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Results of another phylogeographic study indicate that southeastern Ethiopia, western Somalia and northern Kenya are genetic admixture regions between lions from Central Africa and Southern Africa, and that lions in the northern part of Central Africa are genetically closer to lions in North and West Africa, and those in the southern part closer to lions in Southern Africa.
Based on morphology of 58 lion skulls in three European museums, the subspecies krugeri, nubica, persica, and senegalensis were assessed distinct; but bleyenberghi overlapped with senegalensis and krugeri. While the subspecific status of the Asiatic lion (P. persica) is generally accepted, the systematic relationships among African lions are still not completely resolved.
A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs.
Prides vary in size and composition from three to 20 adult lions, depending on habitat and prey availability.
In a different study, tissue and bone samples of 32 lion specimens in museums were used.
Results indicated that lions form phylogeographic groups, one each in North Africa / Asia, West Africa, eastern Sahel, south-eastern Africa and south-western Africa.
They were distinguished on the basis of appearance, size, and colour of mane.
As these characteristics vary highly between individuals, most of these forms were probably not true subspecies, especially as they were often based upon museum material that may have had "striking, but abnormal" morphological characteristics.
These findings might be explained by a late Pleistocene extinction event of lions in western and central Africa, and a subsequent recolonisation of these parts from Asia.Such hybrid breeding is now discouraged due to the emphasis on conserving species and subspecies.Hybrids are still bred in private menageries and in zoos in China.Early genetic studies were focused on lions from eastern and southern parts of Africa, and already showed that lions can possibly be divided in two main clades: one to the west of the Great Rift Valley and the other to the east.Lions in eastern Kenya are genetically much closer to lions in South Africa than to lions in the Aberdare Range in western Kenya or in Uganda.