The Cryptid Zoo: Panthera Atrox

Panthera atrox, the American lion, roamed North America ten thousand years ago. It was about a third bigger than today's African lions, and it is thought to have had black fur. Once considered a separate species from today's lions, paleontologists now believe that Panthera atrox was simply a subspecies. According to this view, today's lions of Africa and Asia are exactly the same species as both the cave lion of southern Europe (an animal that may have persisted until about 400 BC in small pockets) and the presumably extinct American lion. All these varieties of lion were merely subspecies of the same lion species we have today.

This raises hopes among cryptozoologists that very small pockets of undetected surviving lions may explain the numerous lion sightings that have persisted in Europe and America for many years. The black color of Panthera atrox especially inspires cryptozoologists that they may have found the solution to the mystery black panthers of America. Hypothetical tan-colored individuals are also used to explain the persistent sightings of American lions.

You can find out more about Panthera Atrox from the following sources:

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Page 179-180, 195-197
Would you like your nonfiction book indexed
in The Cryptid Zoo? Ask if you can send a
review copy.

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America: The Revised Edition. New York: Paraview Press, 2001. Pages 113, 127-159, 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 118, 260-261

Wikipedia, The. American Lion

Home | Creature Maps | Cryptozoology Organizations | Cryptozoology Links | Cryptozoology Books & Films | Link to Me | Monster Mania

The text on this page is copyright 2005 by Jamie Hall. Please use proper citation if you are using this website for research.