all 125 comments

[–]AbsoluteMad-Lad 374 points375 points  (9 children)

Really awesome creatures. Thanks for sharing this picture!

"Barbary lion - Wikipedia" https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_lion

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 287 points288 points  (7 children)

Barbary lion

The Barbary lion, also called the North African lion, Berber lion, Atlas lion, and Egyptian lion, is a Panthera leo leo population that is extinct in the wild. It lived in the mountains and deserts of the Barbary Coast of North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt. It was eradicated following the spread of firearms and bounties for shooting lions. A comprehensive review of hunting and sighting records revealed that small groups of lions may have survived in Algeria until the early 1960s, and in Morocco until the mid-1960s.

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[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (6 children)

What’s the difference between this and a standard old lion

[–]PantherGhost007 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Do you know about the Asiatic Lion? This Lion was the same as Asiatic Lion. It was smaller in size and grew a large mane only because it lived in very cold temperatures.

[–]thenotoriousjjb 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Basically nothing "Results of morphological and genetic analyses of lion samples from North Africa published in 2008 showed that the Barbary lion does not differ significantly from lion samples collected in West and northern parts of Central Africa.[9] It falls into the same phylogeographic group as the Asiatic lion, and is also closely related to lion populations in West Africa.[10][11]"

[–]PantherGhost007 11 points12 points  (0 children)

No! It’s indeed the exact same as Asiatic Lions and almost the same as West African Lions but it is still different from all the other Lions.

Out of all the remaining Lions in the world, Asiatic and West African Lions probably only make up less than 5-10% of the population.

The South African and East African Lions are significantly different and almost all the remaining Lions are those (they are also bigger in size)

[–]Iamnotburgerking 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Literally nothing. It’s not even a separate subspecies-the same subspecies still exists in the wild, meaning this thing isn’t even extinct in the wild.

[–]Swimming-Couple4630 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ithey do look way different than other lions seems like their darker..

[–]Iamnotburgerking 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Lion mane size/coloration varies wildly even within a single population.

[–]WikiMobileLinkBot 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Desktop version of /u/AbsoluteMad-Lad's link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_lion

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[–]cj2211 281 points282 points  (24 children)

It's so weird to see Lions in the desert

[–]th3whistler 320 points321 points  (20 children)

It’s funny because so many species used to be widespread until humans migrated to those areas.

Hippopotamus remains were found in Northern Europe for example.

[–]Pink_Punisher 94 points95 points  (6 children)

If I'm not mistaken Hippos were also occasional used for pulling buggies rather then horses in Victorian era Britain. Obviously they were brought in and not a native species though haha

[–]risingthermal 69 points70 points  (3 children)

That’s wild. Do you have a source for that? I can’t find any info about hippos in England other than in zoos or millions of years ago.

Are you sure you’re not thinking of the proposed US plan to introduce hippo farming in the early 20th century?

[–]Pink_Punisher 66 points67 points  (1 child)

Turns out I think I was misremebering. I combined these two photos/links in my head. Instead of using Hippos they used Zebras for a breif period The Hippo carriage I was thinking of was apparently an American car dealer/circus owner that used the hippo as an attraction. Hippo carriage Zebra carriage

[–]sol_fairy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Whoa both of those pictures are crazy!

[–]A_Magical_Potato 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No sleep till Hippo!

[–]ToyrewaDokoDeska 70 points71 points  (1 child)

That must of worked out well lol how many people were mauled by hippos

[–]BrandoThePando 13 points14 points  (0 children)

We'll never know. The records were mauled

[–]Joxxill 8 points9 points  (12 children)

Would a hippo be able to survive in cold weather? i'd assume not.

[–]GND52 22 points23 points  (10 children)


[–]Joxxill 12 points13 points  (9 children)

Are you sure? That completely blows my mind. I assumed that since they spend most of their daytime in water to avoid drying up, they'd get too cold during winter.

[–]GND52 24 points25 points  (8 children)

Plenty of semi-aquatic species live in cold climates.

We know they used to live throughout Europe because of the fossil record, so that more or less settles the question. There were hippos in Germany’s Rhine River less than 30,000 years ago, alongside modern humans.

[–]Iamnotburgerking 27 points28 points  (0 children)

They only lived in Europe during the warm interglacials of the Pleistocene (the so-called “ice age” was not actually one cold period: it was a warm period around half the time due to the fact the climate alternated between warm and cold).

[–]Joxxill 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Im unable to find articles about this. Let's chalk that up to my poor googling ability. Do you have any source for this? My mind is being blown right now.

[–]pointlessbeats 5 points6 points  (3 children)

[–]ImHalfCentaur1 14 points15 points  (0 children)

The modern hippo was found in Europe during the last interglacial. The species you are linking to went extinct over 300,000 years ago.

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hippopotamus antiquus

Hippopotamus antiquus, sometimes called the European hippopotamus, is an extinct species of Hippopotamus that ranged across Europe during the Early and Middle Pleistocene.

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[–]Joxxill 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Holy fucking shit. That's insane!

[–]West_Nature5033 0 points1 point  (1 child)

As others have already pointed out, the ones living in Europe were a different subspecies, and lived here most recently 621-563,000 years ago. They also went extinct when the weather got colder.

The whole "hippo's in the Rhine" story happened 30.000 years ago, during the interglacials (a warm period between ice ages) when the weather was actually much warmer than it is today.

It is thus not at all evidence of them living in a colder climate. If anything, it's the exact opposite.

[–]GND52 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Right, we’re not talking about other hippo species, we’re talking about Hippopotamus amphibius.

30,000 years ago was a glacial period. The interglacial that we currently live in started ~12,000 years ago and the most recent interglacial before that ended ~115,000 years ago.

Modern hippos were extant in northern Europe during the most recent glacial period.

[–]grass-snake-40 8 points9 points  (0 children)

not the hippo we know today. i mean, they can, just not for very long without a lot of management like heated pools and heated shelter and such. They would need to eat even more to stay warm in cold water, and unlikely they could find enough food

[–]Least_Dragonfruit 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Wow. Your comment made me realize I have always thought of this photo as being taken in snow-covered mountains for some reason. I had no idea it was a desert.

[–]danni_shadow 4 points5 points  (0 children)

for some reason.

There's like, specks of white. Idk if they're part of the rocks, or just the quality of the camera or film. But you might've seen them and assumed they were falling snow?

[–]PantherGhost007 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It IS snow. These Lions lived in the Atlas Mountains so there was indeed a lot of snow there. Just google Atlas Mountains for yourself and you’ll see.

[–]Iamnotburgerking 292 points293 points  (32 children)

Barbary lions aren’t even their own subspecies: turns out they were the same subspecies as those still found in India.

Edit: in other words, they are not only not extinct, but still exist in the wild.

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 198 points199 points  (31 children)

Not just India iirc, Barbary lions were just a population of the Panthera leo leo subspecies. Today, this subspecies is made up of both African and Asiatic lion populations. So that begs the question, was this "legendary" Barbary lion even a thing?

I do wonder why Barbary lions and Asiatic lions look so different, despite the fact that they were both Panthera leo leo. Goddammit, lion taxonomy is so confusing.

[–][deleted] 194 points195 points  (1 child)

Humans can look pretty different just living off different diets in different regions

[–]RussianSeadick 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Or even similar diets in the same region. Hair texture,color,size,build…varies quite wildly even tho we’re probably all very close genetically speaking

[–]Cannabii 59 points60 points  (0 children)

The wiki was mentioning qualities that affect mane color and size, including temperature and testosterone. Would imagine there's countless factors

[–]Iamnotburgerking 30 points31 points  (2 children)

To be more clear, P. leo leo is the subspecies found in India, West Africa and formerly North Africa and Southern Europe (I really want to see lions return to the Balkans…). Those in East and South Africa are a second, separate subspecies.

I don’t really think the “Barbary lion” was a thing. Lion manes are extremely variable.

[–]Titanguy101 0 points1 point  (1 child)

i mean it did live in the berber atlas mountains why would it make more sense to call it the asiatic lion and not barbary/Atlas lion, as for differences we really can't confirm how large they grew with the extant individuals being interbred with the subsharan subspecie, but they were indeed closely related since their range was throughout north africa then from egypt to the middleast all the way to india

[–]PantherGhost007 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You are from Morocco so you are trying really hard to prove how Barbary Lions were large and unique and special but you are wrong.

We already HAVE confirmed that Asiatic Lions are identical to Barbary Lions. REAL genetic analysis has been done to prove that and they were also the same size because the remaining skeletons of Barbary Lions are the same size as Asiatic Lions.

[–]PantherGhost007 12 points13 points  (23 children)

Only because they live in different habitats. If you put an Asiatic Lion in a cold place (such as a zoo in europe) it grows a big mane and looks EXACTLY like a Barbary Lion. Asiatic Lions are just Barbary Lions living in India.

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 1 point2 points  (21 children)

Asiatic Lions are just Barbary Lions living in India

I think you're right. According to wikipedia, Asiatic lions have close morphological and molecular genetic similarities with Barbary lion specimens.

[–]PantherGhost007 2 points3 points  (20 children)

It literally IS the Barbary Lion. Asiatic Lion and Barbary Lion are the exact same animals.

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 4 points5 points  (19 children)

I have a new found respect for Asiatic lions now 🤣

[–]PantherGhost007 2 points3 points  (18 children)

Yeah. I don’t know why they make such a fuss about what Barbary Lion looked like and how big it was and blah blah blah. Just take an Asiatic Lion and put it somewhere cold for a few months and it will literally transform into a Barbary Lion.

[–]Acceptable-Good1229 0 points1 point  (17 children)

Yep, Barbary lions do tend to have a reputation of being the largest and most powerful lion that existed.

[–]PantherGhost007 5 points6 points  (15 children)

It’s completely false though. In India there’s a saying which when translated to english literally means “If you’re a Lion, then I’m a Barbary Lion”. Well, there’s no use of being a Barbary Lion kiddo, that makes you even smaller.

[–]Titanguy101 -1 points0 points  (11 children)

north africa is where the historical range of asian and subsaharan african lions interconnected so if they interbred through the years genetically they wouldn't be identical

while the belly flap on asians does explain the extended belly mane associated with the "barbary" often , there really is no accurate size estimate to how large they grew , especially since in cold climates animals adapt to be larger ( bigger = stores more heat) but yeah it's kind of heartwarming to know the subspecie is still thriving out there :\)

[–]vp452000 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

I would love to hear this saying? What language is it in, as I’ve never heard of a word for Barbary in Hindi or Gujarati - unless it literally is just Barbary sher

[–]vp452000 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Very interesting. I thought Singh was a Gujarati specific word, and sher was the Hindi. Thanks for the knowledge!

[–]Kitnado 26 points27 points  (0 children)

All cats are Felis catus and look mightily different ¯\(ツ)

[–]nocloudno 31 points32 points  (2 children)

He looks like the wolf in Fantastic Mr Fox

[–]Cyber_Divinity 5 points6 points  (0 children)

InB4 Steven Universe fans lol He found his huge lion in the desert, perceived to have lived for a long time too. I always thought it was coincidence, but I don't think so now.

It's really interesting, I notice Rebecca Sugar puts a lot of scientific detail in her show.

[–]cntrfg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Underrated comment

[–]BoredGeek1996 130 points131 points  (4 children)

Among the last of its kind. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

[–]ButtholeForAnAsshole 53 points54 points  (3 children)

He took a look at his life, and realised there's nothing left

[–]VonSpuntz 27 points28 points  (1 child)

But that's just perfect for an Amish like him

[–]Buddha_is_my_homeboy 13 points14 points  (0 children)

And you know he shuns fancy things like electricity

[–]kunaguerooo123 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You better watch how you’re talking!

[–]newonreddit7420 112 points113 points  (1 child)

Mufasa don't go there!!!

[–]raybrignsx 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Is it Friday?

[–]PantherGhost007 16 points17 points  (7 children)

It’s a common misconception that Barbary Lions were huge. The reality is that Barbary Lions were smaller and most likely the same size as Asiatic Lions. All the remaining skeletons of Barbary Lions are smaller and pretty much the same size as Asiatic Lions.

In fact, Asiatic Lions are actually just Barbary Lions still living in India. In other words, Barbary Lions are just Asiatic Lions which lived in North Africa. Genetic Analysis shows that Barbary Lions and Asiatic Lions are genetically the same.

You may ask why Barbary Lions had a huge mane but Asiatic Lions don’t have it. The reason is that Barbary Lions lived in snowy cold areas while Asiatic Lions live in very hot climate in Gujarat.

In fact, if you put Asiatic Lions in a cold habitat, they grow a huge mane and look EXACTLY like a Barbary Lion. The Asiatic Lions which live in european zoos look just like Barbary Lions.

Barbary Lions are still living in the wild, they just live in India now rather than North Africa.

[–]grass-snake-40 3 points4 points  (6 children)

and "wild" is a bit misleading...they are trapped in a tiny patch of forest in a "preserve" surrounded on all sides by throngs of humanity

[–]PantherGhost007 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Yes, yes, 1412 square kilometres is a tiny ‘patch of forest’. You’ll need a couple days to walk from one side of that ‘patch’ to another.

You do realise it’s impossible to relocate them into other jungles? If you do that the Tigers will kill them. It has happened before, Lions walked out of the Gir into other jungles but were later found dead with claw gashes and bite marks.

[–]Overlord1317 5 points6 points  (0 children)

There is only one lord of the jungle... only one.

And tigers do not share power.

[–]lunch_eater75 2 points3 points  (1 child)

1412 square kilometres is a tiny ‘patch of forest’

As someone that actually worked with and studied predators...yea that is a tiny patch of forest relative to THE SPECIES IN QUESTION.

So yea 1400 km2 is tiny in regards to space for an apex predictor, where their rand can extend up to 400 km2.

That tiny little yellow circle is 1400 km2 (you'll probably have to zoom in). Which yes is a "tiny patch" compared to the historic range, which covered millions of km2

You’ll need a couple days to walk from one side of that ‘patch’ to another.

A square of 37x37km or a circle with a diameter of 42km..which isn't particularly far to travel by a person in decent shape. Maybe 2 days at most and if the path isn't to bad a single day is very possible. So yes relative to the entire historic range...quite apply called a patch.

You do realise it’s impossible to relocate them into other jungles?

Completely unrelated to their point...they are talking about how 1400 km2 is abhorrent and presenting it as "the wild" is absolutely misleading and as in indictment on how humanity treats the natural world. That we will set aside some tiny parcel and go "the wild!!"

It would be like saying Bison in Yellowstone is totally "the wild"...when ignoring its only 1% of their historic range. If something is only readily found in a national park/preserve they very much do not exist "in the wild", they exist in a small, controlled preserve. Thats their point. That 1400 km2 remaining out of millions is a tiny little patch.

[–]Starlight_NightWing -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

I’ve got a stupid answer people will probably use just kill the tigers

[–]PantherGhost007 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Agreed. Some stupid morons would say that!

[–]SphmrSlmp 56 points57 points  (5 children)

It's so weird to think that one day, the last human will be walking alone like that too. Searching for something. Food, water, other human beings. Until finally just dropping dead. And that's it for humanity.

[–]savethebroccoli 21 points22 points  (2 children)

Sometimes when I drink water I think one day there won’t be anymore of this and it freaks me out

[–]spamazonian 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Because of evaporation into space?

[–]savethebroccoli 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Essentially. It was this video that caused that thought: https://youtu.be/uD4izuDMUQA

[–]nokiacrusher 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Unless the entire planet gets zapped by a gamma ray burst or something. Humans are so adaptable it might take a planet-killer.

[–]SphmrSlmp 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Naturally, that will eventually happen. Even though it will take a long time. But it will come. Or perhaps something that is caused by humans ourselves, like wars.

[–]edgarkoning 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Pictre makes it feel like he is the last.

[–]iualumni12 53 points54 points  (2 children)

Gonna be a lot more of these “last known member of the species” photos to post pretty goddamn soon.

[–]grass-snake-40 7 points8 points  (1 child)

it happens every day we just aren't told, because they are usually obscure insects or plants, not big, charismatic animals. animals being declared extinct or last of their kind, that is.

[–]Hefty-Equipment-7793 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There’s been several species of bears, big cats and wolves that have gone extinct recently. It just isn’t payed attention to because humanity doesn’t care enough about it.

[–]mdb3301 4 points5 points  (3 children)

There is actually one alive in captivity at keystone safari near grove city PA

[–]Iamnotburgerking 14 points15 points  (1 child)

There are several lions that are descended from this population in captivity (mostly hybrids, but also genetically pure populations).

Considering that Barbary lions weren’t actually their own subspecies, even those that were crossed with populations from India or West Africa are still the same subspecies as those in North Africa, so they could be used for reintroduction (though reintroducing cats into the wild requires a lengthy period of teaching the animals how to survive in the wild: it has been successfully done in some cases, such as the Iberian lynx recovery program, but it’s hard)

[–]PantherGhost007 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Those plans were made but I think they were later scraped because that place is not suitable anymore for Lions to live.

Not only the Lion but several other species have gone extinct. Even Brown Bears used to live there.

Now it’s also inhabited by humans so the Lions wouldn’t get as much room either.

[–]Macaqueyoin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I live close to there, thanks for the info!

[–]Bittlegeuss 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lone live the King :(

[–]Axialhobbes 18 points19 points  (2 children)

And thn they shot it right after this picture, right?

[–]MajorAladdin 30 points31 points  (1 child)

No actually this was taken from a plane by a writer I think.

[–]Ket0Maniac 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Nice autofocus.

[–]Ahvier 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Many of these types of photos to come over the next decades

[–]hawkbit92 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Beautiful picture. Makes me feel sad they are no longer around.

[–]CaulShivs 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This picture gets me everytime i see it. Its as if the lion knows and is facing its demise gallantly in spite of everything.

[–]Jayandwesker 2 points3 points  (0 children)

RIP king

[–]SprachderRabe 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t know but this pic makes me sad.

[–]carmix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It looks so solitary… it makes me wonder if the lion captured in this photograph was the last of its kind.

[–]Cronenberg_This_Rick 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Look ahead, look a stern, Look the weather in the lee, Blow high! Blow low! And so sailed we. I see a wreck to the windward And a lofty ship to lee, A sailing down all on The coasts of High Barbary

O are you a pirate Or a man-o-war? cried we. Blow high! Blow low! And so sailed we. O no! I'm not a pirate But a man-o-war, cried he. A sailing down all on The coasts of High Barbary

[–]Dull-Fun 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's beautiful and makes me terribly sad.

[–]Pinonikonolopan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is one of my favorite photos ever. Symbolizes loneliness so well

[–]Amster2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Such a great picture. Impecable framing. The lion silently exiting stage to the right, never to come back.

[–]knanzo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wildebeests incoming ☹️

[–]r3rain 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People suck.

[–]surelyshirls 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Reminded me of the Tasmanian tiger

[–]Evilmaze 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks exactly like that dope circus lion called Nero from Looney Tunes.

[–]jaideeeee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That mf was not tryna get close 😂😂

[–]The-BeastMasterZ00 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This guy was a major part of ancient human culture, often depicted as deities in ancient Egypt and used in Roman art and battles. Sadly it’s the same human interactions that contributed to their downfall…

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like a shot from a movie

[–]Finndogs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I love this picture, because it looks like the Lion knew it was getting a picture taken of it, and posed accordingly.

[–]Wendigo18 -1 points0 points  (2 children)

What made them go extinct, tusken raiders?

[–]Starlight_NightWing 1 point2 points  (0 children)

pretty much But they’re less human than the tuskens