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American Lion Partial Femur


A very nice partial Femur from an American Lion it is 5 1/2″ long

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American Lion Fossil

The American Lion is thought to be the largest cat that ever lived! Also known as Felis Atrox, it is a relative of the African Lion (Panthera leo) and maybe a subspecies.  The name Panthera means “Panther”, (Leo) “Lion”, and Atrox “frightful”; so- “Frightful Panther or Lion”. This giant of all cats was larger than an African Lion, 5 feet (1.7M) tall and 11.5 feet (3.5M) in length from nose to tail and weighing about 700-800 lbs. It ranged from Alaska to the middle of South America.

Background Information

Felis Atrox (American Lion) it thought to have been the largest cat that ever lived!  It is a relative of the African Lion (Panthera leo) and maybe a subspecies. The name Panthera means “Panther”, (Leo) “Lion”, and Atrox “frightful”; “Frightful Panther or Lion”. This Prehistoric Predator is genetically a close relative to the modern Lion. Cave Lions lived in Europe during the Pleistocene Period and the American Lion lived in North America, even as far south as Peru. This gave it a sometimes name of “North American Cave Lion” or “North American Lion”. In North America, this Ice Age Cat dated as far back as 350,000 years ago, and went extinct about 13,000 years ago.

In Florida, this Ancient Lion arrived around 70,000 years ago in the late Pleistocene Period and is considered extremely rare.  They were distributed throughout Northern Florida and not in Southern Florida. A complete skull with lower jaws was discovered in Columbia County, Florida. The Lion is more uncommon than Smilodon fossils and the bones are much larger. This Extinct Prehistoric Cat had a muscularly built body with longer and more powerful front legs than an African Lion. In conclusion it was probably faster. This faster speed may have assisted the Lion in catching faster prey animals.

It had 4 inch plus canine teeth. This Top Ice Age Predator had an estimated bite force of 1800 lbs. per square inch.  Twice the bite force of today’s modern lion. The Male had no mane, like its cousin the cave lion, based on cave paintings, in France, made 30,000 years ago. Over a hundred specimens of Panthera Atrox have been collected in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles, California.



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