Animal Class: Mammals
Height: 42 to 54 inches high
Length: 8 to 10 feet long not including the tail
Weight: Male 330 to 550 pounds; Female 260 to 400 pounds
Life Span: 15 years; up to 30 years in captivity
Diet: Wild: Hunts medium to large animals including giraffe, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, antelopes and gazelles.
Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa in grasslands, savannas and semi-arid plains.
A tawny-colored muscular body with strong legs used for pouncing. They have strong jaws. Male lions usually have a mane which is yellow when young and darkens as the lion ages. Lions have a tuft at the end of the tail. Lions have excellent eyesight, a good sense of smell and hearing. They have quick reflexes and are capable of reaching speeds of 36 miles per hour. The lion’s rough tongue shears meat from bones and is good for removing parasites during grooming. Their roar can be heard up to five miles away. Male’s mane protects his throat and makes him appear larger. Lions are the only large cat that is social, living in groups called prides. They roar to let each other know where they are. Females often call to their cubs by roaring. The lion stalks prey followed by a charge to grab the animal. Female lions do most of the hunting for the pride. The food is usually shared among the pride, with the dominant males always eating first. Males require about 15 pounds of meat daily, and females need 11 pounds.