The Lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family
Felidae. The male Lion, easily recognized by his mane,
may weigh up to 250 kg (550 lb). Females are much smaller,
weighing up to 150 kg (330 lb). In the wild lions live
for around 1014 years.
normally walks at about 4 km/hr and can run for a short
distance at 50-60 km/r. It may leap up to 12 meters. African
lions may enter trees by jumping, but are not adept climbers.
Senses of sight, hearing and smell are thought to be excellent.
Activity may occur at any hour, but is mainly nocturnal
and crepuscular. The average period of inactivity is about
20-21 hours per day. Many lions remain throughout the
year in one area, but some animals are nomadic, following
the migrations of the ungulate herds. African lions attain
the greatest geographical distribution of any terrestrial
The Lion is a predatory carnivore which usually hunts
by a slow stalk, alternately creeping and freezing, utilizing
every available bit of cover; It then makes a final rush
and leaps upon the prey. If the quarry cannot be caught
in 50-100 meters it usually tires and gives up. Small
prey may be dispatched by a swipe of the paw. Large animals
are seized by the throat and strangles or it suffocates
them by clamping its jaws over the mouth and nostrils.
Two or more Lions may hunt a single prey in concert. An
entire pride may fan out and close in on the prey from
all sides. Most hunts fail. Lions eat any thing it can
catch and kill, but it depends mostly on animals weighing
50-300 kg. Important prey are wildebeest, impala, other
antelope, giraffe, buffalo, wild hogs and zebra. Carrion
is readily taken. Up to 40 kg of meat can be consumed
by an adult male at one meal. After making a kill, a lion
may rest in the vicinity of the carcass for several days.
A non-nomadic pride may consist of 15 animals. The basis
of a pride is a group of related females and their young.
These associations may persist for many years.; Young
males depart as soon as they approach maturity. Several
adult males often move about together as a group. Males
living in a group allow females to do all the hunting.
African lions appear to behave asocially at a kill, with
little tolerance being shown to subordinates and cubs.
The lion has at least nine distinct vocalizations, including
a series of grunts that apparently serve to maintain contact
as a pride moves about. African lions proclaim their territory
by roaring as well as by scent marking through urination
and defecation, and by rubbing its head in a bush.
Females are polyestrous and heat lasts about 4 days. Gestation
period is 100-119 days, and litters contain one to six
young. The newborn weight is about 1300 grams each, their
eyes may be open at birth or may take up to 2 weeks to
open. Cubs follow their mother after 3 months, suckle
from any lactating female in the pride, and usually are
weaned by 6-7 months, participate in kills at about 11
months, and probably are not capable of surviving on their
own until least 30 months. Sexual maturity is attained
at around 3-4 years.
preferred habitat of Lions are grassy plains, savannas,
open woodlands and scrub country. It sometimes enters
semidesserts and forests.
are found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire,
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau(?),
India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia,
Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South
Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia,