Man has always considered the lion as the King of the animals. However, the lion is only the second largest of the felines (the largest being the tiger), and it is not the fastest either.
An apparent sexual dimorphism characterizes the lion. The male is bigger and has a vast and thick mane of uneven coloring since the young ones present it in yellow, brown, or reddish-brown tones, while the old ones have it much darker and can be completely black.
Lion Animated Pictures
The female is smaller and has no mane. The general coloration of the body is golden, although the ventral region is white or lighter tones. The tip of the tail is black.
It moves at a 4 km/hr speed but can develop 50 to 60 km/hr for a short distance. Jumps of more than 12 m have been recorded.
Male lions in their natural habitat can reach up to 3 meters, including their tail, and lionesses a little less. They weigh between 150 and 225 kilos and live between 15 and 20 years.
The lion generally hunts by stalking, alternating movements of immobilization and advance, crawling. It uses an object that provides it with cover.
Then, it makes a final run and jumps on the chosen prey. If the victim cannot be captured in a chase of 50 to 100 m, the lion gets tired and abandons the hunt.
However, chases of up to 500m have been seen. Smaller prey is killed with one paw, but larger ones are bitten on the neck, tearing at the mouth and nostrils.
Sometimes two lions approach prey in opposite directions. If one fails, the other tries to catch it when it flees. An entire pride may attack by adopting an unfolded fan formation and then corner the prey from all sides.
Despite their reputation as fierce animals, lions are very sociable within their herd. There are always more lionesses than lions in a pack that can have from 3 to 40 members.
The lionesses do most of the hunting and take care of the cubs and teach them how to hunt. Besides, they usually give birth to their cubs simultaneously (usually 3 to 4 cubs per lioness) and help each other raise the young ones.
There are always many more females than males in a herd. When a male becomes the leader of his group, it is expected that the first thing he does is kill all the cubs, eliminate the inheritance of his predecessor, and make sure that all the future cubs have his genes.
The most crucial role of the males in a herd is to defend the territory. A lion’s roar can be heard from up to 5 miles away and is designed to warn potential intruders and call members of his pack back into the group.
It is also used to communicate with other lion prides living in the neighborhood. Despite its good reputation as a hunter, the lion is relatively clumsy and only manages to hunt its target in 20-30% of its attempts.
They hunt as a team, and if they are unable to achieve anything, they have no problem taking over the remains of an animal hunted by another species. That’s why they are called “opportunists”.
The lions that live in Africa are considered ‘endangered animals,’ and the few that survive in Asia are considered ‘endangered species’.