Thursday, April 29, 2010

"African Lion" - oil painting

Oils on canvas (30×40 inches) (sold)
This painting took a long time to complete, mostly because of the large size of the painting. During my visit to South Africa in March 2009, I took photo’s of this majestic male lion who was watching his lionesses stalk our vehicle.
Visually, the male lion is highly distinctive and is easily recognized by its mane. The lion, particularly the face of the male, is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture.
Lions spend much of their time resting and are inactive for about 20 hours per day.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger.
The mane of the adult male lion, unique among cats, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the species. It makes the lion appear larger, providing an excellent intimidation display; this aids the lion during confrontations with other lions and with the species’ chief competitor in Africa, the spotted hyena.
The rule of thumb is the darker and fuller the mane, the healthier the lion. Sexual selection of mates by lionesses favors males with the densest, darkest mane.
The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of thirty to fifty percent over the past two decades in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside of designated reserves and national parks.
Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. (wiki)

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