When someone mentions African lion, we all imagine a robust an majestic cat who has, like tigers, been admired through history as a symbol of courage and strength. These impressive animals have powerful bodies, and in the cat family, they are second by their size. But, their roar can be heard even five miles away!

the lion

Where does the king of animals live?

African lion, as it’s name says, mostly lives in Africa, parts of Asia and Europe. Sadly, these cats vanished from 94 percent of this historic range, and nowadays can be found only in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. These lions stick to the grasslands, scrub, or open woodlands where they can easily hunt their prey, but they can live in most habitats aside from tropical rainforests and deserts.

king of the jungle

African lions are the only ones that live in groups.

Unlike leopards and jaguars, lions live in prides, which are family units containing from two to even 40 lions! All of a pride’s lionesses are strongly connected, and female cubs typically stay with the group as they age. Young males eventually leave and establish their own prides by taking over a group headed by another male.

lion cub

Everyone has an important role.

Males defend the pride’s territory, marking the area with urine, roaring to warn intruders, and chasing off animals that come uninvited on their territory. Female lions are the pride’s primary hunters and leaders. They work together to hunt antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and other large animals of the open grasslands. Many of these animals are faster than lions, so teamwork pays off. Female lions also raise their cubs communally.

The mane.

The male’s outstanding characteristic is his mane, which varies between different individuals. It may be entirely lacking; it may fringe the face; or it may be full and shaggy, covering the back of the head, neck, and shoulders and continuing onto the throat and chest to join a fringe along the belly. In some lions the mane and fringe are very dark, almost black, giving the cat a majestic appearance. Manes make males look larger and may serve to intimidate rivals or impress prospective mates.

The size.

African lion is a large and muscular cat with a long body, large head and short legs. A full-grown male is about 1.8 to 2.1 metres long, excluding the 1 metre tail; he stands about 1.2 metres high at the shoulder and weighs 370 to 500 pounds. The lioness, is smaller, with a body length of 1.5 metres, a shoulder height of 0.9 to 1.1 metres, and a weight of 240 to 360 pounds.

There is no doubt this cat is worth of admiring. Did you know that lions run at speed up to 50 miles per hour? Pretty fast for such a big cat, isn’t it?

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