LionHighly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognized by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture. Traditionally, 12 recent subspecies of lion were recognized, distinguished by mane appearance, size, and distribution. Because these characteristics are very insignificant and show a high individual variability, most of these forms were probably not true subspecies, especially as they were often based upon zoo material of unknown origin that may have had “striking, but abnormal” morphological characteristics.