The dewclaw does not show in their spoor (footprint) and acts like a thumb that is used to hold down prey. Only males have dark tail tufts, which conceal tail bone spurs in some specimens. They can interbreed with other species to create hybrids cats: Because of the focus on conserving genes from lions, tigers, and leopards, hybridization is discouraged. 126kg). The male African lion is evidently larger and longer than the female. Photo Galleries, Photographer of the Year, Botswana, Destinations, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Natural history. Furthermore, they are susceptible to tick-borne diseases like canine distemper and babesia. Date: 29 June 2011 Author: Marsea Nelson, WWF Travel Tweet. Instead, this cat prefers the grassy plains, savannas, and scrubland of sub-Saharan Africa. Some prides like larger meals and will hunt giraffe, baby elephants and Cape buffalo. … African Lions are a golden or tawny-brown colour and have large padded feet and retractable claws. The lions have a stronger resistance to thirst and can go for up to two weeks without drinking water (they rely on their prey’s blood for moisture). Lions are closely related to tigers, snow leopards, jaguars, and leopards. But the species has disappeared from 94 percent of its historic range and can only be found today in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. A pride can include up to 30 animals, but typically are made up of 10-15, with five or six females, their cubs (both male and female) and two males who breed with the females in the group. Facts about African lions – Male lion Facts about African lions 3: Habitat Loss. Cubs remain with their mother for two years or longer – at 11 months they begin hunting. 2. Lions mostly target large-sized ungulates (buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and gemsbok). 12. When and where to go in Africa, and with whom. African lions have a wide habitat tolerance and can live almost everywhere – from open woodlands, thick bush, scrub and grass complexes, even penetrating deep into deserts along watercourses – though don’t expect to find them in rainforests. Lions can sleep, or at least rest for up to 20 hours per day. Get ready to roar with our 10 cool lion facts! African Lion Facts. African Lion Facts Characteristics. You also get white lions, but these are not true albinos but are instead genetic variants with reduced pigmentation. They have normal-colored skin and eyes. They live together in large groups known as “prides”. However, they don’t stop there, lions are known to take on larger mammals such as young elephants and hippos and will also scavenge and chase off other predators such as hyenas or wild dogs from their kills. If the food is scarce, they will hunt for smaller … The male lion has a mane which makes him look bigger than he actually is and protects his throat from the claws and teeth of other animals. It is actually difficult to accurately distinguish manes when talking about African lions, because they develop different types of manes based on their age and place they live in. Interesting Leopard Facts – about the elusive predator. Lion brothers drinking in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa © Fanie Heymans, NEWS WRAP: Leopard mauls tourist in Namibia + lion pride poisoned in Uganda, the best places to see wild lions in Africa, stunning photo gallery of the iconic desert lions of Namibia, Does the farming and legal trade of wildlife do more harm than good? A big part of why they sleep so much is to conserve energy for when it is needed - for hunting and defending territories. Adult lions range in color from buff to gray to various shades of brown. African lions are the largest of the African cats (second largest in the family Felidae, with the tiger being the largest). The wild population decreased in numbers approximately 43% from 1993 to 2014. 2. The African lion is a carnivore. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. Facts about African lions 2: Eating. African lions are the most social of all big cats and live together in groups or … Pride composition differs between the two types of lions, too. 15. However, it is found that lions that live in areas where it is either cooler or have higher humidity levels tend to have darker fur – such as the desert-adapted lions in Namibia and the black-maned lions of the Kalahari. African Lion PANTHERA LEO. The gestation period is 102-112 days which usually results in 2 to 5 cubs. Lion prides can be as small as 3 or as big as 40 animals. It has over 40 names, and despite being a skilled … Lions will mate roughly every thirty minutes (each mating lasting for around 20 seconds) for three days… nonstop! The African lion is from the kingdom of animalia and classified as mammalian, order of carnivores, a member of the family of felidae, … 10. Facts about African lions 1: Prides. Speaking of desert-adapted lions. They hunt in packs for large prey like zebra, wildebeest and buffalo. Cubs are often killed by hyenas, wild dogs, and leopards. 8. Lions live in savannahs and grasslands, where some cover and plenty of water can be found. Search for your ideal safari here, or contact an Africa Geographic safari consultant to plan your dream vacation. Liger (Panthera leo Panthera tigris) in zoo, Siberia, Russia. White lions are not albino animals. Safari company You’ll find most of them in the wilds of Africa these days, however, they were once native to India and Europe. They occupy habitats such as open woodlands and grasslands. The African lion is the largest of the lions with the largest individual weighing up to half a tonne in weight. After a gestation period of about 110 days, the female gives birth to one to four cubs. When a new male takes over a pride, he usually kills the youngest generation of cubs and evicts the adolescents. African lion is called as the king of the jungle. African lions are the largest of the African cats (second largest in the family Felidae, with the tiger being the... 2. Bespoke safaris and stories. In prides, lionesses hunt cooperatively, stalking from more than one direction to capture fleeing animals. Throughout history, the African lion (Panthera leo) has represented courage and strength. Females fiercely defend cubs within their pride. During WWF tours to Africa, seeing the majestic species up-close is sure to be a spine-tingling experience. 1. They used to be found all over Africa but now they have mostly disappeared from North Africa and are at risk of extinction in West Africa. Lions are most active at night and live in a variety of habitats but prefer grassland, savanna, dense scrub, and open woodland. 1991. Most of the time, the females will hunt, and then the males (who patrol the territory and protect the pride) will eat first. Lion populations in East and Southern Africa became separated from populations in West and North Africa when the equatorial rainforest expanded 183,500 to 81,800 years ago. 7. General EnquiriesAdvertisingEditorsTravel with usCEO. It is quite clear that lions are fascinating creatures, and here we get to know them a bit better by looking at 15 facts about them: 1. Since the early 1950’s, the lion population in Africa has been reduced by half. Males can reach a shoulder height of around 1.2 metres and weigh about 150 – 225 kg (av. A single lion can take down prey twice its size. A pride will usually consist of 1-4 adult males, several adult females (one dominant), and several sub-adults and cubs. We publish inspiring and thought-provoking stories and photo galleries about African wildlife and safaris for our sophisticated international community. Size: Head and body, 4.5 to 6.5 feet; tail, 26.25 to 39.5 inches. Lion pictures are also included to make learning about this animal enjoyable. what u should know about lions and the most Interesting Facts About Lions: The Lion (Panthera leo) is the second-largest cat in the world, following the Tiger.It is a species in the cat family ‘Felidae’, which includes Tigers, Leopards, and Jaguars.this cat is one of the fastest animals on the land. This post provides interesting facts about the African lion you are sure to find really informative and fun. Lions reach sexual maturity at 2 years old and mate at all times of the year. But it’s also beautiful if you check out the male lion. African lions are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Red List. Female lions are smaller and may weigh up to 400 pounds. Group Name: Pride. You'll learn all about lions including what lions like to eat. 5. Diet: Carnivore. The 2014 census estimated about 7500 wild lions remained, but the numbers have continued to decline since that time. https://www.thoughtco.com/african-lion-facts-4173971 (accessed February 23, 2021). My Mane Man!– African lions’ famous mane begins to grow when the male lion reaches one year of age. The cubs compete for what remains once the adults finish. Lions are some of the best-travelled animals on the planet. Appearance. Interesting Facts About Lions for Kids - Roaming through Africa, the lion is the second largest cat in the world. This animal is very strong and fast. The size of the pride depends on the area and prey availability. Celebrate Africa and do good. Interesting Lion Facts 1. Recent phylogenetic studies indicate that lions shouldn't really be categorized as "African" and "Asian." The proverbial ‘king of the beasts,’ the lion has been one of the best-known wild animals since earliest times. While the lion is an apex predator, it falls prey to humans. Historically, lions ranged from northern Africa through southwest Asia, west into Europe and east into India. Image captured by Joanne Hedger / Getty Images. The only way to secure food is to fight for it, which is why you will often see displays of aggression amongst pride members when it comes to feeding time. Male Asiatic lions have smaller manes than African lions. In fact, there are still a few lions that live out in India. ThoughtCo. On the subject of eyes, lion cubs are born with blue eyes that change to amber or brown when around the age of two to three months. There are various foods that African lions eat. Lions often lose their kills to hyenas and sometimes to crocodiles. A few weeks too early / late or a few kilometers off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, February 17). When lions and other cats rub heads, they exchange scent markers. 189kg). We work with communities to help them realize the big cats value and to help them protect their families and livestock from carnivore predation. 1. An Asiatic lion has a longitudinal fold of skin along its belly that is lacking in African lions. In Ruaha National Park, where 10 percent of the worlds remaining population can be found, AWFs Ruaha Carnivore Project is fostering a much-needed shift in the local opinion of carnivores. Lion, large, powerfully built cat that is second in size only to the tiger. What do lions eat? Facts about lions. Est. 19 Interesting Facts about African Lions You Didn’t Know. The males typically have a... Habitat. However, larger felines such as lions generally hunt larger prey, so there is unlikely to be a significant advantage to having slit pupils. Hybrids are primarily seen in private menageries. This lion was witnessed in captivity at Ireland’s Dublin Zoo in 1959. Lions usually live in groups of 10 or 15 animals called prides. African lions are very strong animals, yet beautiful to look at too. Lions have one of the most complex communication behaviours of any of the cats. The long tail has a … Lion sleeping - African Tale with Lions: The story of lion and jackal. The lion is the only cat with different appearances for males and females. Females are approximately 1 metre in shoulder height, and weigh between 110-152kg (av. Lions are competent predators that work together to bring down prey. African lions have a wide habitat tolerance and can live almost everywhere – from open woodlands, thick bush, scrub... 3. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. African Lion Population. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "African Lion Facts: Habitat, Diet, Behavior." And wouldn’t that be a pity? It can come in brown or black color. New pride males will often kill the cubs in the pride and then mate with the females, to ensure that their genes prevail in the pride. Despite this, the males eat first. They have a number of distinctive behaviors and adaptations that help them survive in the harsh African savannah. Lions kill either by strangling their prey or by enclosing its mouth and nostrils to suffocate it. Lions sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day. New study, Photographer of the Year 2021 Weekly Selection: Week 6. Tailored safari specialists. The cat is easily recognized both by its roar and the male's mane. Read and watch a video of a pride of lions feasting on a hippo. African lions - all the fascinating facts you were looking for African lions are the biggest of the African carnivores. 6. This may include zebra, impala, Thompson’s gazelles and wildebeest. They go into heat either when their cubs are weaned or when they are all killed. Lion cubs have dark spots on their coat when they are born, which fade until only faint belly spots remain in adulthood. White lions occur rarely in the wild. In prides the females do most of the hunting and cub … We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of writers, editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent. Because prey is sparse in the desert regions, lions have to search far and wide for food and live off smaller prey, such as antelope, mice and birds. They avoid very large (elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus) and very small (hare, monkey, hyrax, dik-dik) prey, but will take domestic livestock. Distemper is spread to lions by neighboring village dogs as well as hyenas. Humans kill lions to protect livestock, out of fear of human endangerment, and for illegal trade. Retaliation is the primary reason for lion killings. However, cats living in the two regions do display different appearances and behaviors. Here are some interesting facts about… Interesting Facts about Cougars (Mountain Lions) An impressive cat of the Americas, the cougar is known for its amazing adaptability. Lions face many threats African lion numbers are thought to have declined by over 40% in the just three generations. Scientific Name: Panthera leo. Lions are sexually mature at about three years of age, although males tend to be four or five years old before winning a challenge and joining a pride. They will feed from their kill and then … 4. Lions hunt for food every few days. Females range between 140 to 175 cm (4.5 feet to 5 ft 9 in) in body length. Young male lions ousted from prides often wander vast distances in search of other ousted males, to form coalitions and try to take over a group headed by another male(s). They shared a common ancestor probably between 98,000 and 52,000 years ago. Weight: 265 to 420 pounds. African lions. Individuals also forage for small rodents, hares … You’d even find them out in the US and Canada, for a time! African Lion Facts: Habitat, Diet, Behavior Description. African lions can grow to between 9 and 10 feet long (3 meters) from head to tail, with the tail being about 2 to 3 feet long (60 to 91 centimeters), according to the Smithsonian National Zoo. Click here to receive our stories and photo galleries via email. The color and size of the mane can vary greatly depending on the genetics, and environment, of the lion. They are also killed by humans in bravery rituals, as hunting trophies, for medicinal powers, or by ranchers protecting their livestock. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. This definitely rings true with these magnificent felines! Generally speaking, a darker, fuller mane indicates a healthier animal with prominent … Interesting Facts About African Lion Characteristics Diet Behavior Habitat.For additional attention-grabbing videos, Please take our channel. In a pride, lions hunt prey, raise cubs, and defend their territory together. In other prides, one lioness cares for all the cubs while the others go hunting. This is to ensure fertilisation during the female’s oestrus period so that the cubs will be born as soon as possible, allowing for longer protection under the pride male. They have longer legs and leaner bodies than ‘regular’ lions and are built for endurance. Lion brothers drinking in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa © Fanie Heymans (Photographer of the Year 2018 entrant)The African lion (Panthera leo) was once described in Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755) as “the fiercest and most magnanimous of the four-footed beasts”. In some areas, trophy hunting has helped preserve lion populations, while it has contributed to the species' decline in other regions. Be inspired & stay informed about Africa. The size of a pride can range in size from 15 to 40 members. Usually, prey is consumed at the hunting site. The biggest lion ever recorded and documented was around 375 Kg (827 Pounds) in weight (an African lion). Have a look at a stunning photo gallery of the iconic desert lions of Namibia. 3. The colour of a lion’s coat varies from region to region, and within populations. Diet. Diet Lions are carnivores. African lions used to live in most parts of the continent of Africa. As with other cats, the male lion's penis has backward-pointing spines that stimulate the lioness to ovulate during mating. They are threatened by loss and fragmentation of habitat. In some prides, the female gives birth to her cubs in a secluded den and hunts alone until the cubs are six to eight weeks of age. Facts about African Lions 2: diet. The Asiatic lion lives in Gir Forest National Park in India, but its habitat only includes the savanna and scrub forest areas. Lion facts. They typically weigh between African lions are the most social of all big cats and live together in groups or “prides.” A pride consists of about 15 lions. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/african-lion-facts-4173971. The lion is the only cat exhibiting sexual dimorphism, which means that male and females lions look... Habitat and Distribution. Only adult male lions display a brown, rust, or black mane, which extends down the neck and chest. 11. Male lions defend the pride’s territory while females do most of the hunting. And the mane is in fact their … About 80% of cubs die, but those that survive to adulthood may live to be 10 to 14 years of age. When it comes to hunting, lion prides will have different preferences to what prey species they favour, but due to their opportunistic nature, lions hunt a wide variety of game. Having pupils that are vertical slits are handy for cats that are on the prowl for small prey and need to be able to focus clearly on the small stuff. An adult male’s roar can be heard up to 8km away. The manes of Masai lions are in fact more stripped and appear to be combed backwards. Male African lions can grow to measure around 11 feet on length from head to tail and weigh up to 550 pounds with a shoulder height of 4 feet. Type: Mammals. Ten Interesting Facts about Lions. They communicate using vocalizations, head rubbing, licking, facial expressions, chemical marking, and visual marking. Subscribe to enjoy more stories like this – join our tribe. Another advantage to roaring is that female lions can recognise the roar of a male who belongs in their pride to that of an outsider – this helps the females keep a safe distance from outsiders who would most likely try to harm their cubs. From a genetic standpoint, the main difference is that African lions have one infraorbital foramen (hole in the skull for nerves and blood vessels to the eyes), while Asian lions have a bifurcated infraorbital foramen. ThoughtCo, Feb. 17, 2021, thoughtco.com/african-lion-facts-4173971. Tell a Friend ; The lion has forever been a symbol of strength, power and ferocity. The white coat is caused by a double recessive allele. Lions are the only big cats that live in groups called prides, which consist of mostly related females, their cubs, plus one or two adult males. 14. Male African lions are 140 to 200 cm (4.5 to 6.5 feet) long from head to rump. 26 0 by Pekka Järventaus. The fur of the African lin varies depending on the area … Female lions typically stay in the pride as they grow up whereas young males eventually leave the pride and attempt to establish their own prides. These lions are known for their majestic size and ability to survive the harsh desert environment. The Best and Worst Fathers in the Animal Kingdom, African Wild Dog Facts: Diet, Behavior, Habitat, Facts and Figures About the Extinct Eurasian Cave Lion, Observations on lions in the Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College. Facts about the African lion [Images and videos below] Distribution. Read about the best places to see wild lions in Africa. The lion may be called the "king of the jungle," but it's actually absent from rainforests. When it comes to claws, lions have four on their back feet, but five on the front where the dewclaw is found. Males are larger than females (lionesses). 8. Diet. The male African lion has a dark brown mane growing around its head. Lions will gorge themselves into a food coma when there is plenty of food available, and on days like this, an average male lion will swallow around 15% of their body weight! Lions are hypercarnivores, which means their diet consists of more that 70% meat. Lionesses are polyestrous, which means they can mate at any time of year. They most often hunt at dawn or dusk, but can adapt to their prey to change their schedule. Both males and females are powerful, muscular cats with rounded heads and ears. 15 0 by Haley White. Unlike other cats, lions are very social animals and live in large groups called prides. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "African Lion Facts: Habitat, Diet, Behavior." African Lion. Publisher The African lion is actually the most social of all big cats on the planet. African lions are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa. Photos; Overview; Videos; Facts; Explore Similar; Take Action; Articles; 1 / 21. 2. Lions are known for their fierce roar, but may also growl, meow, snarl, and purr. Globally, lions exist in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, though history shows that a long time ago, lions also inhabited parts of southwest Asia and north Africa. 10. The lion is listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List. Having round pupils also allows more light to filter into the eye at night, giving the lion better night vision. Color is tawny to sandy brown. This most likely results from the fact that the lions are different sizes and hunt different types of prey. These prides include multiple adult males, a dozen or more related females and the pride’s cubs. A litter of 1-4 (sometimes up to 6) cubs are born after 110 days of gestation. Weight runs between 265 to 420 pounds. Africa – Lion Facts. The African lion has a more imposing mane than its Asian cousins, which is also less sparse. Hunting takes place mostly from dusk until dawn, and during the cooler hours of the day. However, the average lion weighs between 150 and 200 kilograms. Lions disappeared from … Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. You can spot the mane on the neck. These vulnerable species face constant threat due to loss of habitat and poaching. 1. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Facts about African Lions 1: the king of the jungle. In the wild they feed on the most common large ungulates in their area. Males tolerate their cubs, but don't always defend them. There Are Lions Pretty Much Everywhere. Read about why male lions form coalitions. 4. Although lions can tolerate a wide range of habitats, they are threatened because people continue to kill them and because of prey depletion. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. 13. African lions once roamed most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. The size of a pride depends on food availability, but a typical group includes three males, a dozen females, and their cubs. Cubs suckle regularly for the first 6-7 months, and then the frequency will decline after that. The main threats are retaliatory or preemptive killing to protect people and livestock, and decreasing natural prey and habitat (for example, due to expanding human settlements and therefore less available grazing). Lions, which live in groups called prides, are the most social cats. The lion may be called the "king of the jungle," but it's actually absent from rainforests. They can make a variety of calls which include roars, grunts, moans, growls, snarls, meows, purrs, hums, puffs and woofs. A lion's body ranges in length from 4.5 to 6.5 feet, with a 26 to 40 inch tail. 15 Lion facts you need to know 1. That said, it’s shouldn’t be a surprise to know that the lion is the king of the roar – it is the loudest of any big cat and can be heard up to 8km away! Most adult lions are killed by humans or other lions, although some succumb to injuries sustained while hunting. And wouldn’t that be a pity? African lions are larger cats, with thicker and longer manes and shorter tail tufts than Asian lions. African lions live in groups called ‘prides’. African Lion Facts: Habitat, Diet, Behavior. African lions are generally found in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in some areas of eastern and southern Africa. The lion is the only cat exhibiting sexual dimorphism, which means that male and females lions look different from each other. Lions roar for several reasons, from advertising territorial ownership and intimidating rivals to locating other members of the pride and assisting in social cohesion. Upon closer inspection, you will see that lions have round pupils, instead of vertical slits that are found in domestic cats. All pride lionesses are related. Babesia occurs during droughts, when malnouris… 9. Prey are threatened by increased commercialization of bushmeat and habitat loss. The numbers of African lions are sadly on a rapid decline. Lions are the most sociable member of the cat family and can be found living in prides of up to 25 individuals. 1) LIONS ARE SOCIAL Of all the big cat species in the world, lions are the most social. African lions prefer to hunt large ungulates, including zebra, African buffalo, gemsbok, giraffe, and wildebeest. There is no fixed breeding season for lions, though pride females will often synchronise the timing of breeding, especially after a pride takeover by new dominant males, to ensure maximum food and maternal care available to cubs. Leo Panthera tigris ) in Zoo, Siberia, Russia tolerate their cubs are born, which fade until faint... 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