Our Magnificent African Lions
Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism – that is, males and females look distinctly different.
They also have specialised roles that each gender plays in the pride. For instance, the lioness, the hunter, lacks the male’s thick mane.
The color of the male’s mane varies from blond to black, generally becoming darker as the lion grows older. During confrontations with others, the mane makes the lion look larger. Weights for adult lions range between 150–250 kg (330–550 lb) for males and 120–182 kg (264–400 lb) for females.
Lions tend to vary in size depending on their environment and area, lions in southern Africa tend to be about 5 percent heavier than those in East Africa.
In Africa, lions can be found in savanna grasslands with scattered Acacia trees which serve as shade; their habitat in India is a mixture of dry savanna forest and very dry deciduous scrub forest.
Lions are powerful animals that usually hunt in coordinated groups and stalk their chosen prey. However, they are not particularly known for their stamina – for instance, a lioness’ heart makes up only 0.57 percent of her body weight.
They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility; many kills take place near some form of cover or at night. They sneak up to the victim until they reach a distance of around 30 metres (98 ft) or less.
The lioness is the one who does the hunting for the pride, since the lioness is more aggressive by nature. The male lion usually stays and watches its young while waiting for the lionesses to return from the hunt.
The prey consists mainly of large mammals, with a preference for wildebeest, impalas, zebras, buffalo, and warthogs in Africa and nilgai, wild boar, and several deer species in India. Many other species are hunted, based on availability.
WHERE DO THEY LIVE?