Lion Classification


  1. Is your species closely related to other species? Panthera Leo is closely related to panther Tigris (Tiger)

  2. If yes to 1, what isolating mechanism keeps them from interbreeding? A male lion (Panthera Leo) can interbreed with a female tiger (Panthera Tigris) to produce a Liger.

  3. Have your species been affected by vicariance or dispersal? If so how? Lions are affected by dispersal. Most female lions immigrated when a new incoming male joins the troop or when adult females give birth. Others also left in order to avoid mating with off springs.

  4. Is it part of an adaptive radiation, and does it show convergent evolution with other species? Yes, dispersal in lions is an adaptive radiation meant to protect the species from degenerating into weaker generation.

  5. Approximately when did the major group (e.g insect, birds etc.) that your organism did first evolve? The genus panthera first evolved 5 million years ago, but the familiar species including lion, tiger and the leopard came to be 1 million years ago.

  6. Does your species have broad or narrow tolerance of man altered habitats? Lions have narrow tolerance for man altered habitats. They stay in the wild and have always staged conflict with humans trying to invade their habitat.

  7. Is your species an autotroph or heterotrophy? Lions are heterotrophs. They rely on other animals for nutrition.

  8. Would your species survive without sunlight? Yes, a lion can thrive even without sunlight since it feeds on other animals.

  9. Does it do photosynthesis or chemosynthesis, or neither? Lions neither do photosynthesis or chemosynthesis.

  10. Is it extromophile? Lions are not extromophiles.

  11. What trophic level does it fall into? Lions fall in the third trophic levels. They feed on herbivores.

  12. Does it live in a highly productive ecosystem, an unproductive one or an intermediate one? Lions live in an intermediate productive ecosystem. They are found in the savanna grassland of east Africa especially in Tanzania and Kenya.

  13. How does your organism get its carbon? Lions get their reduced carbon from other organisms.

  14. In what biome/aquatic life zone does your organism occur? Lions occur in African savanna mainly in Tanzania and Kenya.

  15. In what latitudinal zone does your organism occur? In the equatorial region.

  16. What special requirement, if any does your organism has for its survival? Lions are the ultimate predators and are not solitary hunters. Hence they are able to kill any animal regardless of its speed or size as they employ strategies on their prey and enemies.

  17. Do humans eat your organism? Humans do not feed on lions, as lions are predators.

  18. Does it have important ecosystem values? Lions play a significant role in ecosystem. They reduce the number of herbivores hence reducing pressure on primary producers/plants.

  19. Do humans threaten the survival of your species? If so, how? Yes, humans threaten the survival of lions. Humans especially the Maasai community hunt the lion for rituals or traditional beliefs. In addition, there has been constant lion-human conflict due to need for pastures for Maasai cattle. This has led to the drastic decrease in lion population in Africa.

  20. Do other living organisms threaten the survival of your species? If so how? Not really, being ultimate predators, lions have little threat from other animals apart from a pack of hyenas that can kill a lion if it is alone and when food is scarce.

  21. How do your individual actions help or harm this species? By being an animal lover, I visit wildlife in Kenya and Tanzania and support the course for conservation of lions.

  22. How can governments/policies do to help your species? Governments especially in the concerned countries can enact policies that protect wildlife through community involvement.