Kingdom: | AnimaliaPhylum: | ChordataClass: | MammaliaOrder: | CarnivoraFamily: | FelidaeGenus: | PantheraSpecies: | leo

Lions space at the height of the food chain, with no organic predators. They are often depicted in stories and also films as majestic and also strong. Simba, the Swahili word because that lion, way “king,” “strong,” and “aggressive.” Similarly, in English, to describe someone as “lionhearted” means that they space courageous and brave.

While lions space large, powerful cats, their numbers have decreased dramatically in recent years. African lion numbers have actually plummeted by over 40% in the last three generations, largely as a result of habitat loss and also conflicts through humans.

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Size and also Weight:

Male lions are much bigger than females. The size of a mrs is typically in between 4.6 and 5.7 feet, while the length of a masculine is between 5.6 and also 8.3 feet. Your tail size is 27 come 41 inches. Mrs lions sweet 270 to 400 pounds, if males weigh 330 to 570 pounds.



Lions are known for muscular, deep-chested bodies. They have actually short, rounded heads, round ears, and hairy tufts in ~ the finish of their tails. Your appearance different from that of other huge cats, such together tigers, leopards and jaguars.

Notably, masculine lions have actually a mane of hair roughly their neck. The mane’s color, size and abundance depend on the individual and its age. The mane not just helps the lion look more impressive come females yet also an ext intimidating to various other males. The lion’s mane may likewise protect the lion’s neck throughout a battle, commonly with various other males over territory and also breeding rights.



Lions space carnivores. They room apex predators, meaning that they room at the top of the food chain v no natural predators. Lock hunt pets in their bordering habitat, which generally includes antelopes and other hoofed animals. Lock may additionally hunt elephants, rhinos, rodents, reptiles, insects and also even crocodiles. They likewise scavenge or steal prey from leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, or wild dogs.

Lions generally hunt at night at dusk or dawn. Female lions, or lionesses, often do lot of the hunting. As soon as chasing prey, a lion can run the size of a football field in six seconds.



Lions’ habitats incorporate open woodlands, special grassland, and also brush habitat, whereby there is enough cover because that hunting and also denning.


Lions deserve to be discovered throughout afri grasslands. There is additionally the subspecies of eastern lions, which provided to be uncovered from the middle East throughout to India. However, over there are now only about 400 to 460 of this lion subspecies left, with more than half living in a reserve called the Gir Forest. This area is currently under nationwide protection by the Indian government.



After a four-month gestation period, a lioness will certainly sneak away from the pride to give birth to a litter of 2 to six cubs. The cubs are about 3 pounds in ~ birth v a yellowish-brown coat and also distinct spots or stripes. Cubs remain covert from the pride because that the first four to six weeks when they obtain strength. Cubs born in a pride room twice as most likely to survive than a lioness on she own.

The cubs stay close to their mother for the first few months. Castle are eventually weaned by the age of 6 months. Females tend to remain with their mothers much longer than males. Males will commonly stay with their mother until castle two, if females might stay v their mom in the pride because that life. The sub-adult male will be chased the end of the proud by his mom when he will certainly then be out on his own or join a bachelor group. A bachelor team will run together until they are big enough to start complicated older males in an attempt to take over a pride.


Social Structure:

Lions space the most social of big cats and live in large groups called “prides.” Prides consist of 3 to 30 lions, depending upon the location. Areas with greater food accessibility will likely have larger prides. Prides are consisted of of lionesses, your cubs and also a few unrelated males. The members of the pride have actually close society bonds, and also they room unlikely to expropriate a stranger. Both males and also females scent note to define their territory.

The pride participates in tasks together, consisting of hunting, elevating the cubs and grooming. Males and females have various roles in the pride. While females job-related together come hunt and also care for the cubs, males mark and also guard the pride’s territory. Males will guard the cubs while the lionesses room out hunting. When a new male make the efforts to sign up with a pride, he needs to fight the present males. The brand-new male is either moved off or succeeds in pushing out the present males.

Lions spend a an excellent deal of their time resting and sleeping. Lions have brief bursts of intense task followed by hours of lounging, i beg your pardon can full up come 21 hours. Lock are good climbers and will frequently rest in trees.


Lions live around 15 years in the wild and also up to 30 years in zoos.



Habitat loss, problems with humans and also the illegal wildlife trade room the largest threats come lions. As a an outcome of human being expansion, afri lions are currently living on just 8% the the soil they once occupied. This ns of habitat has led to small and secluded prides that have a more difficult time breeding. That has additionally reduced the amount of easily accessible prey.

As human activity expands right into lion territory, there has actually become an increase in lion-human conflict. Lions will certainly eat human being livestock when their typical prey is no longer available, bring about farmer retaliation. Farmers may kill a lion to defend their livestock. The illegal wildlife trade is another significant threat come lions. Lion skeletal are raising in demand, as they may be used to replace tiger skeletal in traditional eastern medicine.

Conservation Status:

Three-quarters of african lion populations are in decline. With only around 20,000 in the wild, lions are noted as vulnerable by IUCN’s Red List.


Conservation Efforts:

Conservation groups are working to protect lions. San Diego Zoo worldwide supports lion conservation by providing funds come two establishments in Africa that work-related to assist lions and other wildlife: the north Rangelands trust (NRT) and the Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

NRT works to protect wildlife in number of ways, including anti-poaching operations, habitat management, enhancing conservation awareness and also endangered varieties recovery programs. They are likewise monitoring wildlife populations and also mitigating human-wildlife conflict. The NRT wildlife team has actually been collecting data on lions because 2013.

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How You deserve to Help:

Adopt a Lion: embrace the Eneiskiria proud of lions with the human being Wildlife structure (WWF) and become a part of the systems to help protect lions in the Mara.

Support preservation groups choose WWF and San Diego Zoo an international with their efforts to defend lions.