The African Lion skull and dental apparatus represent the apex of carnivore specialization. Immense canines easily crush wind pipes and sever spinal cords and sharp posterior teeth act like blades in their ability to shear flesh. The largest blades are posteriorly placed in proximity to the joint and musculature for maximum application of force. The lion is a member of the family Felidae; members of this family share both genetic and anatomical features including common skull morphology, similar dental anatomy and retractable claws. The cheetah is classified in the cat family but it is the only member of the cat family that does not have retractable claws. The genus name Panthera is Latin for leopard and leo is Latin and means lion.