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Lion  (Latin: Panthera leo) - species of carnivorous mammals, one of four members of the genus panther (Latin: Panthera), belonging to the subfamily of the big cats (Pantherinae) in the cat family (Felidae). Is the second largest after the tiger of the living cats - some males can weight up to 250 kg. 
Historical range of the lion was much wider than the modern - even in the early Middle Ages lion met throughout Africa, in deserts and tropical forests, as it can be seen in the Middle East, Iran, and even in some areas of southern Europe (for example, he lived on the part of in present-day southern Russia, rising to about the 45th parallel of north). In the North and North-West India lion was just a predator. However, persecution by humans and habitat destruction led to the fact that in Africa a lion remained just south of the Sahara, its range is now broken. In Asia, there is a small population in Girskom forest (in the Indian state of Gujarat).

Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the Lions were the most widespread large mammals on Earth after humans . Their fossils are found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in North America from the Yukon to Peru.  Known by the rock paintings of the European cave lion, was, apparently, a subspecies of the modern lion.

The appearance of a lion is very characteristic. This is one of the few predators with a strong sexual dimorphism. Males are not only much larger than females, but they have a mane, which in some subspecies reaches a large development and covers the shoulders, back and chest. Lion-yellow coloring of different shades of gray, the mane is often the same color as the skin, but it is dark, even black. Lion subspecies are determined largely by the color of the mane. Except for the mane, the hairs on the body of the animal is short, only the tail end of a brush of long hair.

Lions inhabit mainly savanna, but sometimes they can move to scrub the area or forest. Unlike other cats, they do not live alone, and in particular family groups - Pride. Pride usually consists of related females and offspring of several adult males. The females hunt together, mostly on large ungulates. Lions prey on people on purpose, but the cases of cannibalism is very common. Lions are sverhhischnikami, ie occupy the top position in the food chain.

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