Powernubby.com: Big Cats Facts. The roar of a lion can scare even the bravest soul on this earth. Whether you see them on any infotainment channels or in a zoo, they always appear dreadful. The lion is known simply as the king of the jungle. It is said that the roaring of a lion can be heard from around 5 miles away. Despite their vigorous way of life, they look good while playing with their cubs. Just like a king, lions tend to take their groups in prides. They team together to protect themselves against vultures, wildebeests, hyenas and more. Female lions mostly do the hunting, killing and stalking. When it comes to protecting the pride, the male lion leads the crowd. Lions can live for around 20 years and will enjoy living in the wild.
Big Cats Facts: 10 Eye-Opening Facts About Lions – The Bravest Big Cat
1. Lion Pride
Lions tend to be quite social. They live in family groups called prides. A pride contains between 10 and 15 lions, most of which are females and cubs. Male lions, on the other hand, make up just a fifth of a pride, on average.
2. Game of Thrones
A lion’s reign as a pride’s leader is short, lasting between two to four years. Only the strongest male lion can rule a pride, but that means that he needs to be on constant watch to defend his position.
When the lion king gets older and weaker, younger lions challenge him for the position of pride leader. It’s not unusual if several lions (usually siblings) join forces to overthrow the leader of the pride. Once that happens, the new leader usually kills all of the cubs fathered by the former leader.
3. Gender Roles
Male lions may not seem like very good hunters, at first glance. In fact, they prefer to sleep, play, and groom instead of doing hard work. Female lions are the ones with the role of feeding the family. Compared to male lions, lionesses are more agile and a bit faster, making them more adept for hunting. They usually chase down prey of about 250 pounds, using intelligent hunting tactics.
Male lions, on the other hand, mostly hunt during the years when they are alone, searching for their own pride. They are incredibly powerful, and can often take down prey that otherwise requires 4 or 5 lionesses.
Lionesses work together when hunting in order to catch the best possible prey. Once they get it, they will often allow the pride’s leader to feast first. During the hunt, one lioness usually stays in the pride to take care of the cubs. Every lioness that’s lactating will allow any cub to nurse, regardless of who the mother is.
5. Lion’s Duties
Most of the day, the pride’s leader doesn’t do anything but sleep and eat. A male lion will spend between 16 and 20 hours a day sleeping. The rest he uses for guarding the territory, which is his main role. The leader lion will mark his territory by urinating, so other lions can sense his presence. In the case of an intruder, he will roar and try to chase them or fight, if the need arises.
Lions eat twice a week on average, but those meals are huge. An average portion for male lions accounts for one-tenth of their weight, which is about 40 pounds. Such a large amount of food needs to be digested so right after lunch lions go to sleep, a rest that can last for over a day. Their favorite dishes include zebras and antelopes.
Lionesses often synchronize breeding, so they could take care of all their cubs at once. They can be in heat for about 4 or 5 days, during which period they mate with a lion between 2 and 4 times per hour. That means that the male will often copulate over 100 times each day.
8. Lion’s Roar
Lions roar as a way of communicating with each other, but the loudest roars are heard when they’re angry. An enraged lion protecting his territory can be heard roaring from a 5-mile distance.
The average litter size is 3 to 4 lion cubs. Newborns are vulnerable to predators like hyenas and leopards, so at least one lioness is always with them. Cubs remain with their mothers until two and are taught hunting. When they are around 11 months old, lionesses will start bringing them live prey to help them practice hunting.
Lions can mate with other members of the Pantherinae subfamily and produce offspring. The hybrid cross between a lion and a tigress is liger, which is the biggest of all cats. Tigon is a cross between a lioness and a male tiger while the cross of a lioness and a male jaguar is called jag lion.
The life of a male lion is almost incomparable among the Big Cats for its brutality, as the leader of a pride (and his subordinate brothers) must fight to maintain supremacy. Coalitions of outside lions are always on the outskirts of their territory, gaining strength by hunting the cantankerous Cape Buffalo, readying themselves for an all-out assault several years after they leave their own childhood dens.
The Lion, while smaller in general than the largest tigers, is nonetheless a gigantic wild cat. With females averaging 300 lbs. of raw and unbridled muscle, they are far stronger than any human male could hope to be, and have been seen taking down thousand-pound herbivores and strangling them with their jaws. For perspective, when was the last time you tried to drag down a horse!?
The male lion is a truly wondrous, powerful and majestic carnivore, and weighs in at an average of about 450-520 lbs. Although not generally considered as good a hunter as a female, the truth is more one of optimization – there isn’t an animal on the African plains that can deal with a hunting crew of 300 lb., streamlined lionesses bearing down on them in perfect formation.
Truth be told, there simply isn’t any need – nor is it efficient for pride dynamics – for the immensely powerful male to constantly involve himself in battles with prey. The lioness is more than capable of handling this duty. One of the more interesting African lion facts is the varier roles of the male as a protector and sometimes-hunter.
Nonetheless, sometimes the male happens to be in the vicinity of a hunt, and it is then that his terrifying power is witnessed. The African lion can be seen taking on huge Cape buffalo by himself, whereas it usually takes three to four females to bring one down. Or, you might seem him bring down a two-ton giraffe by the haunches.
Even in the gruesome encounters with the hyena, a single male is often enough to dissuade a clan of more than ten of their sharp-toothed natural competitors, who steal kills from the lion – and vice-versa – by sheer force of numbers. It usually takes about four hyenas to chase a lioness from a kill, whereas a rampaging male African lion has been seen to scatter groups of 20!