The extinct subspecies is the barbarian lion
The animal world of our planet was varied inall times. But, unfortunately, the populations of some fauna species are declining. Previously, the main factor in reducing population was climate change and habitat conditions. But recently, the cause of extinction of many species has become man. Unfortunately, with his "help", some rare animals disappeared irrevocably. These include the Barbarian lion, which will be discussed in this article.
The predator lived in Africa, in the northern regionsthe Sahara desert, and on the territory from Egypt to Morocco. Also the barbarian lion had other names - Atlas and Nubian. Previously, it was the largest subspecies among its feline counterparts.
Karl Linnaeus in 1758, it was he who was used for the classification, external description and behavior of lions.
The number of predators decreased sharply in the middle17th c. Already at the beginning of the 18th century. he practically disappeared from the Sahara (Africa). Only a few individuals continued to live in a small area of the northwestern areas of the desert.
Gained a great popularity at the timefirearms put an end to the population. Many hunters went to these areas for a valuable trophy. There was a purposeful policy of destroying an endangered predator.
In the wild, the last representative of this subspecies was shot in 1922 in Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains. From now on, it is considered extinct.
There is a picture of the last barbarian lion. The photo was taken in Algiers in 1893.
Now it is recognized as completely extinct, and only in zoos can you see individuals originating from the barbarian lion, but they can not be called purebloods.
Restoration of the population
Some scientists talk about the revival of the subspecies, but it will be extremely difficult to implement in practice. There were suggestions that individual specimens could remain in the princes of the royal family of Morocco.
However, a team of scientists led by Dr. Barnett conducted research, and it was proved that in our time there are no purebred individuals. This is a big obstacle in the recovery of the population.
It was a very large predator, distinguished amongrepresentatives of its kind. A distinctive feature of the barbarian lion was a dark mane of dark color, which went far to the back, and hung down on his stomach.
According to the latest research of scientists, this appearance, most likely, was an adaptation to cold living conditions. Although earlier it was believed that such a phenotype was simply a feature of the subspecies.
Male individuals of this predator weighed 160-250 kg, some reached 270 kg and in length up to 3 m. Females were much smaller - up to 2 m and from 100 to 170 kg.
Lean food changed the way of lifebarbaric lion. Its representatives did not create flocks or even pairs, as did their other kindreds. Predator preferred to live in complete solitude. The Barbarian lion was also found in the forests of the Atlas Mountains.
It was a very strong animal, which duringhunting initially pursued its prey. Before the immediate attack, he sneaked up on his victim. At a distance of 30 meters went on the attack. He did it with a quick leap. As a prey, such large animals as boars, deer, buffaloes, local subspecies of bobalov and zebra usually acted. A small animal, a Barbarian lion, could have been killed with one paw, but more often such a method as strangulation was used.
The main threat to the predator was only a man.
It is known that in Ancient Rome this subspecieswas used to participate in battles with the gladiators. Also, a barbarian lion was released into the arena against the Turanian tiger, which is also now an extinct animal. Their battle was a kind of amusing event of that time.
In 1970, monarch Hassan II from Morocco to RabatThe zoo was presented with a lion, which, according to the description, was more like a barbarian one. However, it was not a pureblood copy. By 1998, there were already 52 of his descendants from females of different subspecies of the lion.
In our time in the zoo of Addis Ababa is 11individuals of the predator, who are descendants of those animals that were in the personal property of Emperor Haile-Selassie I. But they are less and less reminiscent of their ancient great ancestor.
It is known that in the London Zoo in the second half of the 19th century there lived a thoroughbred barbarian lion named Sultan.
There is an assumption that in modern circuses you can meet a predator with the genes of a majestic grandparent.
In many countries there are sculptures of a lion. Constructed at different times, they always personified qualities such as majesty, power and authority. Perhaps, in the design of some specimens as an image, a Barbarian lion was used. A monument to this graceful predator can be seen in Morocco, in the city of Ifran. The stone lion is a symbol of this city.