We explain everything about the lion, the type of habitat in which it lives and the abilities of this feline. In addition, its characteristics and feeding.

lion
The lion is one of the most admired animals for its fierceness and strength.

What is a lion?

The lion (scientific name Panthera leo) it is a quadrupedal mammal of the felid family, typical of sub-Saharan Africa and some regions of the Congo and India. It occupies the top place in the food chain, as it is one of the largest predators on the planet today.

Since the dawn of humanity, the lion has been one of the most admired animals for its fierceness and strength, and for those same reasons feared and hunted. He is known as the “King of the Jungle” or “King of the Animals”, and the low-pitched roar of him is well known.

The lions are currently a species threatened by human activity, and their numbers have declined dramatically since the invention of firearms. Present in zoos around the world, it is one of the hardest-fought species to protect.

See also: Crocodile

origin of lions

the lions are Related to the other big cat predators such as the tiger and the jaguar, originating from Central Asia 3.5 million years ago.

Nevertheless, the species Panthera leo arose in Africa about 1 million years agoseparating itself evolutionarily from the rest during the Pleistocene.

At some point it spread throughout the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, giving rise to other species now extinct. In fact, in Greco-Roman antiquity it was common to find lions in the Asian Mediterranean regionssuch as Turkey, Israel, Palestine and even Greece.

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lion habitat

Lion
Most of today’s lions live in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The lion It is a species adapted to life in the savannah., in the plains where it can run at high speeds. They usually take shelter from the sun under acacias and other trees in the African region, where they hunt antelopes, emus and other endemic species.

Most of today’s lions They live in East and South Africa.where it is estimated that its population does not exceed one thousand adult specimens.

description of the lion

Lions are large four-legged animals that are golden or light beige in color. their graceful bodies They can reach weights of 160-260 kg (males) or 120-182 kg (females).and are around three meters in length, from head to the tip of the tail.

Its four legs are endowed with powerful muscles. and sharp claws to the extreme, with which they hold their prey. Their powerful jaws with three-inch canine teeth make them terrifying hunting machines.

The Lions They can live between 14 and 20 years., especially in captivity. They are non-domesticable predators, which can eat up to 7 kilos of meat a day.

Females and males are easy to distinguish, since the latter they have a huge dark-colored mane around the neckwhich allows them to appear larger than they are during confrontations with competitors.

lion skills

lion hunt
Lions pounce on their prey, seizing it with their front claws.

The Lions they have powerful and graceful bodies, which they use to communicate, through a range of body and facial expressions that function as visual gestures. To this is added its varied vocalization capacity, among which is the most intense roar of all the cats in the world.

The physical strength of lions allows them to pounce on its prey grabbing it with the claws of its front feet. Then they bite the prey’s neck until they suffocate or bleed to death.

The ferocity of lions is legendary, and many males meet a violent death in combat against younger ones, competing for the primacy of the pack and access to females.

lion personality

Lion
The prides of lions can go from 4 to 37 members.

The Lions They are the most sociable of felines.. They form herds in which the females bond with the family, raising their cubs together, under the presence of a few males.

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These groups They can go from 4 to 37 members, and occupy a well-defined territory, in which the presence of intruding lions is not tolerated. The number of members depends directly on the abundance of the prey.

The females, in fact, can hunt in groups., sharing the food for the benefit of the herd. The males, on the other hand, must hunt their own food and can also wander alone, being called nomadic males, devoid of territory. Their habits, in general, are more active at night.

lion feeding

Hunting is in the genes of lions, and a pack of them can unleash the fiercest chase, albeit for relatively short distances. Their diet is purely carnivorousand can sometimes resort to scavenging.

The Lions invest a lot of energy in chasing prey and often fail in their attempts. Therefore, they spend quite a bit of time on the prowl and take advantage of the opportunities provided.

lion reproduction

Lion
Lion cubs do not open their eyes until a week after they are born.

At four years of age, most lions have already reproduced. Each litter has between one and four pups.. During their various seasons of heat, females and males can copulate between 20 and 40 times a day. Once internal fertilization has occurred, gestation takes an average of 110 days.

The pups are born blind and they do not open their eyes until a week after birth. Therefore, her entire care is in charge of her mother, who moves them from burrows several times during the nine to ten weeks it takes to integrate into the herd.

Breastfeeding can be done collectivelysince the lionesses of the same pride usually synchronize their reproductive cycles and have cubs at the same time.

Close relatives of lions

Genetic studies of the lion and other cat species have revealed that all They are descendants of the Asian tiger.whose oldest remains found date from 4.1 to 5.9 million years and were found in 2010 in Tibet.

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Native to central Asia, it is estimated that these animals spread around the world in the days before the last ice age and thus they gave rise to a family of big cats: lions, tigers, panthers, jaguars and leopards.

The lion in culture

Lions are part of numerous shields and emblems.

Lions aroused human admiration since ancient times. His majestic bearing, his ferocity and his deafening roar became symbols of human braveryto the point that it became a frequent icon of warrior banners and a totem animal.

The ancient Romans knew and admired them, and it is believed that they were fed with Christians in the ancient Colosseum, as a form of entertainment. Hence, they were later common as a circus animal, in acts carried out by a “tamer”.

For his part, Christianity saw in the lion the symbol of Jesus Christ, and also of San Marcos, one of his four evangelists. For this reason, it was common during the Middle Ages to see the lion become an emblem of royal houses and of the Christian military aristocracy of the time.

This symbol was inherited from the mythical Lion of Judah mentioned in the Genesis of the Bible, symbol of the descendants of David, second monarch of the united kingdom of Judah and Israel. His mane also refers to the crown of the sun, as well as its golden color, which is why it was considered a celestial, mythical, sacred animal.

State of conservation

The lion is a vulnerable species, whose encounters with humanity have caused the rapid and dramatic decline of their territory. They have been virtually confined to a few regions of sub-Saharan Africa.

Currently, the total count of adult specimens that does not exceed one thousandsince it decreased between 30% and 50% in recent times despite inhabiting nature reserves and national parks.

References:

  • “Panthera Leo” on Wikipedia.
  • “The lion, a very sleepy hunter” (video) in Happy Learning Spanish.
  • “León”in BioEncyclopedia.
  • “The Lion” in ZooWeb Plus.
  • “Lion” in Siyabona Africa, Kruger National Park.
  • “Lion (mammal)”in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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