|Daniel's Answer to the King, by Briton Rivière, 1892|
A male lion in his prime with a grand and bushy mane rarely fails to impress. Ancient peoples carved lions onto stone walls, and prophets spoke of lions in the Scriptures. But of all the cats found around the world, why do only lions grow manes? Lion researcher Bruce Patterson from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago has made answering these kinds of questions his life’s work. His research helped answer why some male African lions have puny manes while others possess majestic ones. Those answers reveal intriguing details about creation and its great Creator.To read the rest, click on "The Lion's Mane".
Hybrids between lions and other cat species show that lion-specific genes express manes. Evolutionary biologists often assume that an animal expresses a given trait to increase its species’ survival rate. But they have a hard time figuring out what adaptive advantage a mane provides. Some male lions grow virtually no manes and they thrive just fine, but female lions can occasionally grow a mane, further complicating the origins question. What causes the lion’s mane?