Exploring the World of Wildlife: 10 facts about the Lion | Lion what we know so far

The lion is a large African cat, strong and graceful. From all of large feline species, lions are the most social.

Fact number one.

Lions are the largest cats in Africa. The height at the shoulders of lions reaches one meter twenty centimeters, the body length is usually around three meters, the tail is from sixty to ninety-one centimeters. Male lions weigh from one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty kilograms. Females are much smaller and grow up to two meters and seventy centimeters and weigh from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and eighty kilograms.

Fact number two.

Lions have subtle sense of smell. Their sense of smell is extremely developed because not only to the nose, but also to a special tube that is located in the oral cavity. When hunting, lions lift their heads up. This helps them capture the most subtle scents.

Fact number three.

The main characteristic peculiarity of the male is his mane. Each individual has its own mane. The mane is the visiting card of the male-lion. It may be small, can cover the muzzle, may be huge and thick, covering the neck, head, shoulders, chest and continue along the abdomen. It is believed that the density and size of the mane primarily depends on the genes, health and testosterone levels of each individual. It is because of this peculiarity, lions seem much larger than their size, that helps a lot in nature, scaring away other predators or representatives of their own species that are potential competitors. Some lions have a dark mane, almost black. The mane gives cats an incredibly majestic look, so they are not for nothing called “kings of all animals”.

Fact number four.

There are no markings in the form of stripes or spots, like other cats, on the bodies of lions. If certain individuals have it, it is weakly expressed. This helps large predators to remain invisible in the savannas. Lion’s fur is short, the tail is long and has dark tuft of hair at the end.

Fact number five.

Being full, lions are never hunting. The only two things can make a fed lion move are the scorching sun and danger. If the lion has eaten enough, then its potential victims can feel calm. He will be absolutely infantile in relation to other animals.

Fact number six.

Lions love to relax and laze. They spend from sixteen to twenty hours each day resting and sleeping. They have few sweat glands, so they are wisely seeking to preserve their energy by resting during the day and become more active in the evening when it is cooler.

Fact number seven.

Lions live in large groups called “prides”. A pride usually consists of related females and their cubs, and also a male or a group of males. The size of a pride can varies from fifteen to forty individuals. In general, the more members in the pride, the stronger it is.

Fact number eight.

Mating games for lions occur for several days a year. Males often enter the fight for females. Both sexes are generally polygamous, but females are often limited to one or two males from their pride. In captivity, mating games can occur every year, but in the wild usually this period longer – one time in two years. Females are ready for them three or four days a year, during this period, couples are engaged in mating games up to fifty times a day, each of which lasts from twenty to thirty minutes.

Lionesses and lions reach the age of maturity at two or three years, but despite this, they won’t participate in mating games until their relationship in the pride is finally fixed. It is interesting to note that all females in a pride give birth at about the same time, this helps them struggle in establishing the hierarchy that exists among males, playing the same roles. They help each other take care of the cubs and are ready to feed any family kitten that asks. Females give birth every two years, giving birth to one to four cubs. The pregnancy lasts three and a half months. Kittens are born blind and very weak, that making them extremely vulnerable. The fur of lion cubs is covered with black spots that disappear in the process of growing up — this helps them hide from insidious enemies while the adults go hunting.

Fact number nine.

Lion cubs feed on mother’s milk for the first six months. But already from three they start eating meat. By eleven months, kittens are already beginning to participate in the hunt, but rather in the game mode, without bringing any real benefit. This becomes the most important lesson on the difficult path of growing up. Eighty percent of lion cubs don’t survive during the first two years of life – this is due to starvation, attacks by other predators or male lions that capture prides, displacing weaker predecessors. Only after two years they will be ready for independent living. Females ready on the last to protect their cubs, even from males, but they pay more attention to protecting older adults, who will soon be ready for independent life.

Fact number ten.

Females live longer, than males and can live up to sixteen years. Lions reach their peak maturity between five and nine years of age, when they are most active. In the wild, lions rarely live more than ten years, because often become victim of hunters, external and internal conflicts and prides, and also from injuries received during the hunt. But in captivity can live up to twenty-five years. The oldest recorded individual lived to be thirty years old.

World Lion Day is celebrated every year on the tenth of August and the main significance of this holiday is to draw attention. The population of these graceful carnivores is gradually dwindling and their Day is an occasion to think about protection and conservation. The origins of the holiday have been forgotten, so it is not known who first proposed World Lion Day and when it was introduced into the calendar.

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