The American subspecies of the lion is the same species as the African lion. It entered the US from Asia before humans did. It became extinct at the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago, along with a large number of large mammals, including the saber toothed cat, giant ground sloth, American horse, American camel, mammoth, short-faced bear, a larger species of bison than the current one, mastodon, and perhaps even most humans who had migrated here from Europe and made the Clovis Point tools.
After the end of the ice age, the Clovis Point tools were no longer made, ostensibly because the people who made them were wiped out also. The extinction of these large mammals is likely the result of a small comet hitting North America and caused a global rise in temperature. Big mammals also became extinct in Europe and Asia. but less severely so, because horses and camels survivied in Europe and Asia but the mammoths did not. Mammoths no longer exist in China but they once did before the end of the last ice age. The Chinese have been digging up mammoth bones and grinding them into powder and using them as medicine (known as "dragon bones").
Since large mammals have smaller amounts of body surface per unit volume of body, they have a more difficult time losing excess body heat and can suffer heat stroke if temperatures are hot. Greenland ice cores also shows a spike in global temperature at the end of the last ice age. Since large mammals are adapted to a cold climate, they went extinct when temperatures spike abruptly, giving them no chance to adapt.
There were dwarf mammoths that survived on islands off the California coast and on some islands in Asia, but they eventually became extinct a few thousand years later. They evolved small size on islands because food is short and a large animal needing a lot of food won't survive there. Their small size helped them avoid heat strokes. But as sea levels rose, salt water began to infiltrate the islands and they ground water became too salty, and the dwarf mammals died of thirst. Native Americans came over to North America from Asia about 13,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age. They did not know how to make the Clovis Point tools, because the tools they had were quite different in design. The Clovis point tools have striking similarities to the tools made by the Solutrean culture, which lived in France.
If the small comet did not hit, the American Lion probably could have survived until recent years because we would still be in the middle of the ice age.
· 3 weeks ago