A good gauge of a male lion’s age is the darkness of his mane. The darker the mane, the older the lion.
The lion is a species in the family Felidae; it is a muscular, deep-chested cat with a short, rounded head, a reduced neck and round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic; male lions have a prominent mane, which is the most recognizable feature of the species. With a typical head-to-body length of 184–208 cm they are larger than females at 160–184 cm. It is a social species, forming groups called prides. A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females, and cubs. Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and keystone predator, although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, although the species typically does not.
More fun facts about lions:
- An adult male’s roar can be heard up to 8km away.
- A female lion needs 5kg of meat a day. A male needs 7kg or more a day.
- The name for a baby lion is a cub, whelp or lionet.
- Lions go on the hunt for food mostly from dusk till dawn. Female lions do 85-90% of the prides hunting, whilst the male lions patrol the territory and protect the pride.
- In the wild, lions live for an average of 12 years and up to 16 years. They live up to 25 years in captivity.
- Lions run at a speed of up to 81kmph.