Why do Lions Have Manes?
In the animal kingdom, only the male lions grow manes. This is the distinct difference between the male and female lions. The lion is known as the ‘King of Beasts,. While he may not wear a crown, the mane makes him look like a noble. The reason why male lions grow manes is probably due to the fact that they are responsible in protecting their territory and their pride (the family of lions).
Scientists say that the mane helps the males look more intimidating and fiercer. They also believed that the mane helps soften the blows of rival male lions when they are fighting each other. There is also the possibility that the male lions use their manes to attract female lions to join his pride. The manes of male lions have different sizes and color. Some are so thick that they are visible even in the shoulder areas. Some have light manes while some have darker ones.
Researchers conducted several studies on what the ‘real, purpose of the manes do to male lions. Since a lot of the other ‘big cats, tend to fight each other without manes (tigers, leopards, jaguars, panthers etc) they ruled out that the mane protects the males during the fights. The other experiment is to test about attraction, which type of mane attracts female lions.
Their studies showed that female lions are attracted to males that have a darker manes.
Lions that have darker manes tend to be older and healthier than other lions. They also have higher testosterone levels and females likes to mate with strong males to have stronger offsprings. These lions are more aggressive and protect the pride from other rivals with more ferocity.
The lions are revered in different cultures and religions. They symbolize courage and royalty. They are the guardians of good and destroyer of the wicked and represent the sun. A male lion may not have a crown, but he is still known to be the king of all beasts.