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Nov 3 15 8:16 PM

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Here is Tanner the lion, from Tigerworld NC,    it has real traces of Barbary decent in its genes and was officially tested. 

Note the darker brown skin on the body, with the reddish hued mane.

This lion was housed previously with a male tiger, and at feeding time, as reported by one of the zoologist interns working there at the time...the lion was quite aggressive and would win the scuffles, taking the male tigers food. 

The lion is particularly short in length, but strong in body, weighing about 500lbs. 


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Black North African lion as called by the Arabs, was weighed at 600lbs to 660lbs.


Reddish hued Barbary lion killed by French hunter in Algiers 1840s, was so heavy, 3 men united could not turn the lion over on its side.


Actual account of a hunter that killed a Cape lion in 1850s, this lion proves to be massive and powerfully built
like the Barbary.


A zoologist from mentioned an actual real account of a sighting of Barbary lions in the wild as seen by hunters.
Expert Dr. Alan Turner is a leading Professor of Paleontology, according to him, the Barbary lion would have a 300kg weight average.

The following quotes below are from the zoologist. Each question answered is signed with a C. which was the zoologist pen name online standing for Carnivora. 

Barbary lions were longer bodied animals with shorter shoulder heights. 

They had all the benefits really, with stocky broad stature of the stockiest lions around today and a mane too! 

Weights are almost impossible to get accurate with only bones surviving but early photographs suggest animals up to 550lbs 

for barbaries and possibly up to 600lbs for cape lions. 

Some Transvaal lions are impressive at up to about 530lbs and the record 690lb needs mention. 

Vick here’s a part Barbary. 
It was built totally for fighting and all present big cat face off topics would be rendered mute. 
Re: photo graphs of true barbary and cape lions 
And if they do let these out onto the Atlas Mountains again, even plains lions would have to take a back seat. 
All early documentation remarked on massive broad jaws and shoulders, not to mention mind blowing ferocity. 
Even the females are bulky brutes. 
Re: photo graphs of true barbary and cape lions 
Cojimar, But our statement is erroneous. 
I studied 1920 literature which concerned itself with the remaining stock of Morocco, along with a captive pure pair held by a Moroccan king. 
The Atlas Mountains and woodland was reported to have seen almost total combat between males of this species. 
At this time they were referred to as atlas lions or atlas mountain lions. 
The atlas mountain tom would keep 2 females or more but the females did not engage in cooperative hunting. 
In other words, they did not need to cooperate to hunt the mountains much like the tiger, but they were semi pride when pairing for life unlike the tiger. 

The fighting was remarked on many times by early travellers and hunters during the early 1910s. 
Apparently the males were completely mad and would aim to attack any lion outside of their pride but would do it single handed. 
The males did not pair or cooperate for combat! 
It was a truly terrible beast on all account. 
I have a couple of notable accounts reported by big game hunters during 1890 which also laid testimony to this. 
They would seek to constantly mate with other lions mates and were reported to be of generally larger size than plains lions with a marked showing of greater aggression. 
All hunters saw the beast as the ultimate aim and sadly wiped out the last wild specimen in 1920. 
Your information on the atlas could not be further from the truth. 
I have a personal colleague who has studied the atlas natural history much deeper than me. 
I’ll see if I can turn up a little more for you. 
Re: photo graphs of true Barbary and Cape lions 
The cape lion was as the plains lion but would have been slightly larger due to the geographic location. 
In contrast it hunted the more lush forest floor rather than open savannah and this may have accounted for the slightly larger size genetically. 
The last specimen’s bones suggested a 600lb.average. 
But it would not have bettered the ultimate fighter Atlas. 
All the genetic selection was greatly heightened in this species. 
The body was moulded into the perfect shape for fighting and its mane achieved the largest ever size. 
It was an utter demon and the ultimate challenge for the hunter. 
Re: photo graphs of true Barbary and Cpe lions 
Here’s an early account from The African big game Chronicles 1907. 
We moved into the lion’s territory with great trepidation. 
The plan was for a big tom for the garden party. 
We were well experienced of the great Atlas but gripped with excitement and fear as always. 
We carried 3 rifles and a boar war issue service. 
Suddenly we heard terrible roars, when looking down from the escarpment we noted 2 huge males fighting. We positioned one rifle for firing and the Brigadier took the shot. 
One of the great beasts fell. Soon after we beckoned the porters to climb down the rift and return our trophy. 
The North Africans feared the lion and we would pay a costly sum to finally acquire our great mount. 

The story is headed by 2 huge lions fighting. 

A further mention in this book describes the Atlas as perfectly mad. 
Re: photo graphs of true Barbary and Cape lions 
The Caspian tiger would not have bettered a Barbary. 
Caspians were notable for very lean and long bodies with long belly hair. 
They may have attained slightly larger size than the Bengal tiger but were less well built. 
There is no existence of accurate or reputable readings of roman cat fighting as far as i know. 
The atlas was magnificent and unquestionably unmatchable by bigcats. 
Shortly before his death, John Aspinall (who studied the Barbary/Atlas history all his life) reported that the cat was far more savage and powerful than any tiger or present day lion. 
It just doesn’t fit that the slim Caspian would have been its superior. 
Remember that Aspinall was responsible for the Barbary breeding programme. 
Visit his website by typing in port limpness wild animal park and Howletts zoo 
One last time. 
The atlas lion was greatly engaged in fighting. It was highly competitive for grouped females and would have been a highly skilled fighter. 
It may have led a more nomadic existence in its search for females but it still behaved as plains lions in the way it sort to dislodge other toms. 
The entire design of the animal was set up for fighting. 
It was not a hunter but existed off the females kills. 
The chest was massive and the massive mane would not have enabled very efficient predation. This all points to a fighter and not a provider or efficient predator especially in the denser forested mountains. 
The View of lone, tiger like predator is erroneous. 
It is quite possible that the documentation of such which you have found is unreliable or that the zoologist is mistaken. 
Some early reports on much big game would be old fashioned and erroneous and I’m sure your information is bad in this regard. 
I will consult my colleague on this tomorrow for one final report to confirm my own experience or apologise. 
The natural history of Caspian’s tigers is very poor so I do not understand where you are getting this idea of super powerful Caspians from. 
Early documentation gives loose mentions of Caspians only. 
Study outside of Africa and central India was virtually unheard of during the early parts of the 20th century. 
Caspians were simply not encountered by western naturalists. 
The last surviving remnants were studied but the meager offerings saw cats of less build than Amur tigers but unusual belly hair. A notable ruff at the neck packed the head out but the underlying skull was smaller and less impressive than the Amur in terms of strength. 

Skulls for Barbaries were broader but much shorter. This accounts for smaller size when compared to Plains lions and capes but the jaw was massively powerful and the teeth extra stout. 
This was a supreme fighter make no mistake. 
Could you provide a source for my colleague with regard to Caspians being stronger than atlas during roman Gladiatorial times? 

Re: Barbarie lions 
Cojimar and vick, I have been in contact with Dr Alan turner this morning (The colleague i mentioned yesterday) 
Does the name mean anything to you? 
If not I will enlighten you. 
Dr Alan turner is a leading Professor of Palaeontology who has worked in the area of Mammalian carnivores. 
He Co wrote the book Bigcats and their fossil relatives and was responsible for the anatomic structure research. 
Professor Turner has verified my opinion which is based on much less experience than him. 
Observations of skeletal structures found in the Atlas Mountains, has revealed long bodied 2.5 ft tall (shoulder) lions with extremely broad jaws and shorter heads. 
The chest dimensions taken from rib cage dimensions, reveals larger chests than plains lions. 
Weights are estimated up to 300kg. 
The mane was longer and shaggier. It may have increased in order to cope with reduced temperatures or may have reduced in plains lions to cope with increased temperatures. 
Vick, I read through your piece above but it still appears to suggest long manes to me. 
All reports from early zoological works report of fierce competition with what were Nomadic interlopers. 
The males were not pride builders like plains lions but would act as parasites off groups of sister females. 
Usually the male sat with 2 females and was under constant threat from nomadic males. 
Look at the port limpness sight. Aspinall was a leading player in Barbary research and spent millions on this project. 
Your information is mutated and largely incorrect. 
If you do not wish my experience on this matter, we can move on with other topics. 
My time here may well be cut short due to work load and i can will only be answering specifics rather than wishing to get into debates with tiger fanciers. 
The information is out there, so do not ignore it. 
The Barbary was a non active predator of the Atlas elevation where it leached off resident females. 
There has been suggestion of some genetic cross over into some areas of North Africa. 
It is quite possible that displaced Barbaries may have bred with plains females and created the occasionally seen 550lb males with huge shaggy manes. Blood has been taken from notable specimens and there does appear to be some truth in the idea. This research is in its infancy and will take more time to reveal positive identification. 
Aspinalls work is also linked with this new research. 
Your information is erroneous and misleading. 
Re: carnívora 
Bengal, But I have read all of these works which you mention and many more, in order that I might compile my first Bsc. 
The people who engaged the tiger in their research were extremely passionate about the animal and correctly so. 
It is similar with the lion. 
However, we all understand that these 2 great cats are just so physically close, that behaviour would be the most likely key element in an interchange if called on to declare an edge. 
The tiger has simply excelled at predation with an occasional rare fight being part of its life. 
Any zoologist worth his salt will know this. 
The scent marking of tigers, secretive lone lifestyle and massive geographical range in relation to tiger numbers, all see to this. 
The Tom lion however, is a constant target of coalition takeover. 
Prides are sought out and easily and constantly found. 
The pride is defended by the 2 prime males which reside together for the life of the pride. 
They will constantly interchange on a daily basis, honing their skill as the vie to mate the in season sisters. 
The takeover attempts will number as many as 3 per season depending on location. 
The fight experienced and fight fit males will then battle to oust or kill the holding pair or drive off the interlopers. 
The skill and battle experience of the pairing of a successful 5 year held pride, will by utterly sublime. 
Additional benefits of a mane and its subsequent ability to intimidate leaves me with a big problem when trying to call this for the tiger. 
I indeed, instinctively know that something is a foot with the zoologist when it is called the other way. 
Either the individual is not quite the zoologist he could be and has spent too long around the tiger, or he isn’t a zoologist. 
Please explain how I might call it for the tiger in the light of what I understand. 
Bengaltiger fan 

King of swedens Barbary lion kills a european brown bear with one blow: 


The king, of whom I have just narrated so many anecdotes, had a very large lion‘ presented to him by one of the Barbary powers. There were at this time several bears kept by the butchers about the shambles in Stockholm, and his majesty, being anxious to witness a rencontre between one of these animals and the lion, ordered them to be brought into contact with each other. lu the lion's den there were two apartments, into one of which the bear was introduced. On the lion, however, getting access to that animal, he found him posted in a corner; when, going up to him, he gave him a slight rap with his paw, as if to see of what materials his visiter was composed. The bear, not liking this kind of salutation, growled, and endeavoured to parry it. This made the lion angry: when, ‘ with one- fell swoop,‘ with -his paw, as the story goes, he laid the bear dead at his feet. 

Other experts as well, also confirm the Barbary lion was close to a 300kg average. 

..Recent genetic and morphological research showed that the Barbary lion (North African lion population) is slightly different from the Asiatic lion (Asian lion population), but clearly distinct from sub-Saharan lions (Hemmer and Burger 2005; Barnett et al. 2006; Burger and Hemmer 2006). Grouping all African lions into one single subspecies, including the North African Barbary lion, would therefore be incorrect. The Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo) can be considered a distinct valid lion subspecies.

..It is the largest of the lion subspecies with males weighing between 230 to 270 kg and females 140 to 160 kg. Although, due to a small sample size available for study, we have to wait until more specimens may become available to be sure about this lion's size (Yamaguchi and Haddane, 2002).



Few would contradict the view that the lion (Panthera leo) has made a deeper impression on the human imagination than has any other animal....
..It is, however, doubtful whether captive Barbary lions, usually captured as cubs and kept in menageries during the 18th or 19th centuries, attained the full body size. Cuvier himself referred to undesirable captive conditions at the menagerie (Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire and Cuvier, 1824). Cornish (1899) reported that big cats only lived, on an average, for two years in London Zoo in the mid-1800s. Gérard (1856) also expressed his concern about the captive condition of lions at the Jardin des Plantes. On the other hand, he described a big wild Barbary lion he shot with the comment `This lion, compared to the finest of those which are exhibited in our menageries, or at the Jardin des Plantes, was what a horse is to a donkey. .Gérard (1856) described the size of wild male Barbary lions as c. 2.3 m from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail, which measured c. 90 cm, and their weight as c. 270–300 kg. If this had been true, Barbary lions would indeed have been big amongst lions. However, the methods of obtaining these measurements (e.g. straight or along the curve) were not specified, and the accuracy of the measurements themselves may be questionable, as Gérard made them in the field. Although Pease (1899, 1915) suggested that North African lions might have become very heavy because they fed on mutton so much,..Furthermore, many Barbary lions were killed in North Africa even towards the end of the 19th century (Pease, 1899, 1915), by which time some big natural history museums were well established. Therefore, it is possible that skulls of those lions, both captive and wild, have ended up in private collections and museums in Europe, providing a large amount of study materials of Barbary lions. Nevertheless, currently fewer than ten adult skulls (males and females combined) are known. 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). Does this mean Barbary lions were not particularly big? Due to such a small sample size, we have to wait until more specimens may become available. The big lion Gérard shot in Algeria was presented to the Duchess of Orléans (Gérard, 1856), but the current whereabouts of this specimen and other wild-shot Barbary lions which decorated Gérard's Paris residence are not known. ).. scientifically demonstrated that there is indeed a strong positive correlation between mane size and cooler temperature.Therefore, it is likely that, in their Atlas habitat, male Barbary lions developed bigger manes than any extant lions in the wild. However, things are not so straightforward in captivity...Furthermore, it is suggested that the colour and size of a lion's mane are influenced by other factors, such as nutrition and physiological stress (West and Packer, 2002).. It is reported that, in good modern captive conditions, lions always develop bigger skulls compared to wild ones of the same age (Smuts et al., 1978). Also, as we discussed above, it may not be realistic in the first place to assess the size of the Barbary lion from such a small number of materials. Furthermore, Hollister (1918), while studying the differences in muscle and bone development between wild and captive lions by examining specimens of the same origins and similar ages, suggests that a straightforward comparison of skulls between wild and captive animals, or between animals of different captive conditions, needs an extra caution.....It seems obvious that large mammals like lions can travel a huge distance, making possible a gene flow between two widely separated populations...

Potential reintroduction

Assuming all problems may be solved, seeing Barbary lions in the wild in the Moroccan Atlas may become possible. Apart from the above-mentioned genetic investigation, the Moroccan authorities recognise that the Atlas Lion Project involves (1) continuous selective breeding, (2) ecological assessment of the possible reintroduction site, (3) protecting the natural environment of the area and releasing lions, and (4) monitoring the released animals and promoting eco-tourism. Between the Middle and High Atlas lies a rocky mountainous area where green oaks dominate the landscape

Last Edited By: starfox Jan 25 17 5:57 PM. Edited 13 times

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#1 [url]

Nov 3 15 8:53 PM

Nice try Starfox... An estimated cannot be taken as evidence, 2.3 m from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail is actually small..It's like a average length for Sumatran tiger and height of 2.5 feet tall could not weight 270 - 300 kg

"Conclusion of Yamaguchi: there are no reliable sizes of wild Barbary lions, nor any weights. Yamaguchi, the “god” of hard-core-lion-fans presents a good case where he states that there is no evidence or at least enough specimens to say that this lion was larger than any other population. In fact, if we follow the new genetic evidence and with the presented sizes, we can conclude that this lion was of the same size and weight than modern Indian and West African lions, which incredible, reach the same sizes despite the large geographical distance."

Please read the sources that I've provided.. your posts doesn't support anything about Barbary lion being bigger than African lion..Hence you didn't provide any studies on it..The length of the Barbary lion were not even confirmed yet, opinion and estimation cannot be taken as evidence..


Last Edited By: KingLolCat Nov 3 15 8:57 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Nov 3 15 9:07 PM

Dr. Alan Turner upon viewing the chest of the Barbary lion skeletons made that 300kg estimate.  So sorry, the chest skeletons were larger than any planes lions. 

As well the Barbary lions fought on their own, and were even more aggressive than African lions, figure that one out. 

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#3 [url]

Nov 3 15 9:32 PM

starfox wrote:
Dr. Alan Turner upon viewing the chest of the Barbary lion skeletons made that 300kg estimate.  So sorry, the chest skeletons were larger than any planes lions. 

As well the Barbary lions fought on their own, and were even more aggressive than African lions, figure that one out. 

No sorry, the chest skeleton of the specimen is big but the rest is smaller, Just look at their length and height, it's impossible for a lion weight 300 kg with that kind of measurement

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Nov 4 15 10:04 AM

Ahhh your not the paleontology expert, like Dr. Alan Turner. I think he knows.  And with this new information on Barbary lions, from the zoologist, and eyewitness accounts it reveals now that the Barbary lion did not pair up to fight, it fought on its own.  Breaking the myth that lions are not as good fighters because they live in prides.  It also shows the Barbary lion hunted on its own as well.  With the added mane protection, bulkier body, its quite apparent this lion would be a formable bigcat. 

And we do have a account of a real Barbary lion that fought a European brown bear, knocking it out in one swipe. 

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Nov 4 15 4:24 PM

starfox wrote:
Ahhh your not the paleontology expert, like Dr. Alan Turner. I think he knows.  And with this new information on Barbary lions, from the zoologist, and eyewitness accounts it reveals now that the Barbary lion did not pair up to fight, it fought on its own.  Breaking the myth that lions are not as good fighters because they live in prides.  It also shows the Barbary lion hunted on its own as well.  With the added mane protection, bulkier body, its quite apparent this lion would be a formable bigcat. 

And we do have a account of a real Barbary lion that fought a European brown bear, knocking it out in one swipe. 

Yes, i am not an Paleontology but like Dr.Alan Turner state the chest skeleton is big but how big? Again, Barbary lion lose to a Bengal tiger.. They don't have a bulkier body..

Check this picture out... these are the most pure specimens of the Barbary subspecies. They look exactly like the old zoologists describe these animals. However, check their sizes:


Small and not that bulky...

Again, Amyr tiger are known to kill bear, there's an account about it..

Last Edited By: KingLolCat Nov 4 15 4:26 PM. Edited 1 time.

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Jan 23 17 10:11 PM

A new account of Barbary lions from a French hunter in the 1850s proves it was possibly the largest bigcat.
Black North African lion as called by the Arabs, was weighed at 600lbs to 660lbs.


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