Life Span:10-14 years in wild, up to 25 in captivity
Weight: 120-250kgs. Males average 180kgs and females 125kgs.
Speed: Up to 60km/hr
Collective Noun: Pride
Hunting: Females do most of the hunting and work together to capture prey. Males are equally capable hunters with lone male lions easily able to catch and kill adult Zebra. The entire pride feeds on the kill, however the males often get to eat first before the females and cubs.
Pride Males: The primary role of the males is to protect the pride and its cubs by defending the prides territory from other lions and keeping roaming males away. If defeated by a new group of males, all cubs unable to leave the pride are killed so that the females will only rear cubs of the current pride males.
Social Cats: Lions are the only truly social big cat. They live in prides of up to 40 individuals, including several related adult males, and 4-6 related females and their cubs. The females tend to give birth at the same time, creating a nursery environment.
Adult males live alone or in coalitions. A coalition defends large areas against other males to keep their mating rights. Coalitions last for about 2-3years.
Keeping Hydrated: Lions will drink regularly when water is available, but they are also able to obtain moisture requirements from prey and plants (such as the tsama melon in the Kalahari desert), enabling them to survive even in very arid environments.
Manes: A lion’s large, healthy, mane says two key things: ‘stay away’ to other males, and ‘come here’ to females. A good mane is an indicator of good nutrition and good genes. Males do pay a price for having a lustrous mane, as it is harder for them to hide from their prey, harder to move through bushland and it harbours a greater numbers of parasites
Jacobson’s Organ: Lions and other cats (including your domestic cat) have an extraordinary organ in the roof of their mouths, called the Jacobson's organ, which allows them to "taste" smells.
Loud Roar: A lions roar can be heard for over 8km
Life is hard for male lions. They must fight for dominance, and once gained it will be constantly challenged
Lions can leap up to 12m!