Lions are carnivorous predators.
Other Names: King of the Jungle, Leo,
Leo the Lion,
Size: Lions are the second largest feline
species, only tigers are physically larger than
lions. Lions are typically 4 feet tall and are
5 to 8 feet in length. Lions weigh between 265
to 550 lbs. Male lions are typically larger
than lionesses. A tigers tail is typically 27-40
inches in length.
Habitat: Lions are found almost exclusively
in Africa, from the edge of the Sahara to Northern
South Africa. A small population of lions are
found in northwest India, in the Gir Forest.
It is estimated that only 200 to 260 lions are
still found in India, they are considered endangered.
The habitat that lions are found in range from
plains to thick brush and dry forests.
Diet: Lions are carnivores they prey
on impala, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, and other
animals native to their habitat. They will even
attack lions, when food is scarce. Lions have
also been knowne to scavenge food, stealing
from hyenas and ohter predators. Male lions
eat approximately 15 lbs of meat a day, on some
ocassions they can consume up to 60 lbs of meat.
Hunting: Female lions do almost all
the hunting. They will work in teams to stalk
prey and attack. They typically hunt at night.
Social Structure: Lions reside in prides
that consist of up to 15 lions. The pride is
typically comprised of female lions and their
young. A single male typically oversas the pride.
Lions are affectionate with others in their
pride. Young males are driven from their prides
when they become strong enough to challenge,
the dominant males leadership. Male lions mark
their territory using their scent. The male
lions in a pride will also guard the cubs when
the females go hunting.
If attacked both males and female lions will
defend the pride. Lions will often have defined
roles in the pride. Adult lions have no natureal
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Description: Lions are the only member of
the cat family where males and females have a distinct
difference in their appearances. Most male lions have
a thick shaggy mane, while lionesses do not. The mane
of the male lion makes them appear larger, and is
used to intimidate any animals that they confront.
Lions have a yellow-gold coat, and their manes can
range from a light blonde to black. They have long
tails with a tuft of fur on the tip. A lion's coloring
allows them to blend in with the tall grasses on the
plains and savannahs camoflauging them while they
stalk their prey.
Communication: Lions are territorial
creatures and mark their territtory with urine.
A lion pride's territory can encompass up to
100 square miles. The marking is to warn trespassers.
Lions use physical contact as a means of communication,
they will often nuzzle members of their pride
or groom pride members. Lions also are quite
voial and purr, snarl, hiss and roar. Lions
have the loudest roar of any big cat.
Did You Know?
It is estimated that fewer than
21,000 lions remain in Africa.
Birth: A lioness will go give birth in a den,
and remove herself and her cubs from the pride when
giving birth. Lionesses give birth to 3-4 cubs at
a time. Lion cubs weigh 3 lbs at birth. The lioness
will move her cubs to different dens, several times
a month, to avoid the detection of predators. A lioness
will not rejoin her pride until the cubs are 6 to
8 weeks of age.
Gestation: Lionesses carry their young
for approximately 110 days. Lionesses typically
give birth every two years.
Did You Know?
Not all male lions have manes, some
lions found in East Africa do not
Cubs: Lion cubs are able to walk after approximately
three weeks of age. Lion cubs have spots on their
coats, that lighten and disappear as they age. Hyenas
and leopards prey on lion cubs. Unfortunately the
mortality rate of lion cubs is quite high, and it
is estimated that up to 60-70 percent of cubs die
before they reach the age of 2. Lion cubs remain with
their mother for two years. A lioness will wean her
cubs at six to seven months.
Sexual Maturity: Lions are considered sexually
mature at 3 to 4 years of age.
Life Span: The average life span of
a lion in the wild is approximately 15 years.
Did You Know?
A lions roar can be heard over five
Athleticism: Lions are agile and good climbers,
they will often rest in trees. They typically have
short bursts of energy and activity, typically just
after dusk. Lions spend a large amount of their time
resting, in fact they can spend up to 21 hours napping
Unusual: Lions live in a matriachal society,
the prides are run by the females.