Male lions stand out against females not only in size, but also in looks. It can never be hard to differentiate a female lion or a male lion from afar because male lions have a thick Mane spanning from hits head and many times stretching to its underbelly. When we talk about lions with mane, we are not talking about the mountain lion also known as cougar. We are talking about the magnificent Asiatic lions which live in India's Gir Forest, and the African lions live which live central and southern Africa. But what stands out about lions is their ear deafening roar and of course their thick beautiful manes. So why do lions have manes anyway and what good is it? Well, let’s take a common sense approach to this question.
Why Lions Have Mane
The lion's mane can serve as a shield when battling other lions or any other large carnivores such as hyenas. The mane can protect most of the lion's head and neck from bites and claws which makes it much more difficult to be harmed in battle.
2. Shows Health and Fitness
The coloration and size of the lion's mane helps to tell other lions and common foes about the lions health, strength, fitness and sometimes youthfulness. A male lion mane grows as he reaches adolescence and will not become as thick and heavy until that lion reaches full adulthood. Lions which become ill may experience thinner manes due to diseases and may be more likely to be challenged or attacked.
3. Makes The Lion Look Bigger
Just like the stick walkers who have these long wooden legs covered by colored funny looking pants, walking around in circuses and carnivals which seem like giants to us, so does the lion's mane make him look stronger and bigger to lions and other common competitors. The bigger the lion, the better the avoidance of being challenged.
4. It's There Crown
Lions are considered to be king of the Jungle. What else would make them stand out against all other animals especially other large cats. The lion's mane symbolizes it's royalty in it's natural environment.
5. Used To Attract Female Lions
The Lion's mane is also used as an attraction mechanism for female lions. A female lion is attracted to a lion's mane which is full, rich and vibrant. This tells her that the lion is strong and healthy and thus the perfect candidate to father her cubs as they would gain the genetics of their father.