The Cryptid Zoo: American Lions

There are a number of lions or lion-like creatures that get reported frequently in areas that are not supposed to have lions. The Americas are the most notable of these places, since they have not had lions since prehistoric times (the cougar or "mountain lion" does not count as an American lion, since it is not a true lion).

North America's prehistoric lion was known as Panthera atrox. It was approximately one-third larger than today's African lions, and it was black in color, according to some researchers. Males might have lacked manes. Obviously, unless there were also tan-colored specimens, these creatures could not explain sightings of normal-looking African style lions, though they could explain huge black panthers that keep getting sighted in the Americas.

South America also has mystery lions. The "jungle lion" of Peru is a red-furred lion that is regularly sighted in the Yanachaga National Park.

You can find out more about the American Lions from the following sources:

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Page 179, 195-197

Clark, Jerome. Unexplained!. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1999. Pages 226-227
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Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 105-107, 113-114, 125-159, 292-296

Moggycat. Anomalous Felids

Newton, Michael. Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005. Pages 16, 115, 260-262, 326, 461

Shuker, Karl. The Beasts That Hide From Man: Seeking the World's Last Undiscovered Animals. New York: Paraview Press, 2003. Page 280

Wikipedia, The. American Lion

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The text on this page is copyright 2006 by Jamie Hall. Please use proper citation if you are using this website for research.