Lions are the only big cats that live in large groups. Also, they have the loudest roar of any cat, which can be heard for up to five miles!
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Despite the nickname King of the jungle , lions do not live in the jungle. They live in a flat grassy plains called savannas; they usually have a certain place in the savannas where they like to stay. In ancient times, lions roamed nearly every continent. Today, they can commonly be found across central and southern Africa.
There is also a small population in the Gir forest of India on the continent of Asia. Also, most people know lions as "The King of the Beasts" today. Lions have tawny, or yellowish brown, fur. They grow to a length of about 10 feet 3 meters and stand about 4 feet 1. Male lions are larger than the lionesses females , weighing as much as five men or about pounds kilograms.
The more slender lioness usually weighs about as much as points kilograms. Adult males can be recognized by the furry mane that runs around the heads and down the neck. For some lions the mane even runs along the belly. There is no other big cat with such a dramatic difference in appearance between males and females.
Both lions and lionesses have tufts on the end of their tails, something no other cat has.
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If you could touch a male lion's tail, you would feel a sharp bone tucked into the tail tuft. One old legend claims that lions would use the tail spur to whip themselves into a frenzy before fighting. Lions are the most social cats, living in large groups called prides. Prides are made up of one to three related adult males, along with as many as thirty females and cubs.
The females are usually closely related to each other, being a large family of sisters and daughters. Lion prides act much like packs of wolves or dogs, animals surprisingly similar to lions but not other big cats in behavior, and also very deadly to their prey. The male lion is much stronger than the female. This makes him an able protector, especially when a group of females are hunting and the cubs are at risk of marauders, such as hyenas.
Male lions use their muscles and fighting skills to guard the land and keep enemies away.
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Sometimes those enemies are other lions. In prides, cubs are cared for not just by their mothers but by other adult females, as well. Often, one or two lionesses female lions will stay with the cubs while the other females hunt. If a cub becomes an orphan, it is common for it to be cared for by other females who are related to it, perhaps by a lioness who is an aunt or older sister.
According to a study on sciencedirect. The main prey species of all male group types, but particularly nonterritorial males, was buffalo. By contrast, females preyed more frequently on the most abundant medium-sized ungulates, such as wildebeest.
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When young male lions reach the age of one year, they are chased from the prides they are born into by the older male lions. If the lead male is elderly, the young male, either alone or with male siblings, will sometimes fight to take over the leadership of the pride. If the young males leave the pride, they become "rogue" males.
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Baby lions are called cubs. These felines are the largest carnivore in Africa and the second largest species in the cat family, according to the Predator Conservation Trust.
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Adult males have the characteristic mane around their necks and shoulders, with the size, color and extension varying by geographic location. Lion cubs gestate for approximately days and are born in a litter of between one and six babies, although two to three cubs at a time is considered normal by the Predator Conservation Trust. These cats are born helpless and blind away from their pride, as their mothers typically leave to give birth in a safe place shortly before.
The mother and cubs stay in isolation for four to eight weeks. Young cubs are vulnerable to various predators, including hyenas, leopards, jackals, pythons and martial eagles. The mother acts as protector by finding the safest hiding places she can, picking up each cub in her mouth one by one to move them.
She must hunt during this time to maintain her health and milk supply, so there are times the cubs will be left alone. African lions live in prides of between one and three males, along with several females and their cubs, while male lions in India live apart from females and their cubs. When new cubs are introduced to an African pride, the mother makes clear her intentions to protect them from both male and female pride members.
While other females can be aggressive toward the cubs, males are more likely to be a threat. One of the greatest dangers to baby lions is new dominant males who have taken over the pride.
If the mother returns from birthing and early rearing to a shift in male power, the newly instated dominant males will kill her cubs.
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