Kingdom: | AnimaliaPhylum: | ChordataClass: | MammaliaOrder: | CarnivoraFamily: | FelidaeGenus: | PantheraSpecies: | leo

Lions space at the peak of the food chain, through no natural predators. They are often shown in stories and also films together majestic and also strong. Simba, the Swahili word for lion, method “king,” “strong,” and also “aggressive.” Similarly, in English, to describe someone together “lionhearted” means that they space courageous and also brave.

While lions space large, powerful cats, their numbers have decreased dramatically in current years. Afri lion numbers have actually plummeted by end 40% in the last 3 generations, greatly as a result of habitat loss and also conflicts through humans.

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Size and also Weight:

Male lions space much bigger than females. The length of a woman is typically in between 4.6 and 5.7 feet, while the size of a male is in between 5.6 and 8.3 feet. Their tail length is 27 to 41 inches. Mrs lions sweet 270 come 400 pounds, when males weigh 330 come 570 pounds.



Lions are well-known for muscular, deep-chested bodies. They have actually short, rounded heads, round ears, and also hairy tufts in ~ the end of your tails. Their appearance different from that of other huge cats, such as tigers, leopards and also jaguars.

Notably, masculine lions have a mane the hair about their neck. The mane’s color, size and abundance count on the individual and also its age. The mane not just helps the lion look an ext impressive come females but also more intimidating to other males. The lion’s mane may additionally protect the lion’s neck during a battle, generally with various other males end territory and also breeding rights.



Lions are carnivores. They space apex predators, meaning that they are at the height of the food chain through no natural predators. Lock hunt animals in their surrounding habitat, which generally includes antelopes and also other hoofed animals. They may additionally hunt elephants, rhinos, rodents, reptiles, insects and also even crocodiles. They likewise scavenge or steal food from leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, or wild dogs.

Lions generally hunt at night at dusk or dawn. Mrs lions, or lionesses, regularly do much of the hunting. Once chasing prey, a lion can run the length of a football field in six seconds.



Lions’ habitats include open woodlands, special grassland, and also brush habitat, wherein there is enough cover for hunting and also denning.


Lions deserve to be discovered throughout afri grasslands. Over there is likewise the subspecies of asian lions, which offered to be uncovered from the center East throughout to India. However, over there are currently only around 400 to 460 the this lion subspecies left, with much more than half living in a reserve referred to as the Gir Forest. This area is now under national protection through the Indian government.



After a four-month gestation period, a lioness will certainly sneak away from the proud to give birth come a litter of two to six cubs. The cubs are about 3 pounds in ~ birth v a yellowish-brown coat and also distinct clues or stripes. Cubs remain hidden from the pride for the first four to 6 weeks while they gain strength. Cubs born in a pride space twice as most likely to make it through than a lioness on her own.

The cubs remain close to their mommy for the first couple of months. Castle are eventually weaned by the period of 6 months. Females have tendency to continue to be with their mothers much longer than males. Males will frequently stay v their mommy until castle two, when females may stay with their mom in the pride because that life. The sub-adult male will be chased out of the pride by his mommy when he will certainly then be the end on his very own or sign up with a bachelor group. A bachelor team will run together until they are large enough come start challenging older males in an effort to take over a pride.


Social Structure:

Lions room the many social of big cats and also live in large groups dubbed “prides.” Prides consists 3 to 30 lions, relying on the location. Locations with better food access will likely have actually larger prides. Prides are made up of lionesses, their cubs and a few unrelated males. The members the the pride have actually close social bonds, and they are unlikely to accept a stranger. Both males and also females scent mark to specify their territory.

The proud participates in activities together, including hunting, raising the cubs and grooming. Males and also females have various roles in the pride. If females occupational together come hunt and care for the cubs, males mark and guard the pride’s territory. Males will certainly guard the cubs while the lionesses are out hunting. Once a brand-new male make the efforts to join a pride, he has to fight the existing males. The brand-new male is either driven off or succeeds in pushing out the existing males.

Lions spend a good deal of their time resting and sleeping. Lions have quick bursts the intense activity followed by hrs of lounging, i m sorry can total up to 21 hours. Lock are an excellent climbers and will frequently rest in trees.


Lions live about 15 years in the wild and up to 30 year in zoos.



Habitat loss, disputes with humans and also the illegal wildlife trade are the biggest threats come lions. Together a an outcome of person expansion, african lions are now living on just 8% the the floor they as soon as occupied. This loss of habitat has actually led to little and isolated prides that have actually a more an overwhelming time breeding. That has also reduced the amount of available prey.

As human task expands into lion territory, there has become boost in lion-human conflict. Lions will certainly eat person livestock as soon as their usual prey is no longer available, causing farmer retaliation. Farmers might kill a lion to defend their livestock. The illegal wildlife profession is another major threat come lions. Lion skeletal are boosting in demand, together they might be supplied to replace tiger skeletal in traditional eastern medicine.

Conservation Status:

Three-quarters of african lion populations are in decline. Through only roughly 20,000 in the wild, lions are provided as fragile by IUCN’s Red List.


Conservation Efforts:

Conservation teams are functioning to defend lions. San Diego Zoo an international supports lion conservation by providing funds come two establishments in Africa that work to aid lions and also other wildlife: the north Rangelands to trust (NRT) and the Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

NRT works to defend wildlife in several ways, including anti-poaching operations, habitat management, enhancing conservation awareness and also endangered species recovery programs. Castle are also monitoring wildlife populations and mitigating human-wildlife conflict. The NRT wildlife team has been collecting data top top lions since 2013.

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How You have the right to Help:

Adopt a Lion: take on the Eneiskiria proud of lions through the people Wildlife structure (WWF) and become a part of the solution to aid protect lions in the Mara.

Support conservation groups prefer WWF and San Diego Zoo global with their efforts to safeguard lions.