Caturday felid: lions

by Greg Mayer

The Milwaukee County Zoo has a magnificent pair of African lions. The male has the sort of large, flaring mane that most of us associate with lions (but which is, in fact, subject to much individual and geographic variation; Asiatic lions, for example, have smaller manes).

The female is lithe and muscular; when living together in mixed-sex prides, females do much of the hunting.

We’ve mentioned lions here before at WEIT, including the almost mythical spotted ones.


  1. Posted December 4, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Here’s my portrait of Pima, longtime resident of the Phoenix Zoo:

    She died a few years ago in her early twenties. She was quite the cat, as was Papago, her mate.



  2. Posted December 4, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Glad to see you among the living Jerry. Stay well!

    BTW, attended an unavoidable Jehovah’s Witness funeral this weekend. The minister spoke of the end times, how the meek will inherit prime real estate contracts, and how all lions would eat straw.

    • Sili
      Posted December 4, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink


      by Greg Mayer

      • daveau
        Posted December 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink


    • Sean
      Posted December 7, 2010 at 2:14 am | Permalink

      I think your mind was wandering far afield.

  3. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Grrreat subject, Greg!

    Now, there’s my beef?

  4. daveau
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I sure hope those beauties aren’t in the kitteh contest!

  5. Posted December 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Was at the Milwaukee zoo for the first time over the summer. Loved the big cats there, but I felt bad for them, being in those smallish enclosures. The African savanna painted on the background of their pens made it seem especially sad. I was surprised since most of the other animals at that zoo get larger outdoor areas.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted December 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      The lions have an outdoor area too. The lions’ inside area is large in my estimation (but not as large as what the Milwaukee tigers’ have).


  6. Diane G.
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Is that a lion toy behind the male in the first pic?

    Gorgeous animals, btw. And Ben, I love that portrait.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted December 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is a lion toy.


      • Diane G.
        Posted December 5, 2010 at 4:22 am | Permalink

        Kinda destroys that whole majesty illusion there… 🙂

        Actually, just reminds me again of how fascinating predators are.

  7. Dominic
    Posted December 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Ah! But which type are they? Are they southern African,

    or the descendants of the Barbary lions…?

    or Abyssinian lions…?

    Beautiful & threatened…

  8. E.A. Blair
    Posted December 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to the felines at the Milwaukee County Zoo, I far prefer the Amur Tigers. Truly magnificent animals.

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