Lions – famously known as the kings of the jungle are one of the most widely recognised animals on earth. As one of the ‘big cats’ they’re second only to the tiger. They have no natural predators and are often regarded as one of the most formidable species on planet earth.
Here you can check out some of our most magnificent images and some interesting facts about these magnificent animals.
Lions roar to communicate their position to other prides
They have incredible night vision and are six times more sensitive to light than humans, giving them a massive advantage when hunting at night.
Lionesses do the majority of the hunting using incredibly advanced hunting tactics.
Lions are often a symbol of stateliness and royalty, hence the common phrase often used with lions: ‘king of the jungle’
White lions are not a distinct species, but instead a morph suffering from leucism.
Lions have sometimes been known to breed with tigers, creating hybrids called ligers and tiglons.
Lions can live between 10-14 years in the wild
The mane of male lions is unique amongst cats. There have been some rare instance of female lions also having manes.
An average pride of lions consists, generally, of five or six females, cubs of both sexes, and one or two males. There have, however, been prides of up to 30 individuals spotted.
Eating a kill
If possible, lions prefer to scavenge rather than hunt, as carrion provides up to 50% of their diet.
Their social behaviors include head rubbing and licking.
Male Lion in Grasslands
Lions are primarily active at night, spending most of their days sleeping.
Lioness at sunset
In captivity lions can live for over 20 years.
An old lion rests
It is thought that 77% of captive lions registered are of unknown origin. Some may even carry genes of lions extinct in the wild.
A fight breaks out
They often inflict serious injuries on one another, regularly in territorial disputes or fighting over food.
Two cubs at play
By the age of four years most lionesses have reproduced. They do not mate at any specific time of year, either.
A male lion enjoying sunset
The lion is classified as a ‘vulnerable’ species. The population has seen decline over the last two decades.
Compared to other cats, lions are much more social animals.
A male shows off his mane
Typically male lions weigh between 150kg to 250 kg. Females range from 120 kg to 185 kg – the females’ lighter weight makes them much more adept at hunting.
Basking in the sunlight
Cave paintings have been discovered of extinct European lions shows no mane. This either means that they were maneless, or the paintings show lionesses hunting within a group.
A female after feeding
Lions are often inactive for around 20 hours per day. Their peak activity period is usually. after dusk.
Showing a little tooth
Most of the dead prey that lions feed on is not, in fact, killed by lions, but instead hyenas.
Hunting in water
When hunting, they mainly prey on wildebeest.
A lioness waits on the plains
Male lions reach maturity at the age of three. By the ages of four and five they are able to challenge and displace other males within a pride.
Taking a break after a hard hunt
Lions most often roar at night and it is the loudest roar of any big cat.