Adult male lions average between 330 and 500 pounds, although most weigh around 410 pounds. The African lion is second only to the tiger in size among cats. The body length of a male African lion can reach more than 8 feet, excluding the tail.

Lions display prominent signs of sexual dimorphism, as the male lion is known for its mane. The size and color of the male lion's mane can express health and breeding potential, with darker, fuller manes indicating optimal health. Testosterone production is also linked to the attributes of a lion's mane, as lower levels of testosterone may result in a diminished appearance. White lions are the result of a genetic condition called leucism, which gives the coat a creamy coloration. It is not related to albinism.