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Lions are one of larger members of the Cat family. They are generally called as ‘King of Forests’. Lions live in groups.Lions are found in Asia And Africa in whole world. Lions of Asia, Asiatic Lions and Lions of Africa, African Lions differ in many aspects even after looking similar in wild.
Asiatic Lions are confined to Gir forest in Indian Subcontinent.Asiatic Lions are also named a Indian lions or Persian Lions. These lion species are larger than African lions.
African Lions are found in Central and Southern African countries.
Male lions have unique and distinctive mane that is unique in cat family also.Only adult male lions have this mane. Female lions don’t have manes. Female lions select their mate with darker and denser mane. The mane also helps male lions providing protection of the neck during internal fight and attack.
KINGDOM – ANIMALIA
PHYLUM – CHORDATA
CLASS – MAMMALIA
ORDER – CARNIVORA
FAMILY – FELIDAE
GENUS – Panthera
SPECIES – Panthera leo
ASIATIC LION – Panthera leo persica
AFRICAN LION – Panthera leo leo
Lions are strong wild animals with great muscles. The body coat is yellowish, brown to dark brown in color. The male lions have distinctive mane around neck.African lions and Asiatic lions differ in size and weight.
African lions are 5 to 6.5 ft long and weigh 265 to 420 lbs, whereas Asiatic Lions are 7 to 9.5 ft long and weigh 300 to 500 lbs. Male lions are larger and heavier than their counterparts.
Lions are carnivores and come on the top of the food web. They mostly feed on deer, antelope, zebra, buffalo, wild boar. Attacks of lions on elephants are also known. Some times they also eat small preys like birds, hares etc.
Lions are found in Asia and Africa. In Asia, the lions live in Gir Forest in the state of Gujarat of India.This is a wild life sanctuary. Lions are found in central and Southern Africa. They live in Botswana, the central republic and other parts of sub Saharan Africa.
Lions live in grass lands, scrubs, open woodlands and deciduous forests.
Lions are known to live in groups named as Prides. Lions show social nature by living in prides containing about 12 to 15 lions. In prides the female lions and cubs are more in number.In one pride there is 1 to 3 male lions.The members of pride enjoy family life together.
Male lions are territorial animal and prefer to live in their territories. Female lions are in charge of hunting. they hunt their prey in groups, more commonly in night. They stalk the prey and grab them in group.
Mating occurs any time of the year. Lions reach their maturity at the age of 3 to 5 years. The Gestation period is of 4 months. Female gives birth to 1 to 4 cubs in den, away from the pride.Cubs are blind at the time of the birth.Cubs are totally dependent on the mother for few months. The cubs are more vulnerable to the attacks of predators. When they come to live in pride, all female lions take care of cubs together.
1.Tongue of the lion is rough to help in scrapping meat off the bones.
2. The night vision of Lions is many times better than human vision.
3. The mane provides protection against neck bite or attacks on throat.
4. Lions roar to communicate with other lions and to keep away from their territory.
5. Lions have retractable claws that provide better grip on prey.
Body length – Male lions are 5.5 to 8 ft long and female lions are 4.5 to 5.7 ft long.
Weight – Male lion weighs 350 to 420 lbs and Female lion weighs 240 to 265 lbs.
Height – 3.5 ft
tail length – 28 to 41 cm long tail ends in a large tuft.
Color – yellowish brown or Dark brown body coat
Sexual dimorphism – Males have mane around neck and larger in size than female lions.
|Features||Asiatic Lion||African Lion|
|mane||less impressive and smaller||Better developed and larger|
|Skin folds||present on the belly||no skin folds|
- Lions are sleeping most of the time. they leave all hunting work on the female lions. They nap most of the time a day and are first to eat the prey.
- Lion can have its territory up to 100 sq. miles over their habitat.
- In prides of Lions, Female lions are related to each other as female lions live with their mothers throughout life.
- Female lions take care of their cubs and teach them hunting skills.
- Male lions keeps other lions away from the pride. They kick the mature lions away from the pride after maturation.
- Life span of Male lion is 12 to 15 years and that of female lion is 15 to 19 years in wild.
- Lions hunt the prey as a team. They hunt the prey by stalking and grabbing the prey in group. This is unique to lions.
- In Africa, White lions are still found due to albinism.
- Lions can see six times better in the dark than humans.
- African lions are vulnerable species of lions.
- Population of African lions has been declining since past years.
- Lions can not run fast for longer time that’s why they first stalk the prey and reach closer to the prey.
- Lions can run up to 50 mph, but only in a straight line and only for a few seconds at a time. Consequently, lions get as close as they can close to their prey before they start the chase.
- Male lions may mate up to 100 times in two days two days to ensure that the female is pregnant. Each mating lasts only a few seconds. Female lions are pregnant with their cubs for about 3 and 1/2 months.
- Lions prides are usually described as matriarchal, with communal care for the young. Most lionesses in a pride are related and remain in the same pride for life. Only two or three lions within a pride will be males, who are either brothers or pride mate.
- A Dominant male in a pride has two jobs. First, he must mate with all the females in the pride and second he must defend the pride from other males who want to take over. Male lions usually can keep control over a pride for 4 years.
- Among all the big cats, lions nap the most sleeping up to 22 hours a day. Additionally male lions not only let the lioness do about 90% of the pride’s hunting, they also have first dibs on eating the caught prey.
- Lions hunt mostly at night and have about a 50% success rate.