Interesting Facts about Lions
Living in the grasslands, scrubs and open woodlands of sub-Saharan. African lions are the most social of all big cats and live together in groups or “prides”. A pride consists of about 30 lions. Lions live for about 10-14 years in the wild. While in captivity they live for as long as 20-25 years old. Here are some facts you should know about them:
- African lions are the largest of the African cats behind the Tigers.
- Second largest in the family Felidae, with the tiger being the largest.
- Males can reach a shoulder height of around 1.2m and weigh around 150-225kg.
- Females are around 1metre in shoulder height and weigh between 110-152kg (average 126kg).
- Male lions defend the pride’s territory while females do most hunting.
- Female lions are the primary hunters of the group. They are smaller and more agile than males but since their prey is still generally faster than them, they use teamwork to bring an animal down. Fanning out, they form a semicircle with the smaller and weaker lionesses herding the prey towards the centre. Despite this, the males eat first.
- Lions have a unique way to communicate with other animals.
- A lion’s roar can be heard from as far as 5 miles away also a lion can run for short distances at 50mph and leap as far as 36 feet.
- When it comes to claws, lions have four on their back feet, but five on the front where the dewclaw is found. The dewclaw does not show in their spoor (footprint) and acts like a thumb that is used to hold down prey.
- A good gauge of a male lion’s age is the darkness of his mane the darker the mane the older the lion. Also, the colour of a lion’s coat varies from region to region, and within populations.
- Lions have a terrific night vision. They are 6 times more sensitive to light than human beings. This gives them a distinct advantage over some prey species when hunting at night. A lion may sleep up to 20 hours a day.