February 10, 2012

Lion Facts

  • Although often called the King of the Jungle, African lions are not generally found in the rainforest.

  • There are two sub-species of lion – the African lion and the Asiatic lion, which now only survives in the dry Gir Forest of northwestern India.

  • More than 10,000 years ago, species of lions thrived from North and South America to Europe, Africa, and Asia.

  • The lion is listed as vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Animals. The Gir Forest population, which consists of about 300 lions, is listed as endangered.

  • The mane is unique to the male, it may function to intimidate other male lions, or may be used by females to select and mate with the fittest lion.

  • A lion's vision is six times more sensitive than a human's.

  • Only four big cats can roar: lion, tiger, leopard and jaguar. The roar of a fully grown lion can be heard five miles away.

  • Lions differ from other cats by regularly hunting cooperatively.

  • Lions eat primarily large animals, such as zebra and wildebeest, weighing from 100 to 1,000 pounds.

  • Females do the majority of the hunting, while the males just tag along with the hunt and usually stay back until a kill is made.

  • If a lion misses its target on the first run, it usually abandons the chase.

  • Lions can survive for long periods without water, getting much of what they need from the moisture content of their prey.

  • The core of a lion pride is a group of 2–18 closely related adult females (mothers and daughters, sisters and aunts) that occupy a territory.

  • Contrary to popular belief, there is no single dominant male lion in a pride - the members of a coalition are of equal status, as are the adult females.

  • Lion cubs are born with spotted, woolly coats. This aids in camouflage against their many predators.

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