For entry in a field journal, an example of one lion's whisker spot pattern would be as follows:
Here's an example - this is Tsavo.
Look closely at the whisker spots on the lion's exposed side (his left). You can see a pattern of 2 spots on the top row (Row A), then if you move down to the second row (Row B) you can see 3 spots, then 4 spots. So I can recognize Tsavo by his 2, 3-4 whisker spot pattern.
Let's zoom in on Tsavo's face so we can see the whisker spots closer.
See the 2 whisker spots on the 1st row?
The rows are counted from the top down, so these spots are on Row A.
where you can see a pattern of 3 spots.
And then you can see the 4 spots on the
second row down (Row B)
The identification for Row B would be "2-3" since there's
2 spots, a bare spot, then 3 spots.
Tsavo's whisker pattern on the left side of his face would be identified in this way in a field journal:
This is how whisker spot identification works, and it works very well because one lion's whisker spot pattern is unlike any other lion's and it remains the same throughout his or her life.
In my next post I'll illustrate some of the other lion identification methods, such as exaggerated (large) whisker spots, spots on the nose, etc.