Lion mane linked to climate

CHICAGO--If you were a male lion and could read the latest scientific research, you would want to move to a warmer climate, where your mane would be more impressive. That is, until it started getting smaller, to fit you to your new warmer climate!

It's long been known that lions with long, full manes get the girls. Now, an innovative study based on zoo animals all across America shows for the first time that cold temperatures help the king of the beast grow his mane long and thick and more appealing to potential mates.

In fact, up to one-half of the length and density of a zoo lion's mane can be attributed to temperature, rather than nutrition, social factors, individual history, or genes, according to a study that will be the cover story of the April issue of the Journal of Mammalogy. That journal will be published on April 13, 2006.

Dense manes retard heat loss as would a scarf or fur hat. Zoo lions in hot climates adapt with smaller, thinner manes. Those in northern zoos never overheat so no reduction in their mane is necessary. Those in southern zoos occasionally overheat, so a differential hair growth rate keeps their manes relatively thinner.

These differences in mane conditions are not the result of natural selection. Rather, they are a sign of a flexible trait that can vary to match local conditions.

Like a buck's antlers or a peacock's tail feathers, the lion's mane primarily serves to attract females and intimidate male competitors. But it comes with a cost: a full mane takes energy to grow and maintain; gives away location to prey; makes maneuvering through bramble difficult; harbors parasites, and, as we have said, retains heat. Overheating explains why lions in colder climates have longer, thicker manes: the heat-retention cost of a full mane is less for lions in cold weather conditions than it is for lions in hot weather conditions.

"While a big mane impresses everybody, even a small mane can be imposing in h

Contact: Greg Borzo
Field Museum

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Protein chatter linked to cancer activation
2. Risk of common vaginal infection linked to preterm birth appears higher for blacks
3. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
4. Antibody linked to MS significantly higher in spinal fluid of blacks
5. Loss of cells antenna linked to cancers development
6. Scientists identify first gene linked to scoliosis
7. Gum disease in postmenopausal women linked to oral bone loss
8. Screening approach leads to discovery of gene linked to breast cancer
9. Sensitivity to diverse range of chemotherapeutic drugs linked to common pathway
10. Dietary preferences and patterns may be linked to genes
11. Malaria and Epstein-Barr virus linked to pediatric cancer in Africa

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Favorable Government Initiatives ... and Criminal Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market ... TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics Market By ... and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market ... on account of growing security concerns across various end ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , ... industrial engineering, was today awarded as one of ... of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks ... for the real world in the nutrition, health ... work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading manufacturers ... Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high quality ... list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole Foods, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: