A lion has been a symbol of power, strength, and ferocity. They live in eastern and southern parts of Africa. Lions are the only social cats that live in groups known as ‘prides.’
Each pride consists of one or two males and several females. Larger prides may consist of about 40 members. Living in groups raises the chances of a successful hunt and offers maximum protection of the Cubs.
Lions can be considered as a high-profile ‘celeb’ in the animal kingdom. Today, we bring you some of the most amazing facts about the lion which you may never have come across.
The popularly used term African lion collectively denotes the many subspecies that live in Africa. With a few males exceeding 550 lb (250 kg) in weight, it’s the second-biggest existing cat after the tiger.
Wild lions nowadays are found in sub-Saharan Africa and India (where a threatened remnant population lives in the Gir Forest National Park). In the past historical times, their enormous range was in most of Africa places, including the North Africa, and across the Eurasia from southeastern Europe and Greece to India.
In the ancient Pleistocene, almost 10,000 years ago, the lion was the highly widespread massive land mammal after human beings: Panthera leo atrox lived in the Americas from Peru to Yukon, and Panthera leo spelaea lived in western and northern Europe.
The Lions are categorized as an endangered species by the IUCN, having seen the main population reduction in its African range of 30% to 50% in every 2 decades during the second half of the 20th century.
Lion populations are indefensible outside designated national parks and reserves. Even though the cause of the reduction is not entirely understood, conflicts with humans and habitat loss are the major causes of concern. In Africa, the West African lion species is specifically endangered.
In the wild, many males seldom live longer than ten to fourteen years, as injuries suffered from frequent fighting with opponents significantly lower their longevity
They essentially inhabit grassland and savanna, though they may take to forest and bush. Lions are extraordinarily social than any other cats. A pride of lions comprises of related females and the offspring and very few adult males.
Groups of female lions basically hunt together, preying majorly on huge ungulates. Lions are the keystone and apex predators, even though they are also skillful scavengers obtaining more than 50% of their food by just scavenging as any chance allows.
Although lions don’t always hunt human beings, some have. Sleeping majorly during the day, lions are active primarily at night (nocturnal), though sometimes at twilight (crepuscular).
Since they’re highly distinctive, the male lion is certainly recognized by its mane. Their face is one of the most usually recognized animal symbols in the human culture.
Depictions have been present since Upper Paleolithic period, with the paintings and carvings from the Chauvet and Lascaux Caves in France dated to nearly 17,000 years ago, via virtually all medieval and ancient cultures where they once happened.
It has been widely depicted in paintings, in sculptures, on national flags, and in modern literature and films. Lions have remained in menageries since the period of the Roman Empire and have been the primary species searched for the exhibition in zoos all over the world since the late 18th century. Zoos are currently cooperating all over the world in the breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies.
Lion interesting facts:
- Lions live approximately fifteen years in the wild while they can survive 25 to 30 years in captivity. The number of lions reduced drastically in the last couple of decades. They are one of the popularly endangered animal species.
- When a new lion takes over a pride, it always kills all cubs which are not his own. In the wild, three-quarters of cubs die at young age.
- Until they reach two years, Lions cannot roar!
- Porcupine is usually one of the worst enemies of lions. Their sharp quills can be easily get stuck in the lion’s jaw forever.
- Long tail offers balance when lions are running, but it can also be used to signalize different commands to other members of the pride.
- Once cubs learn how to vocalize, an adult male’s roar can be heard at a distance of up to 8km away.
- Generally, male lions defend the territory of their pride while females do most of the hunting. Despite this, the males eat first!!
- A lion can sleep up to 20 hours a day.
- They are six times more sensitive to light than humans.
- Lions can reach speeds of about 81 kph (50 mph) but only in short bursts due to lack of stamina.