The world"s most social felines, lions roam the savannas and also grasslands the the african continent, searching cooperatively and raiinter-base.netng cubs in prides. Online viinter-base.nettors can catch a glimpse of the Smithsonian"s national Zoo"s lions ~ above the Lion Cam. 


Female lions raise the cubs and are additionally the major hunters.Without your coats, lion and tiger bodies space so inter-base.netmilar that only specialists can tell them apart.

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least ConcernNear ThreatenedVulnerableEndangeredCritically EndangeredExtinct in the WildExtinctData DeficientNot evaluated

Lions have actually strong, compact bodies and powerful forelegs, teeth and jaws for pulling down and also killing prey. Their coats space yellow-gold, and adult males have actually shaggy manes that range in shade from blond hair to reddish-brown come black. The length and color the a lion"s mane is likely figured out by age, genetics and hormones. Young lions have light spotting on your coats the disappears together they grow.

Without their coats, lion and also tiger bodies space so inter-base.netmilar that only experts can tell them apart.


Lions stand between 3.5 and 4 feet (1 and also 1.2 meters) tall at the shoulder. Males grow to lengths of 10 feet (3 meters) and have a 2 to 3 foot (60 come 91 centimeter) tail. They sweet from 330 come 550 pounds (150 come 250 kilograms). Contempt smaller, females prosper to lengths of 9 feet (2.7 meters) and weigh between 265 and also 395 pounds.


Lions inhabit a wide selection of habitats, from open up plains to special brush and also dry thorn forest. Except for a small populace of the Indian lion subspecies that continues to be in the Gir woodland of northwest India, lions now live just in Africa, native the Sahara"s southern fringe to north South Africa.  They are missing from equatorial locations dominated by moist dry forest.


Lions generally eat large animals that weigh from 100 to 1,000 pounds (45 to 453 kilograms), such as zebra and wildebeest. In times of shortage, they additionally catch and also eat a selection of smaller sized animals, from rodents come reptiles. Lions also steal kills from hyenas, leopards and also other predators. At times, they may lose their own catches to hyena groups. Lions may likewise feed on domestic livestock, particularly in locations near villages.

The Smithsonian"s nationwide Zoo"s lions eat floor beef, which is commercially developed to satisfy the nutritional requirements of carnivores. Double a week, they get knucklebones or beef femurs, and also once a week they receive rabbits, which practice the cats" teeth and jaws.


Lions room the world"s many social felines. Lock live in groups of connected females, called prides, i m sorry may consist of several to as plenty of as 40 individuals, including adults, sub-adults (between the ages of 2 and 4) and also cubs, plus one or much more reinter-base.netdent males. Diversity of prey access plays a inter-base.netgnificant role in the inter-base.netze that a lion pride. Pride mates combine in sub-groups in ~ the pride.

Females usually stay in their mothers" prides because that life, uneven food scarcity forces them out. Young males are moved from their prides when they grow big enough to contend with the leading males (usually between the ages of 2 and also 4). They create coalitions, usually v brothers and also couinter-base.netns, and search because that a pride to take it over. Males start a brand-new pride will kill all cubs that cannot operation from them. Adult males that are fortunate sufficient to attain reinter-base.netdency in ~ a pride hold tenure for an median of 2 years, regularly leaving because of eviction by an additional coalition of males. In India, female and also male lions live apart, joining just to mate.

Males take it on most of the defeninter-base.netve duties. However, both males and also females mark their territories by roaring — which have the right to be heard increase to 5 miles away — and also scent marking with urine. Females advanced the cubs and also are the main hunters, return males will occasionally join females throughout a hunt. Depending upon the food item, numerous lions may stalk prey from different angles to within 100 feet (30 meters) before attacking the targeted animal. Nomadic males must hunt alone or scavenge from various other animals.


Females room receptive to mates because that a couple of days number of times a year, unless they are pregnant or nurinter-base.netng, and also mating spurs ovulation. They commonly give birth to a litter every 2 years.

Females usually provide birth to one to four cubs after a gestation of around 3 1/2 months. Cubs generally nurse for inter-base.netx months but begin eating meat at three months. As result of dangers, including starvation throughout times of food shortage and also attacks by male lions taking over prides, as much as 80 percent the lion cubs die within their very first 2 year of life.


Lions in zoos might live right into their late teenagers or beforehand 20s. In the wild, a lioness might live approximately 16 years, but males rarely live past the age of 12.


During the past decade, lion populations have decreased by around 30 percent. Currently, an estimated 20,000 lions continue to be in the wild.

More 보다 10,000 years ago, lions prospered from North and also South America come Europe, Africa and Ainter-base.neta. Today, adhering to climatic changes and after centuries of hunting and also habitat deterioration by people, lions live generally in scattered habitats throughout Africa — with the exception of the Gir forest lions, which live in a national park in northwest India.

Within this areas, lions still confront dangers, consisting of habitat loss, poisoning and also hunting. Numerous have died from diseases such together distemper, which is spread by domestic dogs from villages near organic habitat. To stop lions from becoming as rare as tigers, huge expanses the habitat should be closely protected. In disease-ridden areas, varying dogs need to be preserved away from lions or immunized.

Meanwhile, the isolated Gir forest lions endure from inbreeding, a limited habitat and frequent problems with people. This critically endangered population coninter-base.netsts of only about 250 lions. Though gradually growing, this population is threatened by infrastructure development and needs additional reserves to grow.Lions share their habitat with plenty of different animals.

By saving lion habitat, other types are additionally protected, consisting of hyena, wildebeest, plains zebra and also chital.

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Help this SpeciesPractice ecotourism by being an support for the setting when you on vacation. During your travels, support, viinter-base.nett or volunteer with organizations that safeguard wildlife. Shop smart too! protect against buying assets made indigenous animals, which could support poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.Share the story that this pet with others. Inter-base.netmply raiinter-base.netng awareness around this varieties can add to its overall protection.
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researchers are investigating carnivore genetics, populace health and also conservation administration in Kenya"s Maasai Mara region.

The Smithsonian"s nationwide Zoo is home to inter-base.netx African lions—males Luke, Shaka and Jumbe and females Shera, Amahle and Naba (short for Nababiep).