Panthera leo vereshchagini like if they were Panthera atrox.

Here is the document of Christiansen & Harris (2009): You most login first.

Until ancient-DNA and nuclear-DNA test clarified the issue, the solo mtDNA is not enough evidence, especially when the morphological records don’t support it. AmbaDarla (talk) 05:58, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

But, that still does NOT explain, why Panthera leo spelaea is considered to be a Lion subspecies, while Panthera leo atrox isn't! If they're sister (sub)species, then, whatever applies to spelaea should also apply to atrox. So, how do you explain that? Huh? Mozzyepic24 (Talk). 23:24, 19 July, 2011. (UTC).

That's because the papers were focusing on P. atrox, not P. l. spelaea. --Mr Fink (talk) 04:37, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to American lion Mike Cline (talk) 14:01, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

American LionAmerican lion – Let's be consistent with the articles for all other pantherine cats and use sentence case for the common name title. WolfmanSF (talk) 00:26, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Support – routine correction of over-capitalization. Dicklyon (talk) 03:41, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

What happen now here?[edit]

Again, the article reflect the old statement that Panthera atrox was a lion, even when the new fact is that this cat was not a lion and was more related with the jaguars.

I suggest to change all the thematic of the article to show the new scientific data, not the old statements. Check that mDNA studies are NOT conclusive and Nuclear DNA most be tested yet. On the other side, the morphological studies shows that this great cat is an species by they own. AmbaDarla (talk) 06:34, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

The mitochondrial DNA studies are more conclusive than the morphological studies and strongly indicate that the closest relative of the American lion is the Eurasian cave lion. Whether it's a species or subspecies is unresolved, but atrox and spelaea should be treated the same since they appear to represent sister lineages. WolfmanSF (talk) 07:41, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Nonsense, the study of Barnett is older (is from January 2009, while that of Christiansen & Harris is of September of 2009) and use only FOUR skulls of P. atrox. Morphological studies, in this case are more accurate as use a larger sample, which give it a great statistical support. The molecular study also shows that the LEOPARD is closer for lion than P. atrox, something that was proved by recent morphological studies. So Wolfman (or I must say PHDcsfan from Yuku forum?), don’t stated silly thing like “genetic analysis (Barnett ref.) trumps morphological analysis (Christiansen & Harris)” as this is not true. For the contrary, Christiansen & Harris debunked Barnett study. I will change ALL to the previous statement, after all, Wikipedia most by at the edge of the new investigations, not OLD myths. AmbaDarla (talk) 20:08, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
If we were talking about 2 different morphological studies, or 2 different genetic studies, and the second study was much more thorough and definitive than the first, it would make sense to disregard the earlier study. However, comparing morphological and genetic studies is like comparing apples and oranges; timing means little here, and the 8 month disparity is meaningless. With morphology, it's difficult to know what selective pressures might have been operating to confound the analysis. Analysis of sequences of two different genes (HVR1 and ATP8) both showed that atrox and spelaea are sister lineages. Since we have good genetic evidence for the hypothesis that spelaea andleo are the closest and second closest relatives, respectively, of atrox, and since both spelaea andleo are commonly described as lions, it seems reasonable to call atrox a lion. We should treat spelaea and atrox consistently. It is also worth remembering that phylogeny is not the only factor influencing sharing of a common name. The leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard are not closely related (see Davis et al., 2010). Also, the American cheetah is probably closer to the cougar than to the cheetah. WolfmanSF (talk) 01:31, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Species vs. subspecies[edit]

I see we just lost the species name in the taxobox. Could we have some objective data or citations to indicate that the subspecies is the preferred classification? When I do a Google Scholar search for "Panthera atrox" (since 2010) I get 86 hits, while "Panthera leo atrox" only gives 36. That doesn't look like a consensus for Panthera leo atrox. WolfmanSF (talk) 08:44, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

What's up with that indeed, if I remember correctly the most recent genetic evidence points to neither the American lion nor the cave lion being subspecies of the modern lion, very closely related to Panthera leo as a whole but not within it. Mike.BRZ (talk) 21:37, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, let's just change it to species then. FunkMonk (talk) 23:00, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
What paper are you referring to? Barnett et al. (2009) use P. leo atrox. If we go back to P. atrox, we'd probably have to do the same for spelaea . A possibly better alternative from my perspective is going back to presenting the 2 alternative taxonomic appellations in the taxobox. WolfmanSF (talk) 00:33, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I meant Bernett et al (2009) yes and welp, you are right they have it as P. leo atrox, I like your idea of reverting as it was before. Mike.BRZ (talk) 03:06, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I think it is too cluttered, and if there is even a slight scientific consensus, we should go with that, and present disagreement as prose in the article itself. Similar disagreements are common, but rarely reflected in the taxobox, where the most prevalent theory should be presented. FunkMonk (talk) 05:38, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Then Panthera atrox it is, looking up "Panthera atrox" and "Panthera leo atrox" in google scholar with a custom range of 2000-2014 the results are 216 vs 96, however in the case of "Panthera spelaea" vs "Panthera leo spelaea" is the other way around with 388 vs 416 articles. Mike.BRZ (talk) 09:08, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Problem is, from a logical standpoint atrox and spelaea should be treated the same, since they are sister lineages and thus equally distantly related to extant P. leo. One could argue that the viewpoint of Barnett et al. deserves extra weight, given that theirs is the most recent genetic analysis. I'm going to add a note to the taxoboxes of atrox and spelaea to point out the alternate classifications. Let me know what you think about that. WolfmanSF (talk) 18:50, 10 October 2014 (UTC)