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9 Lion Facts You Should Know

            A Complex Social Structure

    Lions live in large groups called prides, similar to wolves (but not most other cat species). A pride consists of multiple related females and their dependent offspring along with two or three unrelated males. A typical pride has about 15 members, although some prides as large as 40 members have been observed.

            Second Largest Big Cat

    A male lion weighs about 500 pounds and grows to eight feet in length. It sounds impressive, but tigers are actually larger, reaching 850 pounds and 11 feet long.

            Lions Don’t Live in the Jungle

    Even though lions are known as “King of the Jungle,” they live in grasslands and plains – not the jungle. Also unusual in the animal kingdom, female lions do the hunting (usually in groups) while male lions stay home and watch over the pride. The males, however, are first to eat when the female lions come home with their kill.

            Lion Babies Aren’t Only Called Cubs

    Baby lions may be referred to as cubs, whelps, or lionets. A “whelp” actually refers to any young member of a carnivorous species, while “lionet” means “small lion” in Middle French.

            Females Live Together for Life

    Female lions, sisters, live together for life. Their female cubs also stay with the pride, even after they’re grown, but male cubs must venture out on their own once they reach maturity.

            The Only Big Cats with Manes

    Male lions have majestic manes that make them appear larger and more intimidating. Female lions are also attracted to fuller, thicker manes.

            They Once Roamed the Globe

    Lions once lived in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America, and Northern India. Now lions primarily live in Africa, aside from a small group (about 300) Asiatic lions that live in India’s Gir Forest.

            The Loudest Roar

    A male lion’s roar can be heard from up to five miles away – the loudest roar of any big cat species. Their roar helps them find other lions as well as to proclaim their territory. A pride’s territory may include up to 100 square miles.4

            A National Symbol

    Lions are associated with pride, courage, and strength, making them a perfect national symbol. Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Singapore all regard the lion as their national symbol.

 

 

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