29 October 2013

Interesting facts about lions

Some interesting facts about lions, the King of the Jungle.

Interesting facts about lions, facts about lions, lion facts, amazing facts about lions, lions fun facts
By Yathin S Krishnappa (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Lions are the second largest living cats, after the tigers. The lion's closest relatives are tigers.
  • Weights for male lions range between 330–550 lb (150–250 kg) and up to 10 ft (3 m) in length. Female lions are smaller, weighing between 265 to 400 lb (120-182 kg) and growing up to 9 ft (2.7 m) in length. The shoulder height is about 3-4 ft (123 cm). The tail adds another 2-3 ft to their length.
  • The largest lion was recorded to be nearly 700 lb and nearly 11 ft long.
  • The male lion is recognized by its mane. The mane's color varies from blond to black, generally becoming darker as the lion grows older.
  • Lions live for 10–15 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than 25 years.
  • Lions can be found mostly in parts of eastern and southern Africa and in a small reserve in India.
  • Lions mostly eat medium sized herbivores, such as zebra, antelopes and wildebeest.
  • Lions hunt individually or in groups.
  • They often steal hyenas' or other predators' kill.
  • Females are the primary hunters in a pride while males defend the pride’s territory. Despite this, the males always get to eat first. Sometimes, the males will let the cubs eat with them.
  • Each adult lion needs 10-15 lb (5 to 7 kg) of meat every day.
  • Lions can hear their prey from a mile away.
  • A lion can smell nearby prey and estimate how long it was in the area.
  • Lions don't chew their food, but they swallow it in chunks.
  • Lions are the most social of all big cats. They live together in a group called prides.
  • A pride usually consists of five or six females, their cubs, and one or two males.
  • A lioness mates about every 2 years, and gives birth to a litter of 1-4 cubs.
  • The average gestation period is around 110 days.
  • The cubs are born blind. Their eyes do not open until roughly a week after birth.
  • In the wild, about 60-70 percent of cubs do not live to become adults. They die mainly from starvation or attacks by other animals such as hyenas, leopards and black-backed jackals.
  • Females cooperate in raising a pride's cubs. They may take turns nursing each others' cubs.
  • Female cubs stay in their mother's prides for life, males are forced out of their pride when they are old enough to compete with the dominant males, about two to four years of age.
  • Lions can live without water for four days.
  • A lion's eyesight is five times better than a human being.
  • A lion sleeps for about 20 hours a day.
  • A lion’s roar can be heard from as far as 5 miles (8 km) away.
  • At short distances, lions can run 50 mph (80 kph) and leap as far as 36 ft (11 m).
  • Lions mark their territory with urine and by roaring.
  • The lion is the only member of the cat family with a tufted tail.
  • When a lion walks, it heels don’t touch the ground.
  • Lions are the national symbol of Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Singapore.
Sources: livescience.com, bestfunfacts.com, wikipedia.org, lions.org

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