This is an interesting question, without an answer that is agreed upon by biologists. Initially scientists believed that a lion’s mane would act as an additional protective layer in a fight with another male lion. Because lions generally have one male per pride, and males must fight, often to the death, to gain control of the pride, it was believed the mane would help protect the vulnerable neck. However, it has since been demonstrated that the mane offers little protection and is used to attract the females. Male lions with darker, longer manes are generally older, stronger and better fed. It is believed that females pick these lions because they feel they can better protect them and their young.
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