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An Introduction to Cats In The Animal Kingdom

THE LIONS (African Lions - Asiatic Lion)


Lions are probably the most familiar of all the wild cats, the lion is also the only one to exhibit marked sexual dimorphism. The bodies of both sexes are sandy brown to reddish brown above, paler below, without markings of any kind. Their tails have a conspicuous darker tuft at the tip. There are faint black bars "false eyes" on the back of the ears. Cubs are marked with spots which may persist on body and legs until fully adult and are occasionally visible throughout life. Lions have eyes with round pupils. The hyoid bone is incompletely ossified, which enables lions to roar.
African Lion

Lions are the most social of all felines living in groups or "prides". Male African lions achieve considerable size and may reach up to 9' in length. Adult males are considerably larger than females with full grown males weighing an average of 415 lbs. to the females 277 lbs. Females are active in maintaining the pride assuming almost full responsibility for hunting and rearing the young. The male's primary role is to defend the territory of the pride and to protect against other nomadic male intruders. The dominant male makes regular patrols while scent marking the territory.
African Lion

The chief role of the male is to defend territory and protect females from other males. Male lions have a most unusual feature designed specifically for this purpose which is their mane. While size is an obvious advantage it requires much more food so the bulky mane serves a twofold purpose. It gives the appearance of size without the increased body weight and serves to protect from the claws and teeth of other males.

Range & Habitat
Thousands of years ago, lions were common throughout southern Europe, Asia, India and the whole of the African continent. Today recent population estimates number approximately 40,000 lions. The only naturally occurring African lions are found in the plains and savannahs of central Africa. White lions are extremely rare and not a separate subspecies. The White Lions are introduced on our "Subspecies Color Variation Page".

Scientific Name: Panthera leo
Range: Central Africa
Average Weight:
    Female: 114 -126kg (250 - 277 pounds)
    Male: 204 -228kg (450 - 500 pounds)
Size (Length):
    Female: 2100mm-2400mm (7'-8') with tail approximately 1050mm (3'-6") in length
    Male: 2300mm-2400mm (7'-8"-8') " " " "
Diet: All lions are carnivorous. Lion prey consists mostly of large hoofed animals (ungulates) such as wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, kudu, giraffe, buffalo and other large mammals
Gestation Period: 100-100 Days (Averaging 103 Days)
Cub Maturity: 18 months - 2 Years
Cubs Per Litter: (Usually 2-6 cubs) Cubs are born blind and weigh 2-3 pounds.
Lifespan: 15 Years
Predators: Nomadic Male Lions, Hyenas, Man.
Social Structure: Social groups known as "Prides" consisting of one or two males, up to seven females and 14-15 cubs of different ages.
Territory Size: 250km - 500km (150-300 miles)
Population (Wild): Estimated 40,000
Conservation Status: The African lion is listed on Appendix II of CITES which means that an export permit is always required to transport the trophy. It was listed at the first Conference of the Parties in 1976. (All wildcats are listed on CITES Appendix I or II). The African lion is categorized as "vulnerable" by IUCN in the Red List of Threatened Species of the World. (IUCN/SSC).

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Tigerhomes.org Animal Pictures / Illustrations Reference - Go To Power Cats Index
White Lion Pictures | African Lion Pictures | Asiatic Lion Pictures | Tiger Pictures | Cougar Pictures | Caracal Pictures | Lynx Pictures | Cheetah Pictures | King Cheetah Pictures | Tiger Color Variations | Tiger Stripes | White Tiger Photos | Siberian Golden Tiger Photos | False Eyes in Nature | Tiger Fangs | Power Cat's Prey | Power Cat's Prey 2

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