León

Lion

Let's get to know a little more about felines, in this case we are going to talk about lions.

They are in serious danger of extinction. They are mainly found in Africa. Here we can see an image where it marks the territories they used to occupy (red) and the ones they inhabit today (blue):

In some areas such as Spain, France and Italy it is believed that there could have been some specimens a long time ago. The situation is really serious as you can see.

There are several subspecies of lions, among them are:

  • South African lion.
  • Asiatic lion.
  • Maasai lion.
  • West African lion.
  • Congo lion.
  • Nubian lion.
  • Katanga or Angolan lion.

Among the subspecies of lions, in addition to the geographic location where they live, size, color and abilities such as having greater speed, vision and hearing for example, another major difference is the way in which they are organized and live. The subspecies with the largest size are the Nubian, Congo and Katanga lion, the first two in critical condition with around 200 specimens in the wild. The South African lion is the one with the largest number of albino specimens. As a curious fact, there is an animated series called Kimba from around 1960 about the adventures of a white lion.

The lion is the second largest feline in the world, with a length of 205-334 cm in males, a height of 125 cm and a weight of 180-250 kg.

Females can reach 180-270 cm in length, a height of 107 cm and a weight of 120-182 kg.

In addition to weight, length and height, the main difference between males and females is the mane.

Their life expectancy varies. Normally 8-12 years in the wild, in captivity they can exceed 20 years in controlled and optimal conditions.

Structures and organization

They live in herds, usually of 5-6 females and 1-2 males. Although there have been cases of up to 30 members in a pride. There are also nomadic lions, usually males, which at 2-3 years of age leave their pride. The size of prides can vary due to factors such as prey availability, competition with other prides and habitat conditions. They have complex social structures, where they are organized hierarchically.

They usually hunt in groups, generally the females are in charge of this task, being smaller, faster and more agile than the males. Despite their speed and strength, their endurance is not very high due to the small size of their heart compared to their body, so they stalk their prey until they are about 30 meters away to take advantage of their speed and the surprise factor, reducing the time it takes for their prey to act. They usually work as a team to surround their prey and increase the success of the hunt. Their main food are wildebeest, impala, zebra, buffalo and wild boar, although they can feed on all kinds of animals depending on the area where they are. Males are usually in charge of defending the territory and the herd, although sometimes they also participate in hunting.

Other types of lions

There are or have been other subspecies of lions, such as the atlas lion with specimens currently only in captivity, the cave lion or the American lion, both of which are now extinct.

There are also strange crosses of Lion and Tiger, called Ligre and Tigon, the former being the male lion while in the tigon the male is the tiger. There are also leopons and jagleons, can you guess which animal they are a crossbreed of?

We hope you enjoyed and learned a little about our friends the lions. We will talk more about them another time. Don't forget that it's up to us to keep them with us so we can continue to learn more about them.

Back to blog