profile.jpg - 41.1 KCommon Name : Lion
Class : Mammalia
Order : Carnivora
Family : Felidae
Genus species : Panthera leo
Size : male 1.7 to 2.5 m ( 5.5 - 8 ft. ), and 1.2 m ( 1 foot ) at the shoulder : female 1.4 to 1.7 m ( 4.5 - 5.5 ft. ), and 1.06 m ( 3.5 ft ) at the shoulder
Weight : males 150 to 250 kg ( 330 - 550 lb. ), females 120 to 180 kg ( 265 - 395 lb.)
Description : short - haired, tawny cat; black tail tuft, ears, and lips; males with blond to black manes; newborns with grayish spots which fade to adult color by three months.
Life span : up to 30 years in captivity, 15 years average
Sexual maturity :males at 5 yrs., females at 4 yrs.
Gestation : 98 to 105 days ; on average 2 to 4 cubs born.
Habitat : sub-Saharan Africa in grasslands and semi-arid plains.
Diet :antelopes, gazelles, warthogs, smaller carnivores.
Status : not listed by USFWS ; protected by CITES

Ecology & Conservation

Lions are the largest African carnivores and a hungry lion pride feeds on many animals that pass through or share its home range. As specialized communal predators, a prides role includes keeping herbivore populations in balance with the resources available in their area of the plains.

Fun Facts

  1. Lions are the only truly social cat species, and usually every female in a pride of 5 to 37 individuals is closely related.

  2. An adult lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away and warns off intruders or reunites scattered pride members.

  3. While lions are inactive up to 21 hours a day, in the darkest, coolest hours of early morning the "queen of beasts " hunt as a team to catch a communal meal.

  4. Pride lionesses frequently enter breeding season together and later give birth at the same time which allows them to share nursing and other maternal duties.

  5. Although only one out of four hunting events is successful, dominant males always eat first, lionesses next, nad cubs scamble for the scraps left over.

Talk to a Zoo Keeper

Click on link and e-mail any of the following Zoo Keepers. They will respond within a day or so. ( hint : Teachers if you write and ask the Zoo Keeper to meet your class in a chat room it could be a great learning experience. Remember that you need to agree on a place and time )

Zoo Keepers
Write to : Debbie Wyche, Mike Wyche, Joe Sullivan, Sarita Pointek, Jennifer Schaub, Jeremiah Degenhardt, Brandy Martin, or Jessica Black

Zoo Keeper Home Page

Factoid of the month

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