Lions have been a symbol of strength and stability in many cultures around the world. They are social creatures that live in family groups where they hunt together.
Lion Facts for Kids
- Female lion’s will eat about 5 kg of meat every day and the male’s will eat around 7 kg of meat per day.
- Did you know when the male lion roars it can be heard up to 5 miles away?
- The male African lion is 4.5 to 6.5 feet long and typically from 265 lbs to 420 lbs in weight.
- For food they like to eat large animals that can be found in the grasslands like zebra, antelopes and wildebeest.
- If there is a shortage of water, they have been known to eat wild melons which saves them from dehydration.
- Males have a very important job to do also. They will protect the pride (females and cubs) and patrol their territory from other species and predators.
- They are very good at swimming
- It is estimated that there are between 20,000 and 30,000 lions living in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Lions are a member of the big cat family and their members group together in a ‘pride’.
- The pride works together and hunts intelligently, but the female of the pride is the main hunter. Most of their hunting occurs at night during the cooler hours.
- Lions spend sixteen to twenty hours per day simply sleeping and resting. They have very few sweat glands and so they rest to conserve their energy while also trying to remain cool during the day.
- The lioness is the female and they have a very nurturing nature, often caring for a cub that has been neglected as if it were her own. It is not uncommon for two lionesses to have their cubs at the same time as they can be raised together.
- The lion has the loudest noise of any of the big cats. The roar communicates their location to other prides and can be heard as far away as 8 km.
- Lions hunt mostly at night and therefore have great night vision. Their eyes are six times more sensitive to light than the eyes of a human being. It also allows them an excellent advantage when looking for prey.
Lions have a lot of ways to communicate and some can be quite sophisticated. They will use nuzzling and head rubbing when they greet each other. Lions also have vocalizations that include snarls, hissing, purrs and meows with variations in pitch and intensity.
When a male lion reaches complete maturity he develops the well-known ‘mane’ on his head and back. This is unique to lions as no other members of the big cat family develop a mane. The mane is a sign of intimidation to other male lions while it also displays maturity to the female lions. Female lions select their mates based on a preference of darker and denser manes.
The lion has been given the name ‘king of the jungle’ due to its stately, royal appearance.