Interesting facts about the lions : Lions are beautiful animals. They are the kings of the jungle, so it makes sense that they would be. But there are probably a lot of things about them that you don’t know. Like, did you know that a lion’s mane can tell you a lot about him?
1. Lions are the second-largest cats in the world.
The only cat who’s bigger than a lion is the tiger. From their heads to their tails, lions can grow to be about 10 feet long and 4 feet tall at the shoulders. They weigh between 250 and 550 pounds, with females being smaller and lighter than males.
2. Female lions do most of the hunting.
Most of the hunting done by a pride of lions is done by the females. Males will sometimes work together to catch bigger food when they need to. A group of lions will sneak up on their food from different directions so that they can trap it.
The females not only hunt, but they also keep watch over the area and the cubs. The males, on the other hand, are mostly responsible for making more offspring and protecting the pride from other males. Also, men sleep more than women do. So it’s pretty clear that the female lions are in charge.
3. Lions don’t live in the jungle.
These animals called “kings of the jungle” don’t live in the jungle. Most lions live in sub-Saharan Africa, in the plains, grasslands, or savannahs.
Over time, lions have changed to fit their environments. For example, a lion’s tan coat helps him fit in with the desert and savannah, and desert-dwelling lions tend to have shorter manes to keep them cool.
4. Lions are the only cats who live in groups.
Lions live in groups called prides. Most cats, both wild and pet, hunt alone, but lions are social animals. Prides of lions can have up to 40 members, including a dominating male, females and their cubs, and two or three other males.
Most females stay in the pride where they were born, but males are forced to leave when they are between 2 and 4 years old so they can’t fight with the dominant male of the pride. Then, the males will get together and look for a pride to take over.
5. Lions raise their cubs communally.
Female lions in the same pride often have their cubs around the same time, and they raise them together in a group called a crèche. Mothers will feed all of the kids in their crèche, not just their own. The main reason for these groups is for the mothers to be able to protect their cubs from other lions who might try to hurt them.
6. You can tell a lot about a lion by his mane.
As a lion gets older, the colour and thickness of his hair show how healthy he is. A cat with a thick, dark hair is strong and powerful. Manes make lions look bigger, which helps them impress mates and scare off competitors. Some male lions, however, don’t grow manes because they live in hot places.
7. Lions have no natural predators.
Lions are the top hunters, which means they eat everything else. Their only predators are humans. Sharks, tigers, jaguars, king cobras, brown bears, and saltwater crocodiles are also at the top of the food chain.
Apex predators like lions are very important to ecosystems because they control the other predators and food in their area. When apex predators are taken away or forced to move to a new habitat, whole ecosystems are thrown off balance.
8. Lions are really loud.
Up to 5 miles away, you can hear a lion roar. Males and females both scream, and different kinds of roars are used to say different things.
Males roar to defend their territory, tell their prides of danger, and show dominance over other males. During breeding season, females roar to talk to males. Lions will also roar to let other members of their group know where they are. Lions don’t roar when they are hunting because the sound can scare away their food. Lions are also the only cats that roar at the same time in a way that sounds like a call. Lions talk to each other by roaring and making other sounds like growls, snarls, and grunts.
9. Lions are nocturnal.
Lions are nocturnal, which means they are most busy at night and sleep during the day.
10. Lion populations are decreasing.
There are only about 23,000 lions left in the wild, and they are on the list of species that could go extinct. They now live on only 8% of the land that used to be their home.
The number of lions is going down because people are killing them for fun and taking over their land. As more people move into their homes, the number of animals that they eat goes down.
11. They are the Second Largest Cat on the Planet.
People might think that lions are the biggest cats in the world, but they are actually second, right behind tigers. A male lion weighs about 400 pounds (180 kilogrammes) on average, while a female lion weighs about 290 pounds (130 kilogrammes). At the shoulder, they are about 3.5 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 metres) tall, and they grow to be about 10 feet (3 metres) tall.
The Guinness Book of World Records says that Simba, a black-maned male, was the biggest lion ever kept in a zoo. He was 44 inches (1.11 metres) tall from shoulder to head. (Did you know that the word for lion in Swahili is “Simba?” (Like the main character in the movie The Lion King!)
The size of today’s lions is amazing, but the largest of their kind has been gone for a long time. The Panthera Leo atrox, also called the American Cave Lion, is thought to have been 25% bigger and weighed a huge 771 pounds (350 kilogrammes) than lions do today.
12. Lions Eat 11-16 Pounds of Meat Per Day.
Lions have gotten used to living in the dry desert, and they can go up to four days without drinking water. Even though they don’t have access to water, these clever animals stay hydrated by drinking the blood of their food and getting water from plants like the Tsamma melon.
Even though these big cats might not need water every day, they do need food. Males need about 16 pounds (7.2 kg) of meat every day, while females need about 11 pounds (5 kg). The zebra, wildebeest, and buffalo are easy food for these big animals. But when there isn’t enough food, they will settle for mice, birds, lizards, and hares. Lions have also been known to steal food from hyenas and other animals that eat meat.
13. Lionesses are the Hunters.
Lionesses do most of the hunting, which is different from most other animal types. The fact that female lions are smaller and more agile helps them find and kill their food. When males are looking for bigger food, they sometimes join the hunt, but most of the time it is up to the lionesses.
When it’s time to eat, however, the males get the meat first, then the females, and finally the kids. Lion cubs don’t start hunting until about a year old.
The main job of male lions is not to find food, but to protect the pride’s area from other prides and predators. When the lionesses of the group aren’t out hunting, they are taking care of the cubs. It’s simple to say that they do everything.
14. They are Really Social Creatures.
Cats are known for being lonely, but lions are not. Lions are the only kind of cat that lives in groups, which is called a “pride.” Prides can have anywhere from two to forty lions in them. They are made up of three to four males, about 12 females, and their cubs.
All of the lionesses in a pride are linked to each other. The female cubs will stay with the group for the rest of their lives, but the males will leave when they are old enough and start their own pride. When young men want to start their own pride, they take over an existing one from another male.
15. Lionesses Share Child-Rearing Duties.
People say that to raise a child, it takes a community, or in the case of lions, a pride. Even though lions don’t have a set time of year to breed, the females will time their births so that they happen at the same time and raise their cubs together. This is called a crèche.
The moms will care for and help raise all of the cubs in their pride, not just the ones they gave birth too. This way of raising children is thought to improve the chances of survival, since lionesses only have one to four babies at a time. Cubs are cared for by their mothers until they are two years old. At that point, the moms start to breed again.
16. They are at the Top of the Food Chain.
Lions are the top hunters in the wild. This means that they are at the top of the food chain. As one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, people are the only thing that can kill them.
People pose a big threat to the lions’ future through illegal wildlife trade, poaching, and climate change. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says that there are probably less than 25,000 lions left in Africa and that they are at risk of going extinct.
Small group eco-friendly safaris are one way to see lions without getting too close or taking them out of their natural environment.
17. Their roars can be heard from miles away.
Lions don’t meow like their smaller cousins, they roar. Their loud call can reach up to 114 decibels, which is as loud as a chainsaw, and can be heard from 5 miles away.
The roars of both male and female lions are used for different things. Males roar to show who is in charge, defend their area from strangers, or warn the rest of the pride that there is danger close by. On the other hand, females roar to talk to males during mating season.
A pride will also roar together for 40 seconds as a way to mark their area. Even the cubs will join in on this.
18. Their Manes Tell a Story.
The mane is one of the things that makes a lion stand out. These long, beautiful manes aren’t just for looks; they can also tell a lot about a lion’s age, health, and surroundings.
At a year old, male lions start to grow their manes. As they get older, their hair gets darker and can get as long as 6 inches (16 centimetres). Lions with thicker and darker manes look stronger and more dominant, which makes them more attractive to females. Researchers have even found that cats with darker manes have more testosterone.
But not every male lion has a mane. Most of the lions in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park don’t have manes. There isn’t a single idea, but one is that the hot, thorny environment they live in makes long mains too much trouble.
19. Lions Can Climb Trees – Poorly.
Most images of lions show them roaming open plains, but did you know that in some parks these big cats hang out in trees? Unlike their leopard cousins, who are adept at climbing trees, lions were not adapted to do the same. Lions have big, bulky builds that are not particularly suited for climbing.
However, some prides of lions have found it is useful for a couple of reasons. Up in the trees, they have a better vantage point of other animals either for hunting or for safety. Although they are apex predators they have been known to climb trees to escape herds of buffaloes.
Hanging out up high also provides comfort. These innovative lions have found it is a way to avoid biting insects on the ground and overall it is a lot cooler. Travelers can catch a glimpse of tree-climbing lions at national parks in Tanzania and Uganda during a safari.
20. Lions Are Only Found in Two Parts of the World.
In 1996, lions were named an endangered species, and their numbers keep going down. In current times, only the African lion (Panthera leo leo) and the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) are known to live in the wild.