African Lion Facts

African lion portrait

The African lion is a massive, tawny colored predator of the cat family. On average, the lion is the tallest of the big cats, but the Siberian tiger tends to be considerably longer and heavier. The male lion has a distinctive ruff of hair around the head and neck known as a mane which begins to develop when he is about 10 months old. Compared to other cats, lions are very social animals and live in groups of 5 to 25 individuals called prides. The pride is made up of several related adult females, their cubs, and some adult males. The males, often brothers, may come and go, and even be members of more than one pride at a time. The females hunt together, only occasionally being helped by the male members, but when the hunt is over the adult males, generally 30 to 40 percent larger, eat first. African lions roam the grasslands and vast savannas of central and south Africa, The smaller, lighter colored Asiatic lion lives in the jungles of south Asia in very small numbers. - African Lion Facts

African lions
   -AnimalStats-                 African Lion Facts
Male Female Young Plural Social Unit Home
lion lioness cub lions pride Africa
Habitat FavoriteFood Enemies Color JuvenileColor
grassland zebra none tan dappled male has mane
Top Speed Avg.Height Avg.Length Tail Lngth Avg.Weight Record Weight
32 mph 42-52 inches M-7ft.  F-6ft. 3-3.5ft M-400   F-280 826 lbs.
Estrus Cyc. Gestation # of Young Birth Wght Birth Height At Birth
poly 1-3 x yr. 110-120 days. 2 - 4 3-4lbs 6 in. blind,fine hair
Eyes Open Walk  Raised By Weaned Independent Maturity
1-2 weeks 3 weeks group 6 months 1 year 2-3 years
Lifespan Endangered? Pop./ Wild Pop./ Zoos
12-16 years vulnerable 20,000 apx. 1500 apx.

King of the Jungle

African lions snugglingKing of the Jungle? Of the 20,000 lions in the wild, only 250-300 highly endangered Asiatic lions

live in the Gir jungle of India. The familiar African lion lives in savanna grasslands.

African Lion Facts and African Lion Information Featuring the -AnimalStats- Fact Files

lion film strip

Making More African Lions

African lioness and cubs

The female lion is poly-estrus, which means she may ovulate up to 4 times a year until she is impregnated. When in estrus or "heat", she will pair up with a male of the pride for a few days during which time they will mate repeatedly. Her pregnancy takes 3 1/2 to 4 months and when ready to deliver she will leave the pride to find a good nesting spot. She delivers 2 to 4 cubs and

remains secluded with them for several weeks before returning to the pride and introducing the new members. This is a dangerous time for mother and cubs, and she will usually fast for days while tending to her young. When she returns to the pride with the new cubs she is greeted with much nuzzling, inspecting and celebrating. The cubs will be nurtured by the whole pride at this point, and if cubs are orphaned, another lioness will usually adopt them and even nurse them. Female cubs will live with the pride their entire lives and never leave. Male cubs will leave the pride, usually driven off by the adult males, when they are about two years old. They will live alone, or band together in small groups of "bachelor" males called "coalitions" Most males will never return to a pride, and will never mate. Only the strongest and boldest will attempt to takeover a pride by driving the established males out. Once a new male or new group of males take over, they will often - but not always- kill the youngest cubs in order to begin their own families. The mothers are helpless against this, but in the life of a lioness this doesn't happen often. New males may come in every two years or so, and if the timing is right, the cubs may be old enough not to be harmed. The main catalyst for the killing of the cubs appears to be an attempt to free up those mother lions to mate again, and, in fact, lionesses who lose their cubs for almost any reason will come back into heat very quickly. - African Lion Facts

Vote Here For Your Favorite Animal...

A Dogs' Life

African lion prideFar more canine than feline in behavior, the lion pride is a close-knit, social group where individuals maintain long term, often life-long relationships, cooperate in the raising of the young, and hunt down dinner as a unit.

A Thorny Crown for the King of Beasts

old male African lion

While it's often said the lioness does "all the work", the truth is that the life of a male lion can be much tougher. As young adults, males are pushed out of the pride by the dominant males of the moment. They may spend years alone or in small groups of other males called rouges, often made up of brothers. As they mature and grow, they prepare to return to the pride or neighboring prides and unseat the dominant males in fierce, sometimes fatal battles. If they succeed they will often kill any cubs from the former king. Now, as the dominant males, they will mate with the females in the pride as they come into season, and otherwise doze in the sun or sleep in the shade up to 20 hours a day, waiting for the females to catch dinner. They will battle any males who try to overthrow them, and eventually they will loose the fight, after only a few months or short years of glory, and sometimes to one or more of their own sons. Banished again from the pride, older and war-weary, they most likely spend the rest of their years on the outside of the pride looking in. Kind of a thorny crown, don't you think? - African Lion Facts

Good Hair Goes a Long Way

African lions maneRivaled only by the horse, the male African lion in full mane is a true icon of the animal kingdom. His unmistakeable image has graced some of the oldest coins, works of art, and jewelry in history. We humans have found ourselves awestruck for many thousands of years and for fine reason


A Few More African Lion Facts

African Lion

Animal Extreme Close-up - African LionAfrican lion yawning

go to animal extreme close-ups!

Back from African Lion Facts to Animal Facts

What do you think of these fabulous animals? Leave a comment in the box below.


Animals in the News 

  • How Intelligent are Elephants?
    When examining the neocortex of elephants scientists discover that it is highly complex, and when analyzing the volume of the cerebral cortex which  indicates a brains ability for cognitive thought, it is actually Asian elephants - not chimps or whales- that have the greatest capacity.

    See Elephant Facts »

  • Our Amazing Domestic Partnercamel facts
    The incredible dromedary camel has been domesticated for over 5000 years - longer than the horse!- and has been one of human-kinds most important partners through the millenniums. ..

    Read The Full Story »

  • The Great Apes
    The zoological family Hominidae was once occupied by human beings alone, but the modern classification places all five great apes (including us) in this family.  

    Read The Full Story »

Animal Videos Coming Soon

Cat Breeds is getting a facelift! New website launching June 15th! 

Read more »

This Weeks Top Five Favorite Animals