Lion – Wikipedia

large cat native to Africa and Asia

The lion ( Panthera leo ) is a large guy of the genus Panthera native to Africa and India. It has a mesomorphic, broad-chested consistency, short circuit, polish head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic ; adult male lions are larger than females and have a big mane. It is a social species, forming groups called prides. A leo ‘s pride consists of a few adult males, refer females, and cubs. Groups of female lions normally hunt together, preying by and large on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and anchor marauder ; although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, the species typically does not.

The leo inhabits grasslands, savannas and shrublands. It is normally more diurnal than early wilderness cats, but when persecuted, it adapts to being active at night and at dusky. During the Neolithic period, the lion ranged throughout Africa, Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, and Western and South Asia, but it has been reduced to break up populations in sub-saharan Africa and one population in western India. It has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in african countries have declined by about 43 % since the early 1990s. leo populations are indefensible outside designated protected areas. Although the campaign of the decay is not in full understand, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes for business. One of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture, the lion has been extensively depicted in sculptures and paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoological gardens across the populace since the deep eighteenth century. cultural depictions of lions were outstanding in Ancient Egypt, and depictions have occurred in about all ancient and chivalric cultures in the lion ‘s historic and current rate .


The English give voice lion is derived via Anglo-Norman liun from Latin leōnem ( nominated : leō ), which in turn was a borrowing from Ancient Greek λέων léōn. The Hebrew word לָבִיא lavi may besides be related. [ 4 ] The generic identify Panthera is traceable to the classical Latin parole ‘panthēra ‘ and the ancient Greek word πάνθηρ ‘panther ‘. [ 5 ]


[6][7] the lower one on the 2010[8] and 2011[9] studies. The upper cladogram is based on the 2006 study, the lower one on the 2010and 2011studies. Felis leo was the scientific name used by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, who described the lion in his work Systema Naturae. [ 3 ] The genus name Panthera was coined by Lorenz Oken in 1816. [ 10 ] Between the mid-18th and mid-20th centuries, 26 lion specimens were described and proposed as subspecies, of which 11 were recognised as valid in 2005. [ 1 ] They were distinguished by and large by the size and color of their manes and skins. [ 11 ]


Range map showing distribution of subspecies and clades In the 19th and twentieth centuries, several leo type specimens were described and proposed as subspecies, with about a twelve recognised as valid taxonomic group until 2017. [ 1 ] Between 2008 and 2016, IUCN Red List assessors used merely two subspecific names : P. l. leo for african lion populations, and P. l. persica for the Asiatic lion population. [ 2 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group revised leo taxonomy, and recognises two subspecies based on results of several phylogeographic studies on lion evolution, namely : [ 14 ]
however, there seems to be some degree of overlap between both groups in northern Central Africa. deoxyribonucleic acid analysis from a more late discipline indicates, that cardinal african lions are derived from both northern and southern lions, as they cluster with P. leo leo in mtDNA-based phylogenies whereas their genomic DNA indicates a close kinship with P. leo melanochaita. [ 17 ] leo samples from some parts of the ethiopian Highlands cluster genetically with those from Cameroon and Chad, while lions from other areas of Ethiopia bunch with samples from East Africa. Researchers consequently assume Ethiopia is a contact partition between the two subspecies. [ 18 ] Genome -wide datum of a wild-born historic leo sample from Sudan showed that it clustered with P. l. leo in mtDNA-based phylogenies, but with a high affinity to P. l. melanochaita. This consequence suggested that the taxonomic situation of lions in Central Africa may require revision. [ 19 ]

dodo records

other leo subspecies or baby species to the modern leo existed in prehistoric times : [ 20 ]


Panthera spelaea
blue Panthera atrox
green Panthera leo

Maximal range of the modern lion
and its prehistoric relatives
in the late Pleistocene redbluegreenMaximal compass of the mod lionand its prehistoric relativesin the late pleistocene The Panthera linage is estimated to have genetically diverged from the common ancestor of the Felidae around to, [ 6 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] and the geographic lineage of the genus is most probable northerly Central Asia. [ 35 ] Results of analyses differ in the phylogenetic relationship of the lion ; it was thought to form a sister group with the jaguar ( P. onca ) that diverged, [ 6 ] but besides with the leopard ( P. pardus ) that diverged [ 8 ] [ 9 ] to. Hybridisation between lion and snow leopard ( P. uncia ) ancestors possibly continued until about 2.1 million years ago. [ 34 ] The lion-leopard clade was distributed in the Asian and African Palearctic since at least the early Pliocene. [ 35 ] The earliest fossils recognizable as lions were found at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania and are estimated to be up to 2 million years honest-to-god. [ 33 ] Estimates for the divergence time of the modern and cave lion lineages range from 529,000 to 392,000 years ago based on mutation pace per generation time of the modern leo. There is no evidence for gene flow between the two lineages, indicating that they did not share the same geographic area. [ 19 ] The eurasian and american cave lions became extinct at the end of the death arctic menstruation without mitochondrial descendants on early continents. [ 27 ] [ 36 ] [ 37 ] The advanced lion was probably widely distributed in Africa during the Middle Pleistocene and started to diverge in sub-saharan Africa during the Late Pleistocene. Lion populations in East and Southern Africa became separated from populations in West and North Africa when the equatorial rain forest expanded 183,500 to 81,800 years ago. [ 38 ] They shared a common ancestor credibly between 98,000 and 52,000 years ago. [ 19 ] due to the expansion of the Sahara between 83,100 and 26,600 years ago, leo populations in West and North Africa became detached. As the rain forest decreased and thus gave wax to more open habitats, lions moved from West to Central Africa. Lions from North Africa dispersed to southerly Europe and Asia between 38,800 and 8,300 years ago. [ 38 ] extinction of lions in southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East interrupted gene flow between lion populations in Asia and Africa. Genetic evidence revealed numerous mutations in leo samples from East and Southern Africa, which indicates that this group has a longer evolutionary history than genetically less divers leo samples from Asia and West and Central Africa. [ 39 ] A solid genome-wide sequence of leo samples showed that samples from West Africa shared alleles with samples from Southern Africa, and samples from Central Africa shared alleles with samples from Asia. This phenomenon indicates that Central Africa was a melting toilet of lion populations after they had become isolated, possibly migrating through corridors in the Nile Basin during the early Holocene. [ 19 ]


In menagerie, lions have been bred with tigers to create hybrids for the curio of visitors or for scientific aim. [ 40 ] [ 41 ] The liger is bigger than a lion and a tiger, whereas most tigons are relatively small compared to their parents because of reciprocal gene effects. [ 42 ] [ 43 ] The leopon is a hybrid between a lion and leopard. [ 44 ]


A tuft at the end of the tail is a clear-cut characteristic of the lion . skeletal system The leo is a brawny, broad-chested kat with a short, round off drumhead, a reduced neck and round ears. Its fur varies in color from light up buff to silvery grey, yellow red and darkness brown. The color of the underparts are by and large light. A new-born leo has colored spots, which fade as the cub reaches adulthood, although faint spots often may still be seen on the stage and underparts. The lion is the only member of the kat family that displays obvious sexual dimorphism. Males have broader heads and a outstanding mane that grows downwards and backwards covering most of the capitulum, neck, shoulders, and chest. The mane is typically brown and tinged with yellow, rust and black hair. [ 45 ] [ 46 ] The stern of all lions ends in a dark, hairy tuft that in some lions conceals an approximately 5 mm ( 0.20 in ) -long, hard “ spine ” or “ spur ” that is formed from the final, fuse sections of stern bone. The functions of the spur are nameless. The tuft is absent at birth and develops at around 5+1⁄2 months of old age. It is promptly identifiable by the historic period of seven months. [ 47 ] Of the populate feline species, the lion is rivaled only by the tiger in duration, weight, and acme at the shoulder. [ 48 ] Its skull is very alike to that of the tiger, although the frontal region is normally more depress and flattened, and has a slenderly shorter postorbital region and broader rhinal openings than those of the tiger. Due to the amount of skull variation in the two species, normally lone the structure of the lower jaw can be used as a authentic index of species. [ 49 ] [ 50 ] skeletal muscles of the lion make up 58.8 % of its torso weight and represents the highest share of muscles among mammals. [ 51 ] [ 52 ]


The size and weight of adult lions varies across global range and habitats. [ 53 ] [ 54 ] [ 55 ] [ 56 ] Accounts of a few individuals that were larger than average exist from Africa and India. [ 45 ] [ 57 ] [ 58 ] [ 59 ]

Average Female lions Male lions
Head-and-body length 160–184 cm (63–72 in)[60] 184–208 cm (72–82 in)[60]
Tail length 72–89.5 cm (28.3–35.2 in)[60] 82.5–93.5 cm (32.5–36.8 in)[60]
Weight 118.37–143.52 kg (261.0–316.4 lb) in Southern Africa,[53]
119.5 kg (263 lb) in East Africa,[53]
110–120 kg (240–260 lb) in India[54]
186.55–225 kg (411.3–496.0 lb) in Southern Africa,[53]
174.9 kg (386 lb) in East Africa,[53]
160–190 kg (350–420 lb) in India[54]


The male leo ‘s mane is the most recognizable feature of the species. [ 11 ] It may have evolved around 320,000–190,000 years ago. [ 61 ] It starts growing when lions are about a year old. Mane coloring material varies and darkens with historic period ; research shows its tinge and size are influenced by environmental factors such as average ambient temperature. Mane duration obviously signals fighting success in male–male relationships ; darker-maned individuals may have longer generative lives and higher offspring survival, although they suffer in the hottest months of the class. The presence, absence, color and size of the mane are associated with genic condition, intimate maturity, climate and testosterone production ; the rule of thumb is that a dark, fuller mane indicates a healthier animal. In Serengeti National Park, female lions favour males with dense, dark manes as mates. male lions normally aim for the backs or hindquarters of rivals, rather than their necks. [ 62 ] [ 63 ] Cool ambient temperature in european and north american menagerie may result in a heavier mane. [ 64 ] asian lions normally have sparser manes than modal african lions. [ 65 ] about all male lions in Pendjari National Park are either maneless or have very unretentive manes. [ 66 ] Maneless lions have besides been reported in Senegal, in Sudan ‘s Dinder National Park and in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. [ 67 ] The original male white leo from Timbavati in South Africa was besides maneless. The hormone testosterone has been linked to mane growth ; castrated lions frequently have short to no mane because the removal of the gonads inhibits testosterone production. [ 68 ] Increased testosterone may be the cause of man lionesses reported in northern Botswana. [ 69 ]

Colour version

The white leo is a rare morph with a familial condition called leucism which is caused by a duplicate recessive allele allele. It is not albino ; it has normal pigmentation in the eyes and clamber. White lions have occasionally been encountered in and around Kruger National Park and the adjacent Timbavati Private Game Reserve in eastern South Africa. They were removed from the wild in the 1970s, therefore decreasing the white lion gene pool. Nevertheless, 17 births have been recorded in five prides between 2007 and 2015. [ 70 ] White lions are selected for breeding in captivity. [ 71 ] They have reportedly been bred in camps in South Africa for use as trophies to be killed during displace hunts. [ 72 ]

distribution and habitat

african lions live in disperse populations across sub-saharan Africa. The lion prefers grassy plains and savanna, scrub border rivers and open woodlands with bushes. It rarely enters close forests. On Mount Elgon, the lion has been recorded up to an elevation of 3,600 thousand ( 11,800 foot ) and close to the snow line on Mount Kenya. [ 45 ] Savannahs with an annual rain of 300 to 1,500 millimeter ( 12 to 59 in ) make up the majority of leo habitat in Africa, estimated at 3,390,821 km2 ( 1,309,203 sq security service ) at most ; but end populations are besides present in tropical damp forests in West Africa and montane forests in East Africa. [ 73 ] The asian lion now survives entirely in and around Gir National Park in Gujarat, western India. Its habitat is a mix of dry savannah forest and very dry, deciduous scrub forest. [ 12 ]

historic compass

In Africa, the crop of the leo primitively spanned most of the central african rain forest zone and the Sahara abandon. [ 74 ] In the 1960s, it became extinct in North Africa, except in the southern separate of Sudan. [ 75 ] [ 73 ] [ 76 ] In southerly Europe and Asia, the lion once ranged in regions where climatic conditions supported an abundance of raven. [ 77 ] In Greece, it was common as reported by Herodotus in 480 BC ; it was considered rare by 300 BC and extirpated by AD 100. [ 45 ] It was stage in the Caucasus until the tenth century. [ 50 ] It lived in Palestine until the Middle Ages, and in Southwest Asia until the late nineteenth century. By the late nineteenth hundred, it had been extirpated in most of Turkey. [ 78 ] The stopping point live lion in Iran was sighted in 1942 about 65 km ( 40 secret intelligence service ) northwest of Dezful, [ 79 ] although the cadaver of a lioness was found on the banks of the Karun river in Khūzestān Province in 1944. [ 80 ] It once ranged from Sind and Punjab in Pakistan to Bengal and the Narmada River in central India. [ 81 ]

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Behaviour and ecology

Lions spend much of their meter resting ; they are nonoperational for about twenty dollar bill hours per day. [ 82 ] Although lions can be active at any time, their activity generally peaks after dusk with a time period of socialize, grooming and defecating. intermittent bursts of activity continue until dawn, when hunting most frequently takes position. They spend an average of two hours a day walk and fifty dollar bill minutes eating. [ 83 ]

Group organization

Lion pride in Etosha National Park A lioness ( left ) and two males in Masai Mara The leo is the most social of all wild feline species, living in groups of refer individuals with their young. Such a group is called a “ pride “. Groups of male lions are called “ coalitions ”. [ 84 ] Females form the stable social whole in a pride and do not tolerate outside females. [ 85 ] Membership changes lone with the births and deaths of lionesses, [ 86 ] although some females leave and become mobile. [ 87 ] The average pride consists of around 15 lions, including several pornographic females and up to four males and their cub of both sexes. Large prides, consisting of up to 30 individuals, have been observed. [ 88 ] The sole exception to this form is the Tsavo leo pride that always has barely one pornographic male. [ 89 ] Male cub are excluded from their maternal pride when they reach maturity at around two or three years of age. [ 87 ] Some lions are “ nomads ” that range widely and move about sporadically, either in pairs or alone. [ 84 ] Pairs are more frequent among related males who have been excluded from their parturition pride. A lion may switch lifestyles ; nomads can become residents and vice versa. [ 90 ] Interactions between prides and nomads tend to be hostile, although pride females in estrus allow mobile males to approach them. [ 91 ] Males spend years in a mobile phase before gaining residency in a pride. [ 92 ] A study undertake in the Serengeti National Park revealed that mobile coalitions gain residency at between 3.5 and 7.3 years of long time. [ 93 ] In Kruger National Park, dispersing male lions move more than 25 kilometer ( 16 nautical mile ) away from their natal pride in search of their own territory. female lions stay close to their natal pride. consequently, female lions in an sphere are more close related to each other than male lions in the lapp area. [ 94 ] The area occupied by a pride is called a “ pride area ” whereas that occupied by a nomad is a “ range ”. [ 84 ] Males associated with a pride tend to stay on the fringes, patrolling their territory. The reasons for the development of sociality in lionesses—the most pronounced in any cat species—are the subject of much consider. Increased hunting achiever appears to be an obvious reason, but this is uncertain upon examination ; coordinated hunt allows for more successful predation but besides ensures non-hunting members reduce per capita calorific consumption. Some females, however, take a function raising cubs that may be left entirely for extended periods. Members of the pride tend to regularly play the lapp character in hunts and hone their skills. The health of the hunters is the primary indigence for the survival of the pride ; hunters are the first gear to consume the prey at the site it is taken. other benefits include possible akin survival ; sharing food within the family ; protecting the young, maintaining territory and person indemnity against injury and crave. [ 57 ] Both males and females defend the pride against intruders, but the male lion is better-suited for this purpose due to its compact, more brawny human body. Some individuals systematically lead the defense against intruders, while others lag behind. [ 95 ] Lions tend to assume particular roles in the pride ; slower-moving individuals may provide other valuable services to the group. [ 96 ] alternatively, there may be rewards associated with being a drawing card that fends off intruders ; the rank of lionesses in the pride is reflected in these responses. [ 97 ] The male or males associated with the pride must defend their relationship with the pride from outside males who may attempt to usurp them. [ 90 ] asian lion prides differ in group composition. Male asian lions are lone or companion with up to three males, forming a idle pride while females associate with up to 12 other females, forming a stronger pride together with their cubs. Female and male lions associate alone when entangle. [ 98 ] Coalitions of males hold district for a longer time than single lions. Males in coalitions of three or four individuals exhibit a pronounce hierarchy, in which one male dominates the others and mates more frequently. [ 99 ]

Hunting and diet

The lion is a renaissance man hypercarnivore and is considered to be both an apex and keystone predator ascribable to its wide raven spectrum. [ 100 ] [ 101 ] Its prey consists chiefly of mammals, peculiarly ungulates weighing 190–550 kilogram ( 420–1,210 pound ) with a predilection for gloomy wildebeest, plains zebra, African buffalo, gemsbok and giraffe. Lions besides hunt common warthog depending on handiness, although the species is below the preferable weight range. [ 102 ] In India, sambar deer and chital are the most normally recorded angry prey, [ 46 ] [ 102 ] [ 103 ] while domestic livestock may contribute significantly to their diet. [ 103 ] They normally avoid amply grown adult elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamus and small prey like dik-dik, hyrax, hare and imp. [ 102 ] [ 104 ] Unusual raven include porcupines and little reptiles. Lions kill other predators such as leopard, cheetah and descry hyena but rarely consume them. [ 105 ] Young lions beginning display stalking behavior at around three months of long time, although they do not participate in hunting until they are about a class old and begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two. [ 106 ] Single lions are capable of bringing down zebra and wildebeest, while larger prey like buffalo and giraffe are riskier. [ 90 ] In Chobe National Park, boastfully prides have been observed search african bush elephants up to around 15 years old in exceptional cases, with the victims being calves, juveniles, and evening subadults. [ 107 ] [ 108 ] In typical hunts, each lioness has a favoured position in the group, either stalking prey on the “ fly ”, then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the center of the group and capturing raven fleeing from other lionesses. Males attached to prides do not normally participate in group hound. [ 109 ] Some evidence suggests, however, that males are merely vitamin a successful as females ; they are typically solo hunters who ambush prey in small bushland. [ 110 ] Lions are not peculiarly known for their stamen ; for exemplify, a lioness ‘ center comprises only 0.57 % of her body weight and a male ‘s is about 0.45 % of his body system of weights, whereas a hyena ‘s affection comprises about 1 % of its body weight. [ 111 ] Thus, lions run quickly only in short circuit bursts at about 48–59 km/h ( 30–37 miles per hour ) and need to be airless to their prey before starting the attack. [ 112 ] One study in 2018 recorded a leo running at a top accelerate of 74.1 km/h ( 46.0 miles per hour ). [ 113 ] They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility ; many kills take position near some shape of cover charge or at night. [ 114 ] The leo ‘s attack is short and herculean ; they attempt to catch prey with a fast haste and final examination jump. They normally pull it down by the buttocks and kill by a strangling bite to the throat. They besides kill prey by enclosing its muzzle in their call on the carpet. [ 115 ] Lions typically consume prey at the localization of the hunt but sometimes drag large prey into screen. [ 116 ] They tend to squabble over kills, peculiarly the males. Cubs suffer most when food is barely but differently all pride members eat their fill up, including previous and cripple lions, which can live on leftovers. [ 90 ] Large kills are shared more wide among pride members. [ 117 ] An adult lioness requires an modal of about 5 kg ( 11 pound ) of kernel per day while males require about 7 kg ( 15 pound ). [ 118 ] Lions defile themselves and eat up to 30 kg ( 66 pound ) in one school term ; [ 80 ] if it is unable to consume all of the toss off, it rests for a few hours before continuing to eat. On hot days, the pride retreats to shade with one or two males standing guard. [ 116 ] Lions defend their kills from scavengers such as vultures and hyenas. [ 90 ] Lions scavenge on carrion when the opportunity arises ; they scavenge animals dead from natural causes such as disease or those that were killed by other predators. Scavenging lions keep a changeless lookout for circling vultures, which indicate the death or straiten of an animal. [ 119 ] Most carrion on which both hyenas and lions feed upon are killed by hyenas rather than lions. [ 56 ] Carrion is thought to provide a big separate of lion diet. [ 120 ]

Predator contest

Lion attacked by spot hyenas in Sabi Sand Game Reserve Lioness stealing a kill from a leopard in Kruger National Park Lions and spotted hyenas occupy a exchangeable ecological niche and where they coexist they compete for prey and carrion ; a review of data across several studies indicates a dietary overlap of 58.6 %. [ 121 ] Lions typically ignore spotted hyena unless the lions are on a toss off or are being harassed by the hyenas, while the latter tend to visibly react to the bearing of lions, with or without the presence of food. Lions seize the kills of spot hyenas ; in the Ngorongoro crater it is coarse for lions to subsist largely on kills stolen from hyenas, causing the hyena to increase their killing rate. [ 122 ] In Botswana ‘s Chobe National Park, the situation is reversed ; hyenas frequently challenge lions and steal their kills, obtaining food from 63 % of all lion kills. [ 123 ] When confronted on a kill by lions, spotted hyena may either leave or wait patiently at a distance of 30–100 meter ( 100–330 foot ) until the lions have finished. [ 124 ] Hyenas are boldface adequate to feed aboard lions and to force the lions off a kill. The two species attack one another even when there is no food involved for no apparent cause. [ 125 ] [ 126 ] Lion predation can account for up to 71 % of hyena deaths in Etosha National Park. Spotted hyenas have adapted by frequently mobbing lions that enter their territories. [ 127 ] When the leo population in Kenya ‘s Masai Mara National Reserve declined, the spot hyena population increased quickly. [ 128 ] Experiments on prisoner spotted hyenas show that specimens without prior experience with lions act indifferently to the sight of them, but will react fearfully to lion scent. [ 122 ] Lions tend to dominate cheetahs and leopards, steal their kills and kill their cubs and even adults when given the probability. [ 129 ] Cheetahs in particular much lose their kills to lions or early predators. [ 130 ] A study in the Serengeti ecosystem revealed that lions killed at least 17 of 125 cheetah cubs born between 1987 and 1990. [ 131 ] Cheetahs avoid their competitors by using different temporal and habitat niches. [ 132 ] Leopards are able to take recourse in trees ; lionesses, however, occasionally attempt to climb up and retrieve leopard kills from that stature. [ 133 ] Lions similarly dominate african wild dogs, taking their kills and preying on young and rarely adult dogs. Population densities of barbarian dogs are first gear in areas where lions are more abundant. [ 134 ] however, there are a few reported cases of previous and wounded lions falling prey to wild dogs. [ 135 ] [ 136 ] Lions besides charge at Nile crocodiles ; depending on the size of the crocodile and the leo, either animal can lose their kills to the early. Lions have been observed killing crocodiles that ventured onto country. [ 137 ] Crocodiles may besides kill and eat lions, evidenced by the episodic leo claw found in crocodile stomachs. [ 138 ]

reproduction and life sentence cycle

Lions mating at Masai Mara A lion cub in Masai Mara Most lionesses reproduce by the time they are four years of age. [ 139 ] Lions do not mate at a specific time of year and the females are polyestrous. [ 140 ] Like those of other cats, the male leo ‘s penis has spines that point backward. During withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female ‘s vagina, which may cause ovulation. [ 141 ] [ 142 ] A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in estrus. [ 143 ] Generation length of the leo is about seven years. [ 144 ] The average gestation time period is around 110 days ; [ 140 ] the female gives birth to a litter of between one and four cub in a privy den, which may be a brush, a reed-bed, a cave, or some other shelter area, normally away from the pride. She will frequently hunt entirely while the cubs are still helpless, staying relatively close to the den. [ 145 ] Lion cubs are born blind ; their eyes open around seven days after give birth. They weigh 1.2–2.1 kilogram ( 2.6–4.6 pound ) at give birth and are about helpless, beginning to crawl a day or two after birth and walking about three weeks of old age. [ 146 ] To avoid a buildup of aroma attracting the attention of predators, the lioness moves her cub to a new hideout locate respective times a month, carrying them one-by-one by the nape of the neck. [ 145 ] normally, the mother does not integrate herself and her cub back into the pride until the cubs are six to eight weeks old. [ 145 ] sometimes the presentation to pride life occurs earlier, peculiarly if other lionesses have given birth at about the same fourth dimension. [ 90 ] [ 147 ] When first introduced to the stay of the pride, leo cubs lack confidence when confronted with adults other than their mother. They soon begin to immerse themselves in the pride life, however, playing among themselves or attempting to initiate play with the adults. [ 147 ] Lionesses with cubs of their own are more likely to be tolerant of another lioness ‘s cub than lionesses without cubs. male tolerance of the cub varies—one male could patiently let the cubs play with his tail or his mane, while another may snarl and bat the cub off. [ 148 ]
Video of a lioness and her cub in Phinda Reserve Pride lionesses frequently synchronise their generative cycles and communal rise and suckle of the young, which suckle randomly from any or all of the nurse females in the pride. The synchronization of births is advantageous because the cub grow to being roughly the lapp size and have an equal probability of survival, and sucklings are not dominated by older cub. [ 90 ] [ 147 ] Weaning occurs after six or seven months. Male lions reach maturity at about three years of senesce and at four to five years are able of challenging and displacing pornographic males associated with another pride. They begin to age and dampen at between 10 and 15 years of senesce at the latest. [ 149 ]

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When one or more newly males oust the former males associated with a pride, the victors much kill any existing young cubs, possibly because females do not become fat and receptive until their cub fledged or die. Females often ferociously defend their cub from a assume male but are rarely successful unless a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against the male. [ 150 ] Cubs besides die from starvation and abandonment, and predation by leopards, hyenas and raving mad dogs. [ 136 ] [ 90 ] Up to 80 % of leo cubs will die before the age of two. [ 151 ] Both male and female lions may be ousted from prides to become nomads, although most females normally remain with their birth pride. When a pride becomes besides large, however, the youngest generation of female cub may be forced to leave to find their own territory. When a modern male lion takes over a pride, adolescents both male and female may be evicted. [ 152 ] Lions of both sexes may be involved in group homosexual and courtship activities ; males will besides head-rub and roll around with each early before simulating sex together. [ 153 ] [ 154 ]


Although adult lions have no natural predators, evidence suggests most die violently from attacks by humans or other lions. [ 155 ] Lions much inflict serious injuries on members of other prides they encounter in territorial disputes or members of the dwelling pride when fighting at a kill. [ 156 ] Crippled lions and cubs may fall victim to hyenas and leopards or be trampled by buffalo or elephants. Careless lions may be maimed when hunting raven. [ 157 ] Ticks normally infest the ears, neck and groin regions of lions. [ 158 ] [ 159 ] Adult forms of several tapeworm species of the genus Taenia have been isolated from lion intestines, having been ingested as larva in antelope kernel. [ 160 ] Lions in the Ngorongoro Crater were afflicted by an outbreak of stable fly ( Stomoxys calcitrans ) in 1962 ; this resulted in lions becoming emaciated and covered in bloody, bare patches. Lions sought unsuccessfully to evade the bite flies by climbing trees or crawling into hyena burrows ; many died or migrated and the local anesthetic population dropped from 70 to 15 individuals. [ 161 ] A more recent outbreak in 2001 killed six lions. [ 162 ] captive lions have been infected with canine distemper virus ( CDV ) since at least the mid 1970s. [ 163 ] CDV is spread by domestic dogs and other carnivores ; a 1994 outbreak in Serengeti National Park resulted in many lions developing neurological symptoms such as seizures. During the outbreak, respective lions died from pneumonia and encephalitis. [ 164 ] Feline immunodeficiency virus and lentivirus besides affect prisoner lions. [ 165 ] [ 166 ]


Head rubbing among pride members is a common social behavior When rest, lion socialization occurs through a number of behaviours ; the animal ‘s expressive movements are highly developed. The most common passive, haptic gestures are head rubbing and social beating, [ 167 ] which have been compared with the function of allogrooming among primates. [ 168 ] Head rubbing—nuzzling the brow, face and neck against another lion—appears to be a mannequin of greeting [ 169 ] and is seen frequently after an animal has been apart from others or after a crusade or confrontation. Males tend to rub early males, while cubs and females rub females. [ 170 ] Social licking often occurs in tandem with head rub ; it is by and large common and the recipient appears to express pleasure. The head and neck are the most common parts of the body licked ; this demeanor may have arisen out of utility because lions can not lick these areas themselves. [ 171 ]

Lion roar (



A prisoner leo roaring

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Lions have an range of facial expressions and body postures that serve as ocular gestures. [ 172 ] A park facial saying is the “ grimace face ” or flehmen reply, which a lion makes when sniffing chemical signals and involves an open mouth with publicize teeth, raised muzzle, wrinkled nose close eyes and relax ears. [ 173 ] Lions besides use chemical and ocular scar ; males will spray and scrape plots of prime and objects within the district. [ 172 ] The lion ‘s repertory of vocalisations is big ; variations in saturation and cant appear to be central to communication. Most lion vocalisations are variations of growling, snarling, meowing and roaring. other sounds produced include purring, puffing, bleating and humming. Roaring is used to advertise its presence. Lions most frequently roar at night, a sound that can be heard from a distance of 8 kilometres ( 5 secret intelligence service ). [ 174 ] They tend to roar in a very characteristic manner starting with a few deep, farseeing roars that subside into a series of shorter ones. [ 175 ] [ 176 ]


The lion is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The indian population is listed on CITES Appendix I and the african population on CITES Appendix II. [ 2 ]

In Africa

Video of a hazardous lioness several large and well-managed protected areas in Africa host bombastic leo populations. Where an infrastructure for wildlife tourism has been developed, cash gross for park management and local anesthetic communities is a potent incentive for lion conservation. [ 2 ] Most lions now live in East and Southern Africa ; their numbers are quickly decreasing, and fell by an estimated 30–50 % in the late half of the twentieth hundred. primary causes of the refuse include disease and human interference. [ 2 ] In 1975, it was estimated that since the 1950s, leo numbers had decreased by half to 200,000 or fewer. [ 177 ] Estimates of the African lion population image between 16,500 and 47,000 animation in the wild in 2002–2004. [ 178 ] [ 75 ] In the Republic of the Congo, Odzala-Kokoua National Park was considered a lion stronghold in the 1990s. By 2014, no lions were recorded in the protect area so the population is considered locally extinct. [ 179 ] The west african leo population is isolated from the one in Central Africa, with small or no exchange of breeding individuals. In 2015, it was estimated that this population consists of about 400 animals, including fewer than 250 mature individuals. They persist in three protect areas in the region, largely in one population in the W A P protected area building complex, shared by Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. This population is listed as critically Endangered. [ 13 ] Field surveys in the WAP ecosystem revealed that leo occupation is lowest in the W National Park, and higher in areas with permanent staff and frankincense better auspices. [ 180 ] A population occurs in Cameroon ‘s Waza National Park, where between approximately 14 and 21 animals persisted as of 2009. [ 181 ] In summation, 50 to 150 lions are estimated to be show in Burkina Faso ‘s Arly-Singou ecosystem. [ 182 ] In 2015, an adult male lion and a female lion were sighted in Ghana ‘s Mole National Park. These were the first sightings of lions in the nation in 39 years. [ 183 ] In the same year, a population of up to 200 lions that was previously thought to have been extirpated was filmed in the Alatash National Park, Ethiopia, close to the sudanese molding. [ 184 ] [ 185 ] In 2005, Lion Conservation Strategies were developed for West and Central Africa, and or East and Southern Africa. The strategies seek to maintain desirable habitat, ensure a sufficient hazardous prey base for lions, reduce factors that lead to further fragmentation of populations, and make lion–human coexistence sustainable. [ 186 ] [ 187 ] Lion depredation on livestock is significantly reduced in areas where herders keep livestock in improved enclosures. such measures contribute to mitigating human–lion conflict. [ 188 ]

In Asia

A lioness in Gir National Park The final refuge of the Asiatic lion population is the 1,412 km2 ( 545 sq secret intelligence service ) Gir National Park and surrounding areas in the region of Saurashtra or Kathiawar Peninsula in Gujarat State, India. The population has risen from approximately 180 lions in 1974 to about 400 in 2010. [ 189 ] It is geographically isolated, which can lead to inbreeding and reduce familial diverseness. Since 2008, the Asiatic leo has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. [ 12 ] By 2015, the population had grown to 523 individuals inhabiting an area of 7,000 km2 ( 2,700 sq nautical mile ) in Saurashtra. [ 190 ] [ 191 ] [ 192 ] The Asiatic Lion Census conducted in 2017 recorded about 650 individuals. [ 193 ] The presence of numerous human habitations close to the National Park results in conflict between lions, local anesthetic people and their livestock. [ 194 ] [ 190 ] Some consider the presence of lions a benefit, as they keep populations of crop damaging herbivores in check. [ 195 ] The establishment of a second, autonomous Asiatic lion population in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Madhya Pradesh was planned but in 2017, the Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project seemed unlikely to be implemented. [ 196 ] [ 197 ]

captive breed

Lions imported to Europe before the middle of the nineteenth hundred were possibly foremost barbary lions from North Africa, or Cape lions from Southern Africa. [ 198 ] Another 11 animals thought to be barbary lions kept in Addis Ababa Zoo are descendants of animals owned by Emperor Haile Selassie. WildLink International in collaboration with Oxford University launched an ambitious International Barbary Lion Project with the draw a bead on of identify and engender barbary lions in enslavement for eventual reintroduction into a national ballpark in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. [ 199 ] however, a genic analysis showed that the captive lions at Addis Ababa Zoo were not barbary lions, but preferably closely related to violent lions in Chad and Cameroon. [ 200 ] In 1982, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums started a Species Survival Plan for the Asiatic leo to increase its chances of survival. In 1987, it was found that most lions in north american menagerie were hybrids between African and Asiatic lions. [ 201 ] Breeding programs need to note origins of the participating animals to avoid cross-breeding different subspecies and thus reducing their conservation respect. [ 202 ] Captive breed of lions was halted to eliminate individuals of nameless origin and pedigree. Wild-born lions were imported to American menagerie from Africa between 1989 and 1995. breed was continued in 1998 in the ensnare of an african leo Species Survival Plan. [ 203 ] about 77 % of the captive lions registered in the International Species Information System in 2006 were of unknown origin ; these animals might have carried genes that are extinct in the raving mad and may therefore be important to the sustenance of the overall familial variability of the lion. [ 64 ]

Interactions with humans

In menagerie and circuses

lion at Melbourne Zoo 19th-century etch of a lion meek in a cage with lions and tigers Lions are separate of a group of alien animals that have been central to zoo exhibits since the recently eighteenth century. Although many modern zoos are more selective about their exhibits, [ 204 ] there are more than 1,000 african and 100 asian lions in menagerie and wildlife parks around the world. They are considered an ambassador species and are kept for tourism, education and conservation purposes. [ 205 ] Lions can live over twenty years in captivity ; a leo in Honolulu Zoo died at the age of 22 in August 2007. [ 206 ] His two sisters, born in 1986, besides reached the age of 22. [ 207 ] The foremost european “ menagerie ” unfold among baronial and royal families in the thirteenth century, and until the seventeenth century were called seraglios ; at that time they came to be called menageries, an extension of the cabinet of curiosities. They spread from France and Italy during the Renaissance to the rest of Europe. [ 208 ] In England, although the harem tradition was less develop, lions were kept at the Tower of London in a harem established by King John in the thirteenth century ; [ 209 ] [ 210 ] this was probably stocked with animals from an earlier menagerie started in 1125 by Henry I at his hunting lodge in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, where according to William of Malmesbury lions had been stocked. [ 211 ] Lions were kept in cramp and flyblown conditions at London Zoo until a larger lion house with roomier cages was built in the 1870s. [ 212 ] Further changes took place in the early twentieth century when Carl Hagenbeck designed enclosures with concrete “ rocks ”, more open space and a moat rather of bars, more closely resembling a natural habitat. Hagenbeck designed leo enclosures for both Melbourne Zoo and Sydney ‘s Taronga Zoo ; although his designs were popular, the use of bars and caged enclosures prevailed in many menagerie until the 1960s. [ 213 ] In the deep twentieth hundred, larger, more natural enclosures and the use of wire mesh or laminated glass alternatively of lower dens allowed visitors to come closer than always to the animals ; some attractions such as the Cat Forest/Lion Overlook of Oklahoma City Zoological Park placed the lair on ground grade, higher than visitors. [ 214 ] Lion domesticate has been part of both established circuses and person acts such as Siegfried & Roy. The practice began in the early on nineteenth century by Frenchman Henri Martin and American Isaac Van Amburgh, who both toured widely and whose techniques were copied by a total of followers. [ 215 ] Van Amburgh performed before Queen Victoria in 1838 when he toured Great Britain. Martin composed a mime titled Les Lions de Mysore ( “ the lions of Mysore ” ), an idea Amburgh promptly borrowed. These acts eclipsed equestrianism acts as the central display of circus shows and entered public awareness in the early twentieth hundred with cinema. In demonstrating the superiority of homo over animal, lion taming served a aim similar to animal fights of former centuries. [ 215 ] The ultimate proof of a tame ‘s dominance and control over a leo is demonstrated by the place of the tamer ‘s steer in the lion ‘s mouth. The now-iconic lion tame ‘s chair was possibly first used by american Clyde Beatty ( 1903–1965 ). [ 216 ]

Hunting and games

Lion hunt has occurred since ancient times and was often a imperial pastime ; intended to demonstrate the world power of the king over nature. The earliest outlive record of leo hunt is an ancient egyptian inscription dated circa 1380 BC that mentions Pharaoh Amenhotep III killing 102 lions “ with his own arrows ” during the first ten-spot years of his principle. The Assyrians would release captive lions in a reserve space for the king to hunt ; this event would be watched by spectators as the king and his men, on horseback or chariots, killed the lions with arrows and spears. Lions were besides hunted during the Mughal Empire, where Emperor Jahangir is said to have excelled at it. [ 217 ] In Ancient Rome, lions were kept by emperors for hunts, prizefighter fights and executions. [ 218 ] The Maasai people have traditionally viewed the killing of lions as a rite of passage. Historically, lions were hunted by individuals, however, due to reduced leo populations, elders discourage solo leo hunts. [ 219 ] During the european colonization of Africa in the nineteenth century, the hunt of lions was encouraged because they were considered as vermin and lion hides fetched £1 each. [ 220 ] The wide reproduce imagination of the heroic verse hunter chasing lions would dominate a large part of the hundred. [ 221 ] Trophy hound of lions in holocene years has been met with controversy ; notably with the killing of Cecil the lion in mid-2015. [ 222 ]


Lions do not normally hunt humans but some ( normally males ) seem to seek them out. One well-publicised case is the Tsavo maneaters ; in 1898, 28 formally recorded railway workers building the Kenya-Uganda Railway were taken by lions over nine months during the construction of a bridge in Kenya. [ 223 ] The orion who killed the lions wrote a record detailing the animals ‘ marauding demeanor ; they were larger than normal and miss manes, and one seemed to suffer from tooth disintegrate. The infirmity hypothesis, including tooth decay, is not favoured by all researchers ; an psychoanalysis of teeth and jaws of man-eating lions in museum collections suggests that while tooth decay may explain some incidents, prey depletion in human-dominated areas is a more probable lawsuit of lion predation on humans. [ 224 ] Sick or injured animals may be more prone to man-eating but the behavior is not strange, nor necessarily aberrant. [ 225 ] Lions ‘ proclivity for man-eating has been systematically examined. american and tanzanian scientists report that man-eating behavior in rural areas of Tanzania increased greatly from 1990 to 2005. At least 563 villagers were attacked and many feed over this menstruation. The incidents occurred near Selous National Park in Rufiji District and in Lindi Province near the Mozambican frame. While the expansion of villages into bush-league state is one concern, the authors argue conservation policy must mitigate the danger because in this case, conservation contributes immediately to human deaths. Cases in Lindi in which lions seize humans from the centres of substantial villages have been documented. [ 226 ] Another study of 1,000 people attacked by lions in southerly Tanzania between 1988 and 2009 found that the weeks following the full lunar month, when there was less moonlight, were a strong index of increase night-time attacks on people. [ 227 ] According to Robert R. Frump, Mozambican refugees regularly intersection Kruger National Park, South Africa, at night are attacked and eaten by lions ; park officials have said man-eating is a problem there. Frump said thousands may have been killed in the decades after apartheid sealed the ballpark and forced refugees to cross the park at night. For closely a century before the border was sealed, Mozambicans had regularly crossed the parking lot in day with short harm. [ 228 ]

cultural significance

The lion is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in homo culture. It has been extensively depicted in sculptures and paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature. [ 45 ] It appeared as a symbol for force and nobility in cultures across Europe, Asia and Africa, despite incidents of attacks on people. The lion has been depicted as “ king of the jungle ” and “ king of beasts ”, and therefore became a popular symbol for royalty and stateliness. [ 229 ] The leo is besides used as a symbol of sporting teams. [ 230 ]


In sub-saharan Africa, the lion has been a common character in stories, proverbs and dances, but rarely featured in ocular arts. [ 231 ] In some cultures, the leo symbolises power and royalty. [ 232 ] In the Swahili speech, the lion is known as simba which besides means “ aggressive ”, “ king ” and “ firm ”. [ 55 ] Some rulers had the word “ lion ” in their dub. Sundiata Keita of the Mali Empire was called “ Lion of Mali ”. [ 233 ] The founder of the Waalo kingdom is said to have been raised by lions and returned to his people part-lion to unite them using the cognition he learned from the lions. [ 232 ] In parts of West Africa, lions symbolised the top class of their social hierarchies. [ 232 ] In more heavily forested areas where lions were rare, the leopard represented the acme of the hierarchy. [ 231 ] In parts of West and East Africa, the lion is associated with healing and provides the connection between seers and the supernatural. In early east african traditions, the lion represents laziness. [ 232 ] In much of african folklore, the leo is portrayed as having humble intelligence and is easily tricked by early animals. [ 233 ] The ancient Egyptians impersonate respective of their war deities as lionesses, which they revered as boisterous hunters. egyptian deities associated with lions include Sekhmet, Bast, Mafdet, Menhit, Pakhet and Tefnut. [ 229 ] These deities were often connected with the sun idol Ra and his cutthroat heat, and their dangerous might was invoked to guard people or hallowed places. The sphinx, a figure with a lion ‘s soundbox and the fountainhead of a human or other animal, represented a pharaoh or deity who had taken on this protective function. [ 234 ]

Eastern worldly concern

The lion was a outstanding symbol in ancient Mesopotamia from Sumer up to Assyrian and Babylonian times, where it was strongly associated with kingship. [ 235 ] Lions were among the major symbols of the goddess Inanna / Ishtar. [ 236 ] [ 237 ] The Lion of Babylon was the first symbol of the Babylonian Empire. [ 238 ] The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal is a celebrated sequence of assyrian palace reliefs from c. 640 BC, now in the british Museum. [ 239 ] The Lion of Judah is the biblical emblem of the tribe of Judah and the former Kingdom of Judah. [ 240 ] Lions are frequently mentioned in the Bible ; notably in the Book of Daniel in which the eponymous champion refuses to worship King Darius and is forced to sleep in the lions ‘ den where he is miraculously unharmed ( Dan 6 ). In the Book of Judges, Samson kills a leo as he travels to visit a Philistine charwoman. ( Judg 14 ). [ 241 ] Indo-Persian chroniclers regarded the lion as keeper of order in the region of animals. The Sanskrit parole mrigendra signifies a leo as king of animals in general or deer in particular. [ 242 ] Narasimha, the man-lion, is one of ten avatars of the Hindu deity Vishnu. [ 243 ] Singh is an ancient indian vedic name meaning “ leo ”, dating back over 2,000 years. It was in the first place used only by Rajputs, a Hindu Kshatriya or military caste but is used by millions of Hindu Rajputs and more than twenty million Sikhs today. [ 244 ] The Lion Capital of Ashoka, erected by Emperor Ashoka in the third century CE, depicts four lions standing back to back. It was made the National Emblem of India in 1950. [ 245 ] The leo is besides symbolic for the sinhala people ; the condition derived from the Sanskrit Sinhala, meaning “ of lions ” [ 246 ] while a sword-wielding lion is the cardinal trope on the national flag of Sri Lanka. [ 247 ] The lion is a common motif in taiwanese art ; it was first used in art during the deep spring and Autumn period ( fifth or sixth century BC ) and became more popular during the Han Dynasty ( 206 BC – AD 220 ) when imperial defender lions started to be placed in front of imperial palaces for protection. Because lions have never been native to China, early depictions were slightly unrealistic ; after the insertion of Buddhist art to China in the Tang Dynasty after the sixth century AD, lions were normally depicted wingless with shorter, dense bodies and curly manes. [ 248 ] The lion dance is a traditional dance in chinese culture in which performers in leo costumes mimic a lion ‘s movements, often with musical accompaniment from cymbals, drums and gongs. They are performed at Chinese New Year, the August Moon Festival and other celebratory occasions for good luck. [ 249 ]

western world

Lion-headed figures and amulets were excavated in grave in the greek islands of Crete, Euboea, Rhodes, Paros and Chios. They are associated with the egyptian deity Sekhmet and date to the early Iron Age between the 9th and 6th centuries BC. [ 250 ] The lion is featured in respective of Aesop ‘s fables, notably The Lion and the Mouse. [ 251 ] The Nemean lion was emblematic in ancient Greece and Rome, represented as the constellation and zodiac sign Leo, and described in mythology, where it was killed and worn by the hero Heracles, [ 252 ] symbolising victory over death. [ 253 ] Lancelot and Gawain were besides champion slaying lions in the Middle Ages. In some medieval stories, lions were portrayed as allies and companions. [ 254 ] “ Lion ” was the nickname of several medieval warrior-rulers with a reputation for fearlessness, such as Richard the Lionheart. [ 229 ] Lions continue to appear in modern literature as characters including the messianic Aslan in the 1950 novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, [ 255 ] and the comedic Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum ‘s 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [ 256 ] Lion symbolism was used from the second coming of film ; one of the most iconic and wide greet lions is Leo, which has been the mascot for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios since the 1920s. [ 257 ] The 1966 movie Born Free features Elsa the lioness and is based on the 1960 non-fiction koran with the lapp title. [ 258 ] The leo ‘s role as king of the beasts has been used in the 1994 Disney animated feature film The Lion King. [ 259 ] Lions are frequently depicted on coats of arms, like on the coating of arms of Finland, [ 260 ] either as a device on shields or as supporters, but the lioness is used much less frequently. [ 261 ] The heraldic lion is peculiarly coarse in british arms. It is traditionally depicted in a capital variety show of attitudes, although within French heraldry lone lions rampant are considered to be lions ; feline figures in any other position are rather referred to as leopards. [ 262 ]

See besides




  1. ^ Populations of India are listed in Appendix I .

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