Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism – that is, males and females look distinctly different. They also have specialized roles that each gender plays in the pride. For instance, the lioness, the hunter, lacks the male’s thick mane. The color of the male’s mane varies from blond to black, generally becoming darker as the lion grows older.
During confrontations with others, the mane makes the lion look larger Weights for adult lions range between 330–550 lbs. for males and 264–400 lbs. for females. Nowell and Jackson report average weights of 400 lbs. for males and 280 lbs. for females. Lions tend to vary in size depending on their environment and area, resulting in a wide spread in recorded weights. For instance, lions in southern Africa tend to be about 5 percent heavier than those in East Africa, in general.