Lion – Wikipedia

large cat native to Africa and Asia

The lion ( Panthera leo ) is a boastfully computerized tomography of the genus Panthera native to Africa and India. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short, polish head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its stern. It is sexually dimorphic ; adult male lions are larger than females and have a outstanding mane. It is a social species, forming groups called prides. A lion ‘s pride consists of a few adult males, related females, and cubs. Groups of female lions normally hunt together, preying by and large on large ungulates. The leo is an vertex and anchor predator ; although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, the species typically does not.

The leo inhabits grasslands, savannas and shrublands. It is normally more diurnal than early wild cats, but when persecuted, it adapts to being active at nox and at twilight. During the Neolithic time period, the lion ranged throughout Africa, Southeast Europe, the Caucasus, and Western and South Asia, but it has been reduced to break up populations in sub-saharan Africa and one population in western India. It has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in african countries have declined by about 43 % since the early 1990s. leo populations are indefensible outside designated protected areas. Although the lawsuit of the decline is not fully understand, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes for refer. One of the most wide recognised animal symbols in homo culture, the leo has been extensively depicted in sculptures and paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoological gardens across the world since the late eighteenth century. cultural depictions of lions were big in Ancient Egypt, and depictions have occurred in about all ancient and medieval cultures in the lion ‘s historic and current range .


The English word lion is derived via Anglo-Norman liun from Latin leōnem ( nominative : leō ), which in change by reversal was a borrow from Ancient Greek λέων léōn. The Hebrew give voice לָבִיא lavi may besides be related. [ 4 ] The generic name Panthera is traceable to the classical music Latin bible ‘panthēra ‘ and the ancient Greek password πάνθηρ ‘panther ‘. [ 5 ]


[6][7] the lower one on the 2010[8] and 2011[9] studies. The upper cladogram is based on the 2006 study, the lower one on the 2010and 2011studies. Felis leo was the scientific name used by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, who described the lion in his oeuvre Systema Naturae. [ 3 ] The genus diagnose Panthera was coined by Lorenz Oken in 1816. [ 10 ] Between the mid-18th and mid-20th centuries, 26 leo specimens were described and proposed as subspecies, of which 11 were recognised as valid in 2005. [ 1 ] They were distinguished by and large by the size and semblance of their manes and skins. [ 11 ]


Range map showing distribution of subspecies and clades In the 19th and twentieth centuries, several leo type specimens were described and proposed as subspecies, with about a twelve recognised as valid taxonomic group until 2017. [ 1 ] Between 2008 and 2016, IUCN Red List assessors used only two subspecific names : P. l. leo for african leo populations, and P. l. persica for the Asiatic leo population. [ 2 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group revised leo taxonomy, and recognises two subspecies based on results of several phylogeographic studies on lion development, namely : [ 14 ]
however, there seems to be some degree of overlap between both groups in northern Central Africa. deoxyribonucleic acid analysis from a more late sketch indicates, that cardinal african lions are derived from both northern and southern lions, as they cluster with P. leo leo in mtDNA-based phylogenies whereas their genomic DNA indicates a close relationship with P. leo melanochaita. [ 17 ] leo samples from some parts of the ethiopian Highlands bunch genetically with those from Cameroon and Chad, while lions from other areas of Ethiopia cluster with samples from East Africa. Researchers consequently assume Ethiopia is a contact zone between the two subspecies. [ 18 ] Genome -wide data of a wild-born diachronic leo sample distribution from Sudan showed that it clustered with P. l. leo in mtDNA-based phylogenies, but with a eminent affinity to P. l. melanochaita. This result suggested that the taxonomic stead of lions in Central Africa may require revision. [ 19 ]

dodo records

early leo subspecies or sister species to the modern lion existed in prehistoric times : [ 20 ]


Panthera spelaea
blue Panthera atrox
green Panthera leo

Maximal range of the modern lion
and its prehistoric relatives
in the late Pleistocene redbluegreenMaximal range of the modern lionand its prehistoric relativesin the belated pleistocene The Panthera linage is estimated to have genetically diverged from the coarse ancestor of the Felidae around to, [ 6 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] and the geographic origin of the genus is most likely northerly Central Asia. [ 35 ] Results of analyses differ in the phylogenetic relationship of the lion ; it was thought to form a sister group with the jaguar ( P. onca ) that diverged, [ 6 ] but besides with the leopard ( P. pardus ) that diverged [ 8 ] [ 9 ] to. Hybridisation between lion and bamboozle leopard ( P. uncia ) ancestors possibly continued until about 2.1 million years ago. [ 34 ] The lion-leopard clade was distributed in the Asian and African Palearctic since at least the early Pliocene. [ 35 ] The earliest fossils recognizable as lions were found at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania and are estimated to be up to 2 million years old. [ 33 ] Estimates for the discrepancy time of the modern and cave lion lineages range from 529,000 to 392,000 years ago based on mutation rate per genesis clock time of the modern lion. There is no tell for gene run between the two lineages, indicating that they did not share the same geographic area. [ 19 ] The eurasian and american cave lions became extinct at the end of the last frigid period without mitochondrial descendants on early continents. [ 27 ] [ 36 ] [ 37 ] The modern lion was probably widely distributed in Africa during the Middle Pleistocene and started to diverge in sub-saharan Africa during the Late Pleistocene. Lion populations in East and Southern Africa became separated from populations in West and North Africa when the equatorial rain forest expanded 183,500 to 81,800 years ago. [ 38 ] They shared a park ancestor probably between 98,000 and 52,000 years ago. [ 19 ] due to the expansion of the Sahara between 83,100 and 26,600 years ago, lion populations in West and North Africa became branch. As the rain forest decreased and therefore gave heighten to more open habitats, lions moved from West to Central Africa. Lions from North Africa dispersed to southerly Europe and Asia between 38,800 and 8,300 years ago. [ 38 ] extinction of lions in southerly Europe, North Africa and the Middle East interrupted gene flow between leo populations in Asia and Africa. Genetic attest revealed numerous mutations in lion samples from East and Southern Africa, which indicates that this group has a longer evolutionary history than genetically less divers lion samples from Asia and West and Central Africa. [ 39 ] A whole genome-wide sequence of lion samples showed that samples from West Africa shared alleles with samples from Southern Africa, and samples from Central Africa shared alleles with samples from Asia. This phenomenon indicates that Central Africa was a melting pot of leo populations after they had become sequester, possibly migrating through corridors in the Nile Basin during the early on Holocene. [ 19 ]


In menagerie, lions have been bred with tigers to create hybrids for the curio of visitors or for scientific purpose. [ 40 ] [ 41 ] The liger is bigger than a leo and a tiger, whereas most tigons are relatively belittled compared to their parents because of multiplicative inverse gene effects. [ 42 ] [ 43 ] The leopon is a hybrid between a leo and leopard. [ 44 ]


A tuft at the end of the tail is a discrete characteristic of the lion . skeleton The leo is a mesomorphic, deep-chested caterpillar with a short, round off pass, a reduced neck and round ears. Its fur varies in color from light buff to silvery grey, yellow loss and dark brown. The color of the underparts are by and large light. A new-born lion has dark spots, which fade as the cub reaches adulthood, although faint spots much may still be seen on the leg and underparts. The lion is the alone penis of the cat family that displays obvious intimate dimorphism. Males have broader heads and a outstanding mane that grows downwards and backwards covering most of the head, neck, shoulders, and chest. The mane is typically brown and tinged with yellow, rust and black hair’s-breadth. [ 45 ] [ 46 ] The tail of all lions ends in a dark, hairy tuft that in some lions conceals an approximately 5 mm ( 0.20 in ) -long, hard “ spine ” or “ spur ” that is formed from the final, blend sections of buttocks bone. The functions of the spur are obscure. The tuft is absent at give birth and develops at around 5+1⁄2 months of age. It is promptly identifiable by the senesce of seven months. [ 47 ] Of the living feline species, the lion is rivaled entirely by the tiger in distance, weight unit, and altitude at the shoulder. [ 48 ] Its skull is identical exchangeable to that of the tiger, although the facade region is normally more press down and flattened, and has a slenderly shorter postorbital region and broader adenoidal openings than those of the tiger. Due to the amount of skull variation in the two species, normally alone the structure of the lower call on the carpet can be used as a dependable indicator of species. [ 49 ] [ 50 ] skeletal muscles of the leo make up 58.8 % of its body weight and represents the highest percentage of muscles among mammals. [ 51 ] [ 52 ]


The size and burden of pornographic lions varies across ball-shaped rate and habitats. [ 53 ] [ 54 ] [ 55 ] [ 56 ] Accounts of a few individuals that were larger than median exist from Africa and India. [ 45 ] [ 57 ] [ 58 ] [ 59 ]

Average Female lions Male lions
Head-and-body length 160–184 cm (63–72 in)[60] 184–208 cm (72–82 in)[60]
Tail length 72–89.5 cm (28.3–35.2 in)[60] 82.5–93.5 cm (32.5–36.8 in)[60]
Weight 118.37–143.52 kg (261.0–316.4 lb) in Southern Africa,[53]
119.5 kg (263 lb) in East Africa,[53]
110–120 kg (240–260 lb) in India[54]
186.55–225 kg (411.3–496.0 lb) in Southern Africa,[53]
174.9 kg (386 lb) in East Africa,[53]
160–190 kg (350–420 lb) in India[54]


The male lion ‘s mane is the most recognizable feature of the species. [ 11 ] It may have evolved around 320,000–190,000 years ago. [ 61 ] It starts growing when lions are about a year previous. Mane color varies and darkens with old age ; inquiry shows its color and size are influenced by environmental factors such as average ambient temperature. Mane length apparently signals fighting success in male–male relationships ; darker-maned individuals may have longer generative lives and higher offspring survival, although they suffer in the hottest months of the year. The presence, absence, color and size of the mane are associated with familial precondition, sexual maturity, climate and testosterone production ; the principle of ovolo is that a dark, full mane indicates a healthier animal. In Serengeti National Park, female lions favour males with dense, blue manes as mates. male lions normally aim for the backs or hindquarters of rivals, rather than their necks. [ 62 ] [ 63 ] Cool ambient temperature in european and north american english menagerie may result in a heavier mane. [ 64 ] asian lions normally have sparser manes than average african lions. [ 65 ] about all male lions in Pendjari National Park are either maneless or have very short manes. [ 66 ] Maneless lions have besides been reported in Senegal, in Sudan ‘s Dinder National Park and in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. [ 67 ] The original male white lion from Timbavati in South Africa was besides maneless. The hormone testosterone has been linked to mane growth ; castrated lions much have short to no mane because the removal of the gonads inhibits testosterone production. [ 68 ] Increased testosterone may be the campaign of man lionesses reported in northern Botswana. [ 69 ]

Colour variation

The white leo is a rare morph with a genetic condition called leucism which is caused by a double recessive allele. It is not albino ; it has normal pigmentation in the eyes and hide. White lions have occasionally been encountered in and around Kruger National Park and the adjacent Timbavati Private Game Reserve in easterly South Africa. They were removed from the barbarian in the 1970s, therefore decreasing the white leo gene pool. Nevertheless, 17 births have been recorded in five prides between 2007 and 2015. [ 70 ] White lions are selected for breeding in enslavement. [ 71 ] They have reportedly been bred in camps in South Africa for use as trophies to be killed during displace hunts. [ 72 ]

distribution and habitat

lion in Gir National Park african lions live in scattered populations across sub-saharan Africa. The leo prefers grassy plains and savanna, scrub surround rivers and overt woodlands with bushes. It rarely enters closed forests. On Mount Elgon, the lion has been recorded up to an elevation of 3,600 megabyte ( 11,800 foot ) and close to the snow line on Mount Kenya. [ 45 ] Savannahs with an annual rain of 300 to 1,500 millimeter ( 12 to 59 in ) make up the majority of lion habitat in Africa, estimated at 3,390,821 km2 ( 1,309,203 sq mi ) at most ; but leftover populations are besides award in tropical damp forests in West Africa and montane forests in East Africa. [ 73 ] The asian leo now survives lone in and around Gir National Park in Gujarat, western India. Its habitat is a mix of dry savannah afforest and very dry, deciduous scrub forest. [ 12 ]

diachronic crop

In Africa, the crop of the leo primitively spanned most of the central african rain forest partition and the Sahara desert. [ 74 ] In the 1960s, it became extinct in North Africa, except in the southern share of Sudan. [ 75 ] [ 73 ] [ 76 ] In southerly Europe and Asia, the leo once ranged in regions where climatic conditions supported an abundance of prey. [ 77 ] In Greece, it was common as reported by Herodotus in 480 BC ; it was considered rare by 300 BC and extirpated by AD 100. [ 45 ] It was portray in the Caucasus until the tenth century. [ 50 ] It lived in Palestine until the Middle Ages, and in Southwest Asia until the deep nineteenth century. By the late nineteenth hundred, it had been extirpated in most of Turkey. [ 78 ] The last alive leo in Iran was sighted in 1942 about 65 km ( 40 nautical mile ) northwest of Dezful, [ 79 ] although the cadaver of a lioness was found on the banks of the Karun river in Khūzestān Province in 1944. [ 80 ] It once ranged from Sind and Punjab in Pakistan to Bengal and the Narmada River in central India. [ 81 ]

Behaviour and ecology

Lions spend much of their fourth dimension resting ; they are inactive for about twenty hours per day. [ 82 ] Although lions can be active at any prison term, their activity generally peaks after twilight with a period of socialize, grooming and defecating. intermittent bursts of activity continue until dawn, when hunting most often takes plaza. They spend an average of two hours a day walk and fifty minutes eating. [ 83 ]

Group organization

Lion pride in Etosha National Park A lioness ( left ) and two males in Masai Mara The leo is the most social of all godforsaken feline species, living in groups of related individuals with their offspring. Such a group is called a “ pride “. Groups of male lions are called “ coalitions ”. [ 84 ] Females form the static social unit in a pride and do not tolerate outside females. [ 85 ] Membership changes only with the births and deaths of lionesses, [ 86 ] although some females leave and become mobile. [ 87 ] The average pride consists of around 15 lions, including several adult females and up to four males and their cub of both sexes. Large prides, consisting of up to 30 individuals, have been observed. [ 88 ] The sole exception to this practice is the Tsavo leo pride that always has just one adult male. [ 89 ] Male cub are excluded from their enate pride when they reach maturity at around two or three years of age. [ 87 ] Some lions are “ nomads ” that range wide and move about sporadically, either in pairs or alone. [ 84 ] Pairs are more frequent among related males who have been excluded from their parturition pride. A lion may switch lifestyles ; nomads can become residents and frailty versa. [ 90 ] Interactions between prides and nomads tend to be hostile, although pride females in estrus allow mobile males to approach them. [ 91 ] Males spend years in a mobile phase before gaining residence in a pride. [ 92 ] A study undertake in the Serengeti National Park revealed that mobile coalitions gain residency at between 3.5 and 7.3 years of age. [ 93 ] In Kruger National Park, dispersing male lions move more than 25 kilometer ( 16 security service ) off from their natal pride in search of their own territory. female lions stay closer to their natal pride. consequently, female lions in an area are more closely related to each other than male lions in the same area. [ 94 ] The area occupied by a pride is called a “ pride sphere ” whereas that occupied by a nomad is a “ crop ”. [ 84 ] Males associated with a pride tend to stay on the fringes, patrolling their territory. The reasons for the development of sociality in lionesses—the most pronounced in any computerized tomography species—are the subject of much argument. Increased hunting success appears to be an obvious argue, but this is uncertain upon examination ; coordinated hunt allows for more successful depredation but besides ensures non-hunting members reduce per capita calorific inhalation. Some females, however, take a function raising cubs that may be left alone for extended periods. Members of the pride tend to regularly play the same role in hunts and hone their skills. The health of the hunters is the elementary need for the survival of the pride ; hunters are the foremost to consume the prey at the web site it is taken. other benefits include potential kin choice ; sharing food within the kin ; protecting the young, maintaining territory and individual indemnity against injury and hunger. [ 57 ] Both males and females defend the pride against intruders, but the male lion is better-suited for this determination due to its compact, more herculean build. Some individuals systematically lead the defense against intruders, while others lag behind. [ 95 ] Lions tend to assume particular roles in the pride ; slower-moving individuals may provide early valuable services to the group. [ 96 ] alternatively, there may be rewards associated with being a drawing card that fends off intruders ; the rank of lionesses in the pride is reflected in these responses. [ 97 ] The male or males associated with the pride must defend their relationship with the pride from outdoor males who may attempt to usurp them. [ 90 ] asian lion prides differ in group typography. Male asian lions are lone or consort with up to three males, forming a idle pride while females associate with up to 12 early females, forming a stronger pride together with their cubs. Female and male lions associate only when copulate. [ 98 ] Coalitions of males hold district for a longer time than unmarried lions. Males in coalitions of three or four individuals exhibit a marked hierarchy, in which one male dominates the others and mates more frequently. [ 99 ]

Hunting and diet

The lion is a renaissance man hypercarnivore and is considered to be both an vertex and keystone predator due to its broad prey spectrum. [ 100 ] [ 101 ] Its raven consists chiefly of mammals, particularly ungulates weighing 190–550 kilogram ( 420–1,210 pound ) with a predilection for blue wildebeest, plains zebra, African american bison, gemsbok and giraffe. Lions besides hunt common warthog depending on handiness, although the species is below the prefer weight rate. [ 102 ] In India, sambar deer and chital are the most normally recorded wild prey, [ 46 ] [ 102 ] [ 103 ] while domestic livestock may contribute importantly to their diet. [ 103 ] They normally avoid amply grown pornographic elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamus and minor prey like dik-dik, hyrax, hare and imp. [ 102 ] [ 104 ] Unusual prey include porcupines and small reptiles. Lions kill other predators such as leopard, cheetah and descry hyena but rarely consume them. [ 105 ] Young lions first expose stalking behavior at around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are about a year old and begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two. [ 106 ] Single lions are adequate to of bringing down zebra and wildebeest, while larger prey like buffalo and giraffe are riskier. [ 90 ] In Chobe National Park, big prides have been observed hunt african bush elephants up to around 15 years old in exceeding cases, with the victims being calves, juveniles, and tied subadults. [ 107 ] [ 108 ] In typical hunts, each lioness has a favoured place in the group, either stalking prey on the “ wing ”, then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the center of the group and capturing raven fleeing from other lionesses. Males attached to prides do not normally participate in group hunt. [ 109 ] Some testify suggests, however, that males are fair ampere successful as females ; they are typically solo hunters who ambush prey in small bushland. [ 110 ] Lions are not particularly known for their stamina ; for exemplify, a lioness ‘ heart comprises only 0.57 % of her body slant and a male ‘s is about 0.45 % of his soundbox weight, whereas a hyena ‘s center comprises about 1 % of its body weight. [ 111 ] Thus, lions run cursorily alone in light bursts at about 48–59 km/h ( 30–37 miles per hour ) and need to be close to their prey before starting the fire. [ 112 ] One study in 2018 recorded a lion running at a top focal ratio of 74.1 km/h ( 46.0 miles per hour ). [ 113 ] They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility ; many kills take place near some form of cover or at night. [ 114 ] The lion ‘s attack is short and mighty ; they attempt to catch prey with a fast rush and final jump. They normally pull it down by the buttocks and kill by a strangling morsel to the throat. They besides kill prey by enclosing its muzzle in their jaw. [ 115 ] Lions typically consume prey at the localization of the hound but sometimes drag large prey into cover. [ 116 ] They tend to squabble over kills, particularly the males. Cubs suffer most when food is scarce but otherwise all pride members eat their meet, including old and cripple lions, which can live on leftovers. [ 90 ] Large kills are shared more widely among pride members. [ 117 ] An adult lioness requires an average of about 5 kg ( 11 pound ) of meat per day while males require about 7 kg ( 15 pound ). [ 118 ] Lions defile themselves and eat up to 30 kg ( 66 pound ) in one session ; [ 80 ] if it is ineffective to consume all of the kill, it rests for a few hours before continuing to eat. On hot days, the pride retreats to shade with one or two males standing guard. [ 116 ] Lions defend their kills from scavengers such as vultures and hyenas. [ 90 ] Lions scavenge on carrion when the opportunity arises ; they scavenge animals dead from natural causes such as disease or those that were killed by other predators. Scavenging lions keep a changeless lookout for circling vultures, which indicate the death or distress of an animal. [ 119 ] Most carrion on which both hyenas and lions feed upon are killed by hyenas preferably than lions. [ 56 ] Carrion is thought to provide a boastfully part of leo diet. [ 120 ]

Predator competition

Lion attacked by spot hyenas in Sabi Sand Game Reserve Lioness stealing a kill from a leopard in Kruger National Park Lions and spotted hyenas occupy a like ecological recess and where they coexist they compete for prey and carrion ; a review of data across several studies indicates a dietary overlap of 58.6 %. [ 121 ] Lions typically neglect spotted hyena unless the lions are on a kill or are being harassed by the hyenas, while the latter tend to visibly react to the presence of lions, with or without the presence of food. Lions seize the kills of blemish hyenas ; in the Ngorongoro crater it is common for lions to subsist largely on kills stolen from hyenas, causing the hyena to increase their kill pace. [ 122 ] In Botswana ‘s Chobe National Park, the site is reversed ; hyenas frequently challenge lions and steal their kills, obtaining food from 63 % of all leo kills. [ 123 ] When confronted on a kill by lions, spotted hyena may either leave or wait patiently at a outdistance of 30–100 megabyte ( 100–330 foot ) until the lions have finished. [ 124 ] Hyenas are boldface adequate to feed aboard lions and to force the lions off a kill. The two species attack one another even when there is no food involved for no apparent reason. [ 125 ] [ 126 ] Lion depredation can account for up to 71 % of hyena deaths in Etosha National Park. Spotted hyenas have adapted by frequently mobbing lions that enter their territories. [ 127 ] When the leo population in Kenya ‘s Masai Mara National Reserve declined, the spot hyena population increased quickly. [ 128 ] Experiments on prisoner spotted hyenas show that specimens without prior experience with lions act indifferently to the sight of them, but will react fearfully to lion aroma. [ 122 ] Lions tend to dominate cheetahs and leopards, steal their kills and kill their cubs and even adults when given the opportunity. [ 129 ] Cheetahs in particular frequently lose their kills to lions or other predators. [ 130 ] A study in the Serengeti ecosystem revealed that lions killed at least 17 of 125 cheetah cubs born between 1987 and 1990. [ 131 ] Cheetahs avoid their competitors by using unlike temporal and habitat niches. [ 132 ] Leopards are able to take recourse in trees ; lionesses, however, occasionally attempt to climb up and retrieve leopard kills from that stature. [ 133 ] Lions similarly dominate african crazy dogs, taking their kills and preying on young and rarely adult dogs. Population densities of barbarian dogs are abject in areas where lions are more abundant. [ 134 ] however, there are a few report cases of old and wounded lions falling prey to wild dogs. [ 135 ] [ 136 ] Lions besides charge at Nile crocodiles ; depending on the size of the crocodile and the leo, either animal can lose their kills to the other. Lions have been observed killing crocodiles that ventured onto land. [ 137 ] Crocodiles may besides kill and eat lions, evidenced by the occasional leo claw found in crocodile stomachs. [ 138 ]

reproduction and biography cycle

Lions mating at Masai Mara A lion cub in Masai Mara Most lionesses reproduce by the time they are four years of historic period. [ 139 ] Lions do not mate at a specific time of class and the females are polyestrous. [ 140 ] Like those of early cats, the male lion ‘s penis has spines that point backward. During withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female ‘s vagina, which may cause ovulation. [ 141 ] [ 142 ] A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat. [ 143 ] Generation duration of the leo is about seven years. [ 144 ] The modal pregnancy period is around 110 days ; [ 140 ] the female gives parturition to a litter of between one and four cub in a privy lair, which may be a brush, a reed-bed, a cave, or some other shelter area, normally aside from the pride. She will much hunt alone while the cubs are calm helpless, staying relatively close to the lair. [ 145 ] Lion cubs are born blind ; their eyes open around seven days after birth. They weigh 1.2–2.1 kilogram ( 2.6–4.6 pound ) at birth and are about helpless, beginning to crawl a sidereal day or two after birth and walking approximately three weeks of long time. [ 146 ] To avoid a buildup of aroma attracting the attention of predators, the lioness moves her cub to a new hideout web site several times a month, carrying them one-by-one by the nape of the neck. [ 145 ] normally, the beget does not integrate herself and her cub back into the pride until the cubs are six to eight weeks honest-to-god. [ 145 ] sometimes the introduction to pride life occurs earlier, peculiarly if other lionesses have given birth at about the lapp time. [ 90 ] [ 147 ] When first introduced to the rest of the pride, leo cubs lack assurance when confronted with adults early than their mother. They soon begin to immerse themselves in the pride life, however, playing among themselves or attempting to initiate maneuver with the adults. [ 147 ] Lionesses with cubs of their own are more probably to be tolerant of another lioness ‘s cub than lionesses without cubs. male tolerance of the cub varies—one male could patiently let the cubs play with his stern or his mane, while another may snarl and bat the cub off. [ 148 ]
Video of a lioness and her cub in Phinda Reserve

Pride lionesses much synchronise their generative cycles and communal breeding and nursling of the young, which suckle promiscuously from any or all of the harbor females in the pride. The synchronism of births is advantageous because the cub grow to being roughly the like size and have an adequate opportunity of survival, and sucklings are not dominated by older cub. [ 90 ] [ 147 ] Weaning occurs after six or seven months. Male lions reach maturity at about three years of long time and at four to five years are capable of challenging and displacing adult males associated with another pride. They begin to long time and dampen at between 10 and 15 years of age at the latest. [ 149 ] When one or more raw males oust the previous males associated with a pride, the victors frequently kill any existing new cubs, possibly because females do not become fat and receptive until their cub mature or die. Females often fiercely defend their cub from a usurp male but are rarely successful unless a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against the male. [ 150 ] Cubs besides die from starvation and desertion, and predation by leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. [ 136 ] [ 90 ] Up to 80 % of lion cubs will die before the historic period of two. [ 151 ] Both male and female lions may be ousted from prides to become nomads, although most females normally remain with their birth pride. When a pride becomes excessively large, however, the youngest generation of female cub may be forced to leave to find their own territory. When a raw male lion takes over a pride, adolescents both male and female may be evicted. [ 152 ] Lions of both sexes may be involved in group homosexual and courtship activities ; males will besides head-rub and roll about with each other before simulating sex together. [ 153 ] [ 154 ]


Although adult lions have no natural predators, evidence suggests most die violently from attacks by humans or other lions. [ 155 ] Lions often inflict serious injuries on members of early prides they encounter in territorial disputes or members of the home pride when fighting at a kill. [ 156 ] Crippled lions and cubs may fall victim to hyenas and leopards or be trampled by buffalo or elephants. Careless lions may be maimed when hunting prey. [ 157 ] Ticks normally infest the ears, neck and groin regions of lions. [ 158 ] [ 159 ] Adult forms of several tapeworm species of the genus Taenia have been isolated from lion intestines, having been ingested as larva in antelope meat. [ 160 ] Lions in the Ngorongoro Crater were afflicted by an outbreak of stable fly ( Stomoxys calcitrans ) in 1962 ; this resulted in lions becoming emaciated and covered in bloody, plain patches. Lions sought unsuccessfully to evade the bite flies by climbing trees or crawling into hyena burrows ; many died or migrated and the local population dropped from 70 to 15 individuals. [ 161 ] A more holocene outbreak in 2001 killed six lions. [ 162 ] prisoner lions have been infected with canine ill humor virus ( CDV ) since at least the mid 1970s. [ 163 ] CDV is spread by domestic dogs and other carnivores ; a 1994 outbreak in Serengeti National Park resulted in many lions developing neurological symptoms such as seizures. During the outbreak, respective lions died from pneumonia and encephalitis. [ 164 ] Feline immunodeficiency virus and lentivirus besides affect captive lions. [ 165 ] [ 166 ]


Head rubbing among pride members is a park social behavior When rest, lion socialization occurs through a count of behaviours ; the animal ‘s expressive movements are highly developed. The most common passive, tactile gestures are heading rubbing and social solve, [ 167 ] which have been compared with the character of allogrooming among primates. [ 168 ] Head rubbing—nuzzling the frontal bone, expression and neck against another lion—appears to be a form of greeting [ 169 ] and is seen frequently after an animal has been apart from others or after a fight or confrontation. Males tend to rub early males, while cubs and females rub females. [ 170 ] Social licking frequently occurs in bicycle-built-for-two with oral sex rub ; it is generally reciprocal and the recipient role appears to express pleasure. The head and neck are the most coarse parts of the body licked ; this demeanor may have arisen out of utility because lions can not lick these areas themselves. [ 171 ]

Lion roar (




) A captive leo howl

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Lions have an range of facial expressions and body postures that serve as ocular gestures. [ 172 ] A common facial expression is the “ grimace face ” or flehmen reply, which a lion makes when sniffing chemical signals and involves an open mouth with denude teeth, raised gag, wrinkled nuzzle close eyes and relax ears. [ 173 ] Lions besides use chemical and ocular grade ; males will spray and scrape plots of grate and objects within the territory. [ 172 ] The lion ‘s repertoire of vocalisations is large ; variations in volume and pitch appear to be central to communication. Most lion vocalisations are variations of growl, snarling, meowing and roaring. other sounds produced include purring, puffing, bleating and humming. Roaring is used to advertise its presence. Lions most often roar at night, a sound that can be heard from a distance of 8 kilometres ( 5 mi ). [ 174 ] They tend to roar in a very characteristic manner starting with a few deep, long roars that subside into a series of shorter ones. [ 175 ] [ 176 ]


The leo is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The indian population is listed on CITES Appendix I and the african population on CITES Appendix II. [ 2 ]

In Africa

Video of a wild lioness respective big and well-managed protect areas in Africa master of ceremonies large lion populations. Where an infrastructure for wildlife tourism has been developed, cash gross for ballpark management and local communities is a hard bonus for leo conservation. [ 2 ] Most lions now live in East and Southern Africa ; their numbers are quickly decreasing, and fell by an estimated 30–50 % in the late half of the twentieth century. primary causes of the descent include disease and human hindrance. [ 2 ] In 1975, it was estimated that since the 1950s, lion numbers had decreased by half to 200,000 or fewer. [ 177 ] Estimates of the African leo population range between 16,500 and 47,000 live in the baseless in 2002–2004. [ 178 ] [ 75 ] In the Republic of the Congo, Odzala-Kokoua National Park was considered a leo stronghold in the 1990s. By 2014, no lions were recorded in the protected area so the population is considered locally extinct. [ 179 ] The west african leo population is isolated from the one in Central Africa, with little or no substitution of breeding individuals. In 2015, it was estimated that this population consists of about 400 animals, including fewer than 250 mature individuals. They persist in three protected areas in the region, by and large in one population in the W A P protected area complex, shared by Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. This population is listed as critically Endangered. [ 13 ] Field surveys in the WAP ecosystem revealed that lion occupation is lowest in the W National Park, and higher in areas with permanent staff and frankincense better protection. [ 180 ] A population occurs in Cameroon ‘s Waza National Park, where between approximately 14 and 21 animals persisted as of 2009. [ 181 ] In summation, 50 to 150 lions are estimated to be present in Burkina Faso ‘s Arly-Singou ecosystem. [ 182 ] In 2015, an adult male leo and a female lion were sighted in Ghana ‘s Mole National Park. These were the first sightings of lions in the country in 39 years. [ 183 ] In the same class, a population of up to 200 lions that was previously thought to have been extirpated was filmed in the Alatash National Park, Ethiopia, close to the sudanese margin. [ 184 ] [ 185 ] In 2005, Lion Conservation Strategies were developed for West and Central Africa, and or East and Southern Africa. The strategies seek to maintain suitable habitat, ensure a sufficient baseless prey base for lions, reduce factors that lead to far fragmentation of populations, and make lion–human coexistence sustainable. [ 186 ] [ 187 ] Lion depredation on livestock is importantly reduced in areas where herders keep livestock in improved enclosures. such measures contribute to mitigating human–lion conflict. [ 188 ]

In Asia

A lioness in Gir National Park The last safety of the Asiatic leo population is the 1,412 km2 ( 545 sq myocardial infarction ) Gir National Park and surrounding areas in the region of Saurashtra or Kathiawar Peninsula in Gujarat State, India. The population has risen from approximately 180 lions in 1974 to about 400 in 2010. [ 189 ] It is geographically isolated, which can lead to inbreeding and reduced genetic diverseness. Since 2008, the Asiatic leo has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. [ 12 ] By 2015, the population had grown to 523 individuals inhabiting an area of 7,000 km2 ( 2,700 sq nautical mile ) in Saurashtra. [ 190 ] [ 191 ] [ 192 ] The Asiatic Lion Census conducted in 2017 recorded about 650 individuals. [ 193 ] The bearing of numerous homo habitations close to the National Park results in conflict between lions, local people and their livestock. [ 194 ] [ 190 ] Some consider the presence of lions a benefit, as they keep populations of crop damage herbivores in match. [ 195 ] The administration of a second, independent Asiatic lion population in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Madhya Pradesh was planned but in 2017, the Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project seemed improbable to be implemented. [ 196 ] [ 197 ]

captive education

Lions imported to Europe before the middle of the nineteenth century were possibly foremost barbary lions from North Africa, or Cape lions from Southern Africa. [ 198 ] Another 11 animals thought to be barbary lions kept in Addis Ababa Zoo are descendants of animals owned by Emperor Haile Selassie. WildLink International in collaboration with Oxford University launched an ambitious International Barbary Lion Project with the aim of name and breeding barbary lions in enslavement for eventual reintroduction into a national park in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. [ 199 ] however, a genetic analysis showed that the captive lions at Addis Ababa Zoo were not barbary lions, but preferably close related to violent lions in Chad and Cameroon. [ 200 ] In 1982, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums started a Species Survival Plan for the Asiatic lion to increase its chances of survival. In 1987, it was found that most lions in north american menagerie were hybrids between African and Asiatic lions. [ 201 ] Breeding programs need to note origins of the participating animals to avoid cross-breeding different subspecies and frankincense reducing their conservation value. [ 202 ] Captive breed of lions was halted to eliminate individuals of unknown origin and pedigree. Wild-born lions were imported to American menagerie from Africa between 1989 and 1995. engender was continued in 1998 in the frame of an african lion Species Survival Plan. [ 203 ] about 77 % of the captive lions registered in the International Species Information System in 2006 were of unknown origin ; these animals might have carried genes that are extinct in the fantastic and may therefore be important to the maintenance of the overall genetic unevenness of the lion. [ 64 ]

Interactions with humans

In menagerie and circuses

lion at Melbourne Zoo 19th-century etching of a lion tame in a cage with lions and tigers Lions are part of a group of alien animals that have been central to zoo exhibits since the belated eighteenth century. Although many modern zoos are more selective about their exhibits, [ 204 ] there are more than 1,000 african and 100 asian lions in menagerie and wildlife parks around the world. They are considered an ambassador species and are kept for tourism, department of education and conservation purposes. [ 205 ] Lions can live over twenty dollar bill years in captivity ; a lion in Honolulu Zoo died at the old age of 22 in August 2007. [ 206 ] His two sisters, born in 1986, besides reached the age of 22. [ 207 ] The foremost european “ menagerie ” spread among noble and royal families in the thirteenth hundred, and until the seventeenth hundred were called seraglios ; at that time they came to be called menageries, an extension of the cabinet of curiosities. They spread from France and Italy during the Renaissance to the rest of Europe. [ 208 ] In England, although the harem custom was less develop, lions were kept at the Tower of London in a harem established by King John in the thirteenth hundred ; [ 209 ] [ 210 ] this was probably stocked with animals from an earlier menagerie started in 1125 by Henry I at his hunting lodge in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, where according to William of Malmesbury lions had been stocked. [ 211 ] Lions were kept in cramped and seamy conditions at London Zoo until a larger lion house with roomier cages was built in the 1870s. [ 212 ] Further changes took place in the early twentieth hundred when Carl Hagenbeck designed enclosures with concrete “ rocks ”, more open distance and a moat rather of bars, more closely resembling a natural habitat. Hagenbeck designed leo enclosures for both Melbourne Zoo and Sydney ‘s Taronga Zoo ; although his designs were democratic, the use of bars and caged enclosures prevailed in many menagerie until the 1960s. [ 213 ] In the late twentieth hundred, larger, more natural enclosures and the practice of telegram mesh or laminated glass alternatively of lower dens allowed visitors to come closer than ever to the animals ; some attractions such as the Cat Forest/Lion Overlook of Oklahoma City Zoological Park placed the lair on grind horizontal surface, higher than visitors. [ 214 ] Lion domesticate has been part of both established circuses and individual acts such as Siegfried & Roy. The drill began in the early on nineteenth century by Frenchman Henri Martin and American Isaac Van Amburgh, who both toured wide and whose techniques were copied by a number of followers. [ 215 ] Van Amburgh performed before Queen Victoria in 1838 when he toured Great Britain. Martin composed a mime titled Les Lions de Mysore ( “ the lions of Mysore ” ), an theme Amburgh quickly borrowed. These acts eclipsed equestrianism acts as the cardinal display of circus shows and entered public awareness in the early twentieth century with cinema. In demonstrating the superiority of human over animal, lion taming served a aim similar to animal fights of former centuries. [ 215 ] The ultimate proof of a tame ‘s laterality and control over a leo is demonstrated by the place of the tamer ‘s drumhead in the leo ‘s mouthpiece. The now-iconic lion tame ‘s president was possibly first used by american Clyde Beatty ( 1903–1965 ). [ 216 ]

Hunting and games

Lion hunt has occurred since ancient times and was much a royal pastime ; intended to demonstrate the power of the baron over nature. The earliest survive record of leo hunt is an ancient egyptian inscription dated circa 1380 BC that mentions Pharaoh Amenhotep III killing 102 lions “ with his own arrows ” during the first gear ten years of his rule. The Assyrians would release captive lions in a reserve space for the king to hunt ; this consequence would be watched by spectators as the king and his men, on horseback or chariots, killed the lions with arrows and spears. Lions were besides hunted during the Mughal Empire, where Emperor Jahangir is said to have excelled at it. [ 217 ] In Ancient Rome, lions were kept by emperors for hunts, gladiator fights and executions. [ 218 ] The Maasai people have traditionally viewed the killing of lions as a rite of passage. Historically, lions were hunted by individuals, however, due to reduced leo populations, elders discourage solo lion hunts. [ 219 ] During the european colonization of Africa in the nineteenth century, the hunt of lions was encouraged because they were considered as vermin and lion hides fetched £1 each. [ 220 ] The widely reproduce imagination of the epic hunter chasing lions would dominate a big part of the century. [ 221 ] Trophy hunt of lions in recent years has been met with controversy ; notably with the kill of Cecil the leo in mid-2015. [ 222 ]


Lions do not normally hunt humans but some ( normally males ) seem to seek them out. One well-publicised case is the Tsavo maneaters ; in 1898, 28 formally recorded railroad track workers building the Kenya-Uganda Railway were taken by lions over nine months during the construction of a bridge in Kenya. [ 223 ] The hunter who killed the lions wrote a koran detailing the animals ‘ predatory behavior ; they were larger than convention and miss manes, and one seemed to suffer from tooth decay. The infirmity theory, including tooth decay, is not favoured by all researchers ; an analysis of teeth and jaws of man-eating lions in museum collections suggests that while tooth decay may explain some incidents, prey depletion in human-dominated areas is a more probably campaign of leo predation on humans. [ 224 ] Sick or injured animals may be more prone to man-eating but the behavior is not unusual, nor inevitably aberrant. [ 225 ] Lions ‘ proclivity for man-eating has been systematically examined. american and tanzanian scientists report that man-eating behavior in rural areas of Tanzania increased greatly from 1990 to 2005. At least 563 villagers were attacked and many eat over this period. The incidents occurred near Selous National Park in Rufiji District and in Lindi Province near the Mozambican border. While the expansion of villages into bush nation is one concern, the authors argue conservation policy must mitigate the risk because in this case, conservation contributes directly to human deaths. Cases in Lindi in which lions seize humans from the centres of significant villages have been documented. [ 226 ] Another report of 1,000 people attacked by lions in southerly Tanzania between 1988 and 2009 found that the weeks following the full moon, when there was less moonlight, were a strong indicator of increased night-time attacks on people. [ 227 ] According to Robert R. Frump, Mozambican refugees regularly crossing Kruger National Park, South Africa, at night are attacked and eaten by lions ; park officials have said man-eating is a trouble there. Frump said thousands may have been killed in the decades after apartheid sealed the parking lot and forced refugees to cross the park at night. For about a century before the margin was sealed, Mozambicans had regularly crossed the park in day with little damage. [ 228 ]

cultural significance

The leo is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture. It has been extensively depicted in sculptures and paintings, on national flags, and in contemporaneous films and literature. [ 45 ] It appeared as a symbol for intensity and nobility in cultures across Europe, Asia and Africa, despite incidents of attacks on people. The lion has been depicted as “ king of the jungle ” and “ king of beasts ”, and therefore became a popular symbol for royalty and stateliness. [ 229 ] The lion is besides used as a symbol of sporting teams. [ 230 ]


In sub-saharan Africa, the leo has been a common quality in stories, proverbs and dances, but rarely featured in ocular arts. [ 231 ] In some cultures, the leo symbolises baron and royalty. [ 232 ] In the Swahili terminology, the leo is known as simba which besides means “ aggressive ”, “ king ” and “ strong ”. [ 55 ] Some rulers had the news “ leo ” in their nickname. Sundiata Keita of the Mali Empire was called “ Lion of Mali ”. [ 233 ] The founder of the Waalo kingdom is said to have been raised by lions and returned to his people part-lion to unite them using the cognition he learned from the lions. [ 232 ] In parts of West Africa, lions symbolised the crown classify of their social hierarchies. [ 232 ] In more heavily forested areas where lions were rare, the leopard represented the top of the hierarchy. [ 231 ] In parts of West and East Africa, the lion is associated with healing and is regarded as the link between seers and the supernatural. In other east african traditions, the lion is the symbol of indolence. [ 232 ] In much of african folklore, the lion is portrayed as having gloomy intelligence and is easily tricked by other animals. [ 233 ] The ancient Egyptians portray several of their war deities as lionesses, which they revered as cutthroat hunters. egyptian deities associated with lions include Sekhmet, Bast, Mafdet, Menhit, Pakhet and Tefnut. [ 229 ] These deities were often connected with the sun god Ra and his ferocious heat, and their dangerous office was invoked to guard people or hallowed places. The sphinx, a digit with a lion ‘s body and the head of a human or other animal, represented a pharaoh or deity who had taken on this protective role. [ 234 ]

Eastern world

The lion was a outstanding symbol in ancient Mesopotamia from Sumer up to Assyrian and Babylonian times, where it was strongly associated with kingship. [ 235 ] Lions were among the major symbols of the goddess Inanna / Ishtar. [ 236 ] [ 237 ] The Lion of Babylon was the first symbol of the Babylonian Empire. [ 238 ] The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal is a celebrated sequence of assyrian akkadian palace reliefs from c. 640 BC, now in the british Museum. [ 239 ] The Lion of Judah is the biblical emblem of the tribe of Judah and the later Kingdom of Judah. [ 240 ] Lions are frequently mentioned in the Bible ; notably in the Book of Daniel in which the eponymous bomber refuses to worship King Darius and is forced to sleep in the lions ‘ hideout where he is miraculously unharmed ( Dan 6 ). In the Book of Judges, Samson kills a leo as he travels to visit a Philistine woman. ( Judg 14 ). [ 241 ] Indo-Persian chroniclers regarded the lion as keeper of order in the kingdom of animals. The Sanskrit word mrigendra signifies a lion as king of animals in general or deer in detail. [ 242 ] Narasimha, the man-lion, is one of ten avatars of the Hindu god Vishnu. [ 243 ] Singh is an ancient indian vedic name meaning “ lion ”, dating back over 2,000 years. It was in the first place used only by Rajputs, a Hindu Kshatriya or military caste but is used by millions of Hindu Rajputs and more than twenty million Sikhs nowadays. [ 244 ] The Lion Capital of Ashoka, erected by Emperor Ashoka in the third hundred CE, depicts four lions standing back to back. It was made the National Emblem of India in 1950. [ 245 ] The lion is besides symbolic for the sinhalese people ; the term derived from the Sanskrit Sinhala, meaning “ of lions ” [ 246 ] while a sword-wielding leo is the central figure on the national flag of Sri Lanka. [ 247 ] The leo is a common motif in chinese artwork ; it was first used in art during the recently spring and Autumn period ( fifth or sixth century BC ) and became more popular during the Han Dynasty ( 206 BC – AD 220 ) when imperial defender lions started to be placed in front of imperial palaces for security. Because lions have never been native to China, early depictions were reasonably unrealistic ; after the insertion of Buddhist art to China in the Tang Dynasty after the sixth century AD, lions were normally depicted wingless with shorter, thick bodies and curly manes. [ 248 ] The lion dance is a traditional dance in taiwanese culture in which performers in leo costumes mimic a lion ‘s movements, frequently with musical accompaniment from cymbals, drums and gongs. They are performed at Chinese New Year, the August Moon Festival and other celebratory occasions for good luck. [ 249 ]

westerly earth

Lion-headed figures and amulets were excavated in grave in the greek islands of Crete, Euboea, Rhodes, Paros and Chios. They are associated with the egyptian deity Sekhmet and date to the early Iron Age between the 9th and 6th centuries BC. [ 250 ] The lion is featured in respective of Aesop ‘s fables, notably The Lion and the Mouse. [ 251 ] The Nemean lion was symbolic in ancient Greece and Rome, represented as the configuration and zodiac signal Leo, and described in mythology, where it was killed and worn by the champion Heracles, [ 252 ] symbolising victory over end. [ 253 ] Lancelot and Gawain were besides hero slaying lions in the Middle Ages. In some medieval stories, lions were portrayed as allies and companions. [ 254 ] “ Lion ” was the dub of several medieval warrior-rulers with a reputation for fearlessness, such as Richard the Lionheart. [ 229 ] Lions continue to appear in mod literature as characters including the messianic Aslan in the 1950 novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, [ 255 ] and the comedic Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum ‘s 1900 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [ 256 ] Lion symbolism was used from the advent of cinema ; one of the most iconic and widely recognize lions is Leo, which has been the mascot for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios since the 1920s. [ 257 ] The 1966 film Born Free features Elsa the lioness and is based on the 1960 non-fiction book with the lapp title. [ 258 ] The lion ‘s character as baron of the beasts has been used in the 1994 Disney animated feature film The Lion King. [ 259 ] Lions are frequently depicted on coats of arms, like on the coat of arms of Finland, [ 260 ] either as a device on shields or as supporters, but the lioness is used much less frequently. [ 261 ] The heraldic lion is particularly park in british arms. It is traditionally depicted in a great variety show of attitudes, although within French heraldry alone lions rampant are considered to be lions ; feline figures in any early status are alternatively referred to as leopards. [ 262 ]

See besides




  1. ^ Populations of India are listed in Appendix I .

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