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Description of Lion

´╗┐Surpassed in size only by tigers, African male lions range in weight from 330 to 420 pounds, stand about forty-eight inches tall at the shoulder, and average 8 to 9.5 feet in length, including the tail. Females are smaller, weighing from260 to 350 pounds, stand about forty inches tall, and average seven to eight feet in length. The Asian lion subspecies (Panthera leo persica) is similar in size, but somewhat shorter and stockier in build. Among cats, lions are the only species to show sexual dimorphism-mature males display a distinctive mane encircling their head and shoulders; it darkens with age, giving the lion a majestic look. Coat color is normally tawny yellow to reddish brown in both sexes, with black accents on ears, tail tips, and manes. Cubs are born spotted, but by three months of age begin showing the uniform coat color of their parents.

Lion Behavior

Unlike other wild cat species, lions live and hunt in groups, called prides. (Domestic cats exhibit some similarities in group behavior.) The pride's core consists of two to twelve closely related lionesses, who assist each other in raising their cubs. Female offspring usually remain members of the group, but males are driven off before becoming sexually mature. Two to four unrelated males live with the pride, fathering the cubs, protecting the pride, and proclaiming their territory with scent marks and loud roars that can be heard for five miles. Males rarely control a pride more than three or four years before being replaced by younger, more powerful challengers. Lions are crepuscular hunters, preferring to rest in the shade during the heat of the day; they emerge at sunset or in the early morning to pursue their prey. Lionesses do most of the killing, cooperating when stalking and ambushing victims. The preferred targets are medium to large hoofed animals such as antelopes, zebras, and wildebeests. Males rarely participate in chases unless their weight is needed to bring down large bull buffaloes; however, males claim first place at the pride's feasts. Lions are also opportunistic scavengers, stealing prey from leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas. Similar to other big cats, lions kill by biting their victims' necks, strangling them, or severing their spinal cords with sharp canine teeth. Scissoring carnassials and rasplike papillae leave little of their victims other than bones and skin.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

Photo Gallery of Lion