Everyone loves a lion. Especially after seeing the Wizard of Oz and the Lion King. We fell in love with these majestic cats.
We fell in love with our idea of what these animals are like, but do we really know as much about them as we think we do?
The lion is one of the only big cats that live in a group setting instead of being a singular stealthy hunter. The male watches over the pride and the females go out and do the hunting to provide food for everyone in the group.
What do we not know about these big cats?
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How Much Does A Lion Weigh?
A male lion weighs close to 420 pounds when he reaches maturity. The females of the species are much lighter. Females normally weigh about 280 pounds.
There have been male lions that weigh as much as 600 pounds. Those were normally zoo kept and their diet and exercise were far different from the diet and exercise of the wild ones.
A male lion will stand about 4 feet tall at his shoulders. He will likely be about 6 feet long from nose to tail tip. His tail may be between 26 and 40 inches long.
Lion cubs come into the world weighing between two and four pounds. A mother will have between two and four cubs at a time.
Like most cats, they are completely dependent on their mother at birth. For the first six weeks of their life, they will live alone with their mom. After that mom will begin to let them venture out of the den she created for them and will introduce them to the rest of her pride.
Female lions are good mothers. They are so good that they will help care for all of the young cubs and sometimes they will nurse each other’s cubs.
The lionesses generally all become fertile and breed at about the same time. That means all of the cubs are very close in age. When a cub is growing up it has plenty of playmates.
The cubs have spots on them when they are young. These spots help to camouflage them and as they grow older the spots will fade and become too light to notice.
A lion pride is not just a small grouping of lions or a single-family unit.
There are lion pride that have as many as 40 members,
When the children of the pride mature the females will usually stay with the pride she was born into. The young males have to leave and go find pride of their own because of competition between the leading male and the younger ones.
The younger male lions leave their birth pride by the time they are 2. This is the most vulnerable time in the life of a male lion.
Lions live to be about 14 years of age.
While the females hunt for food the male takes care of the children left behind. He guards them carefully.
Did You Know
- The roar of a lion is so loud that it can sometimes be heard up to five miles away
- African lions are larger than Asiatic lions.
- African lions are the second largest of the big cats. Only the tiger is larger.
- Male lions have manes or expanses of hair that grow around their heads and necks.
- There are 8 species of lion in the world.
- A lion sleeps between 16 and 20 hours each day.
- Lions do not have to hunt every day for food. They hunt and make a large kill and then eat on that carcass for several days before they hunt again.
- The reason that Disney chose the name Simba for the young male lion in the Lion King movie is that in Swahili the word for lion is ‘Simba’.
- Lions have predators of their own. Human beings and hyenas are both predators of lions.
How Much Does The Heaviest Lion Weigh?
The largest lion on record weighed 690 pounds.
Who Does The Hunting The Male or The Female Lions?
The females do the hunting for the lion pride.
What is A Group of Lions Called?
A group of lions is called a pride.