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The male lion`s mane consists of hair of varying length and color, covering, to varying degrees, the head, neck, shoulders, and chest. Schaller suggested that the mane protects the area of the body "towards which most social contact is directed" by absorbing blows and bites.Darker mane hairs are thicker than lighter hairs, so darker manes may provide better protection. These ideas suggest that males with longer and darker manes will be wounded less frequently and/or with less severity on the area covered by the mane, but direct tests of this prediction are difficult. Individual males are seldom seen daily, and the mane itself obscures many wounds beneath it from view. Furthermore, even in the best studied population, serious fights between lions are rarely observed.