Lion is one of the most popular animals despite their intimidating look and personality. In fact, a lot of people are intrigued about the facts about the lions because of this matter. In 1775, there was a Dictionary of the English Language written by Samuel Johnson that referred African lion to be the fiercest and magnanimous beast.
Indeed, that is what makes the king of the jungle loved by many. The magnificent persona lets them become an admirable, fascinating creature. In this article, we have provided 17 facts that will definitely interest you! From their behavior, habitat, the pride, the mane, and so much more.
Read: Facts about a Jaguar
Facts about the Lions
1. Leopards are the second largest big cats
Lions are among one of the five big cats, which also include tiger, jaguar, leopard as well as snow leopard. Out of all of them, lions are the second biggest cat of all. The most well known lions in the world are the Asian and the African.
However, there are more species of lions out there. There are West African lion, Southwest African lion, Asiatic lion and Ethiopian lion. More species of lions are Barbary lion, Masai lion, Transvaal lion as well as Congo lion.
2. The weight difference between male and female lions
As with the other big cats, the weight of a male lion is way higher than female. The average weight of a male lion is 180 kilograms, while female lion is usually around 130 kilograms. However, by the time the female lion have reached the age of two, they will reach the two-thirds of their final size.
3. The heaviest lion recorded
The heaviest lion that has ever been recorded in this world holds the weight of 375 kilograms. That facts about the lions is very impressive, considering usual lions only hold the average weight of 180 kilograms. The male lion can even reach 225 kilograms on average.
The height of the male lion’s shoulder can reach around 1.2 meters while female lion is usually only one meter. The weight of female lion can reach 152 kilograms. The smallest weight is only 110 kilograms for adult female lion.
4. Speed of a car
Lion can run as fast as a car, with the maximum speed of 81 kilometers per hour. But, they can only be this fast for a short amount of time. The short burst happens because lion is lacking on stamina. On top of that, lion can also leap up to 10 meter at once.
5. Magnificent roar and other sounds
The roar is a lion is magnificent yet makes your heart pounds at the same time. If you hear a lion roars in front of you, you will surely skip a beat. This facts about the lions is because the roar can be heard in 8 kilometers range.
Any lion can roar and make other sounds like meow and hiss just like domestic cats. The other thing that lion does to let other know they are near is marking scent in their territory. Lions use their urine to create a border in the territory.
6. Habitat of Lions
Lions used to be able to be found in Asia and Europe. However, lions that are alive in the wild now can only be found in eastern and southern parts of Africa. The last lion from Asia can still be found in Sasan-Gir, which is India’s national park. They are protected with around 400 Asiatic lions living there.
Even in Africa, lions used to live in a lot of places. Now, as the ones in West Africa are at risk of extinction, they are considered even more rare now. This is despite the fact that lions can live pretty much anywhere, from open woodlands, deserts, thick bush and scrub to grasslands. Their habitat is flexible with one exception, rain forests.
7. Social animal
Most of the big cat species are solitary, but not lions. They are very social and like to gather together in a group that is called pride. In fact, out of all the big cats, African lions are considered to be the most social.
Normally, a pride has 10 to 15 lions as their member. However, there are cases where they form 30 lions in one pride. This facts about the lions is because the size of the pride varies, depending on the availability of food and water.
What’s interesting about facts about the lions is that in the pride, the main hunters are female lions. Male lions’ job in the pride is to guide the territory and protect the young.
8. Manes and the color of the hair
The famous manes of lions are only owned by the males. From the manes, you can also see how attractive they are in front of the female lions, or so called lionesses. The darker the hair that covers the head and neck of a lion, the more attractive they are.
However, the color varies depending on where they live. If the lions live in high humidity, the fur tends to be darker. There are also white lions, which are not albinos. Cubs have light spots on the fur and fade when they grow up. The facts about the lions are there to help them camouflage and hide while they are still very young.
9. National animal
Lion is the symbol of strength and so much more. This makes lions chosen to be national animal of several countries. These countries include Bulgaria, Singapore, Albania, England, Belgium, Ethiopia, Luxembourg as well as the Netherlands.
Lion can live up to 16 years in the wild with an average of 12 years. In captivity, lions can even live up to 25 years. Manes can also tell how old a lion is. Lions with darker mane means they are older. Did you know that lion cubs were born with blue eyes, but then the color changes into amber or brown after a couple months?
Baby lion is named cub, whelp or lionet. However, there are more names that mean lion, or part of lion. Lions are bred with other big cats to create hybrids.
Lion, combined with tigers, will result in hybrid called tigons or ligers. Another facts about the lions is that if lion is bred with leopard, then the hybrid is called leopons. Lastly, Jaglions is the name for hybrid of lion and jaguar.
12. Female are better hunters
The female lions, or so called lionesses, are the ones who do the hunting for one pride. While they hunt, the male lions are protecting their territory as well as the kids. However, the males eat the hunting result first.
Male lions also need more food in a day. They would need 7 kilograms of meat while lionesses require 5 kilograms of meat for the daily diet. Lions hunt big animals to feed the pride, such as zebra and wildebeest.
13. Rest for 20 hours
We know that cats sleep a lot, but lions are considered the laziest out of all the big cats. In total, they can sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day. This facts about the lions happens especially when there are plenty of foods around. They would consume 15% of the body weight and have a food coma.
Lions don’t hunt their foods every day. They would finish a meal before hunting for another one. Other than zebra and wildebeest, they would also attack larger mammals, like young elephants and hippos.
14. Symbol of strength
With the power and persona of a lion, they have been known as a symbol of strength. They are considered the symbol of power and ferocity as well. You would understand why when you see this majestic animal up-close.
15. Doesn’t live in jungle
Lions are often referred to the king of the jungle. But, the facts about the lions is that lion doesn’t live in the jungle. Lions live in grasslands and savanna. But, there is a population of wild forest lions exists, and these lions are living in Gir Forest National Park, India.
16. Body built for surviving
Lions are built to survive, but they are great for adapting as well. Lions that live in the desert are adapting to the harsh environment to be able to survive. The legs are longer, the bodies are leaner, and great for endurance. This facts about the lions is because it is harder for them to find prey in the desert.
When they do find preys, usually they are only small animals. Therefore, desert lions also have better resistance to thirst. Lions in the desert can live for two weeks without any water consumption. For moisture, these lions rely on the blood of the preys.
Just like another animals living in the wild, lions also experience habitat loss. Most lions are not endangered, yet listed as vulnerable according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, African lions are thought to be declining in numbers and at risk of extinction.
In the last then years, the amount of African lions in the wild have gone down by one third. On top of the habitat loss, the main threat is they are killed. The killing is a part of organised hunts.
Lions live pretty much anywhere, yet they still find a hard time keeping their habitat. This social animal likes to live in pride. The bigger the pride means there are huge food and water availability around.
They take different roles in pride and keep track of one another with the roars. Often compared to tiger, don’t you think lions are interesting? The list of facts about the lions we have provided above will surely make you think so!