We know that we can see lions every day on our TV, and some of us have been lucky to even meet these amazing animals in their natural habitat.
But every time we see them, whether on TV or live, we are amazed by their beauty. So, below 7 amazing things about these creatures are sorted out.
- The Lion Species
There are 2 surviving species of lions: African and Asian. Asiatic male lions have a less prominent mane. Both males and females have a belly skin fold that African lions don’t. The Lion is the only big cat that lives in social groups and these groups (called prides) consist of 3 to about 30 lions.
- Physical Description
Their coats are yellow to gold color. Adult male lions have shaggy manes, from reddish to black in color. The color and length of the mane is believed to be determined by various factors like age, hormones and genetics. Young lions have light spotting on their coats that will vanish as they grow up.
- How Much Do They Grow?
Male lions grow larger than females, reaching up to 10 feet long (females reach up to 9 feet long), plus a 2-3 foot-long tail. Male lions weigh from 320 to 570 pounds; females weigh 280 to 390 pounds. Lions stand between 3, 5 to 4 feet tall at the shoulder.
Females give birth to 1 to 6 cubs after a gestation of about 3, 5 months. Cubs nurse for 6 months, but start eating meat at 3 months. Because of many different dangers, including attacks by male lions taking over prides and starvation during times of food shortage, 60 to 70 % of lion cubs die within their first 2 years of life. Lions can survive in the wild for about 13 to 17 years. In captivity they can live until they are about 25 years old.
Lions eat mostly large animals, like as zebra and wildebeest, weighing from 50 to 1,100 pounds. Sometimes when there is a lack of food, they also catch and eat many kinds of smaller animals from rodents to reptiles. Lions steal food from hyenas, leopards, and other predators, but can also lose their catches to hyena groups. Lions may also attack domestic livestock, especially if they live in near villages.
The abundance of African lions has declined rapidly in recent decades, mostly because of the competition for space with human populations. Their future in the wild depends on viable populations in large protected areas, where lions play key economic and ecological roles. Kafue is largest national park and a key refuge for the species.
- Fun Facts
- The Swahili word for lion is “Simba”. This word means king, strong, and aggressive.
- Tigers are lion’s closest relatives. Their bodies are so similar that only experts can tell the difference.
- A lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away.
- We all know that lions are named “Kings of the Jungle” and they are definitely interesting creatures. But even though the lions have this name, they really do not live in the jungle.