Friday, July 03, 2009


picture from cougarhill.infoThe folks at Cougar Hill Web did a nice job of putting together some pictures of various facial expressions by lions, along with explanations of what the expressions mean.

Possibly the most commonly misunderstood expression is the one I've shown at the right. Housecats do this too. It's called "Flehmen" and the cat is essentially circulating a scent around a sense organ that humans don't have. It does not represent displeasure, just investigating a scent.

So I hope you'll give that page a look. The expressions shown cover the range from happy to angry. I think the page can be very instructive in understanding the visual language of cats.

Now if we could do something about all the times a puma's snarl is used to represent a lion's roar...

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