At the beginning of this era, lions were very common in Africa, a large part of Asia and even in Europe. At that time there were nine subspecies of lion that differed from each other in size and coat. Since then, three subspecies have died out and four are threatened with extinction.
Only male lions have manes. They start to grow when the lion is one and a half years old. After one to four years, they are fully grown. As lions get older, their manes become darker. The long manes serve as a 'boxing helmet' and protect them against the 'knocks' they give each other when they are fighting over a group of women.