Cossyimages Lion Collection
The lion's closest relatives are the other species of the genus Panthera: the tiger, snow leopard, jaguar, and leopard. Results of phylogenetic studies published in 2006 and 2009 indicated that the jaguar and the lion belong to one sister group, which diverged about 2.06 million years ago. Results of later studies published in 2010 and 2011 indicate that the leopard and the lion belong to the same sister group, which diverged 1.95–3.10 million years ago. The lion and the snow leopard diverged about 2.1 million years ago.