Thoracic limb specimens from 12 euthanized free-ranging lions (Panthera leo, 16–170 mo old) underwent radiographic evaluation. The radiographic anatomy was described but excluded any areas of the bones with possible bone pathology. Comparisons between adult and juvenile lions were made and physes described. Differences or similarities (or both) to cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and domestic cats and dogs were also noted. No dissections were made to corroborate the anatomic observations, but comparisons were made to macerated museum specimens. On the basis of evaluation, the scapula has a prominent acromion, hamate, and suprahamate processes, as well as prominent nutrient foramina. The humerus is similar to that of domestic cats. The humeral and ulnar nutrient foramina originate more medially than that in domestic cats. A supracondylar foramen may sometimes be observed radiologically, although one was present on all the macerated specimens in this study. Its radiologic visibility depends on the angle of incidence of the primary beam. The lateral “anconeal tubercle” of the olecranon (situated between the processus anconeus and tuber olecrani) is usually more prominent than the medial one and tends to be hook shaped, pointing cranially. There are no sesamoids in the region of the elbow. The first digit is large with two palmar metacarpophalangeal sesamoids and a prominent sesamoid in the tendon of the M. abductoris digiti I longus, all indications of a high degree of functionality. All physes close before 66 mo of age.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Vol. 36 • No. 1
Vol. 36 • No. 1