Interesting facts about lions

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We found 32 interesting facts about lions

Panthera leo

Next to the elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard, the most dangerous animal in Africa is the lion (Panthera leo).

This is a powerful predator, the second largest after the tiger, a snarling cat, one of the Big Five in Africa. It has been present in history, culture, religion, art and literature for centuries. In mythology, he was a symbol of gods and goddesses, and in cinema, he was a beloved character whose fate brought tears to the eyes of several generations.


Lions are found in eastern and southern Africa and, less commonly, in India.

Today, a small population of Asiatic lions is found only in the Gir forest in northern India. Here this species is endangered.


The population size is 16-25 thousand individuals.


These predators live in family groups. Depending on the region, a pride can consist of 2 to 12 adult lions.

Each herd has related females and their offspring, as well as males. In the case of the Tsavo population this is usually a single male, while in other populations there may be from 2 to 4.


Lions live on open savannah plains rich in ungulates, where they are the second largest predator after the spotted hyena.

They can also be found in mountainous and semi-desert areas.


In lions, sexual dimorphism is the most pronounced among cats.

Males are 20-35% larger, 50% heavier than females and have a mane of long hair around the head and neck. Males from the Tsavo and Senegal populations do not have a mane.


The body length of lions is up to 230 centimeters.

Together with the tail, the body length can reach 3,5 meters. Males are larger than females.


Male lions weigh up to 250 kilograms, and females - up to 160.

The record holder among lions weighed 375 kilograms.


Ancient lions most likely did not have manes.

This feature only arose between 320 and 190 years ago. Today, the mane indicates the condition of the male, so females are much more likely to choose lions with a fuller mane as partners.


Males develop a luxuriant mane when they reach puberty.

The mane begins to grow after the first year of life and darkens with age.


There is a hierarchy in a pride of lions.

Men are at the top of the hierarchy and constantly compete for leadership. The weakest male has a higher rank than the female. Young males leave the herd after reaching sexual maturity, the same applies to the leader of the herd who has been defeated by a rival. After defeat, he leaves the herd and usually never returns.


In open areas, lions most often hunt at night.

In tall grass or dense bushes, hunting also occurs during the day. Males join the hunt only when the hunt is for a large animal.


The male eats 7 kg of meat per day, the female - 5 kg.


Lions breed all year round.

Gestation lasts 100-114 days, 1-4 cubs are born, which are cared for by the herd. Only one in five lion cubs reach maturity because they are threatened by predators, as well as males of their own species.


Newborn lions are covered in spots.

They are born blind and open their eyes between 3 and 11 days of age. After about 10 days they begin to walk on their own.


Lions grow their first teeth a month after birth.


Young lions begin hunting at around 11 months of age.

They reach full fitness and independence at around 16 months of age.


Lions mainly hunt ungulate mammals.

Their menu includes African buffalo, giraffe, zebra, gazelle and warthog. They sometimes also hunt larger animals such as elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses. When hunting larger animals, females are helped by males.


If there is not enough food, lions may eat carrion.


They spend up to 20 hours a day resting.

It is common for cats to spend a lot of time regenerating.


Lions have 38 chromosomes, including two sex chromosomes, X and Y.


When communicating vocally, lions roar, snort, meow and roar.

The loudest thing is the roar.


The roar of a lion can be heard at a distance of 5 km.

Usually the dominant males in the herd roar.


Apart from verbal communication, Leos also communicate through posture and grimaces.


Due to the fact that they live in the same areas as hyenas, lions mainly compete with them for food.


Lions can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h over short distances.

They are not long distance runners, but rather sprinters.


Leos, like people, hug each other to build and maintain relationships.

Lions, lionesses and cubs often hug and rub each other during family playtime.


In addition to albino cases, lions also have a natural, completely white coloration.

This is determined by a recessive gene in both parents. White lions are native to the Kruger Park region of South Africa.


The life expectancy of lions is not impressive.

Male lions live 10 years, females - 15-16 years.


Long before the creation of the first zoos, lions and other wild animals were kept in private menageries.


One of the first literary works in which the lion appeared was Aesop's Fables.


The roaring lion is the symbol of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio.

Several of these animals have appeared in the studio's history. The first of these was Slats, used by Goldwyn Pictures in 1917. Interestingly, Slats was the only lion in the studio logo that did not roar, but looked around. Slats' successors were the lions: Jackie, Telly and Coffey, Tanner, George and, finally, Leo, who was the symbol of MGM from 1957 to the present.


International Lion Day falls on August 10th.

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