Lion - Mammals

Lion - map of occurrence


Panthera leo

conservation status Vulnerable

Weight: males 180-230kg (400-500lb), females 110-140kg (250-300lb)
Shoulder height: 1-1.2m (3ft 4in -4ft)
Lenght: 1.5-2m (5-7ft) + tail 0.7-1m (2ft 4in - 3ft 3in)
Wild population: approx. 30.000 individuals
Lifespan: males 12 years, females 15-20 years
Gestation: 3.5 months, 2-6 cups
Voice: roar, deep growl, snarls, grunts, hisses
Identification females are smaller than males, males with blond,
brown or black mane fully developed at 5-6 years
Range: south of Sahara, from Senegal to Ethiopia, east, south east
and south Africa
Habitat: lightly wooded country, savannas, rocky outcrops
thornbush, lions avoid densely forested areas

Protecting organisations: Lion Conservation Fund Panthera

It is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Only male lions boast manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that encircles their heads. Mane is usully black, brown or blond.
Lions are the only cats that live in prides. Pride is a family unit that may include coalition of up to three males (usually brothers or cousins), 4-10 related females (not related with the males), and their young. Female cubs typically stay with the group as they age. Young males eventually leave and establish their own prides by taking over a group headed by another male. Lions without the pride are called "nomads". Males have to go through this lifestyle and some never are able to join another pride. A female who becomes a nomad has much greater difficulty joining a new pride, as the females in a pride are related, and they reject most attempts by an unrelated female to join their family group.
The area a pride occupies is called a pride area, whereas that by a nomad is a range. Males defend the pride's territory, which may include some 100 square miles (250km2) of grasslands, scrub, or open woodlands. These intimidating animals mark the area with urine, roar menacingly to warn intruders, and chase off animals that encroach on their turf.
Female lions are the pride's primary hunters. They often work together to prey upon antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and other large animals of the open grasslands. In some areas they even specialize on buffaloes or smaller elephants. Other predators like cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs are much more efficient hunters so lions often steal kills from them.
Lions once roamed most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. Today they are found only in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, except for one very small population of Asian lions that survives in India's Gir Forest. About 300 lions live in a 1412 km² (558 square miles) sanctuary in the state of Gujarat, which covers most of the forest. Their numbers are slowly increasing. Another very interesting subspecies known as maneless lions from Tsavo in Eastern Kenya are much closer genetically to lions in Transvaal (South Africa), than to those in the Aberdare Range in Western Kenya.
Though adult lions have no natural predators, evidence suggests that the majority die violently from humans or other lions. This is particularly true of male lions, who, as the main defenders of the pride, are more likely to come into aggressive contact with rival males.

Lion (Panthera leo) - lion sunrise waterhole
Lion (Panthera leo) - lion sunrise waterholeLion (Panthera leo) - lioness climbing the tree Luangwa sunsetLion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) - lionesses morning hunt kill wildebeest masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - lionesses cubs playing sunrise masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - lioness climbing the tree Luangwa sunsetLion (Panthera leo) - lion on a buffalo kill LuangwaLion (Panthera leo) - morning savanna masai mara relaxingLion (Panthera leo) - masai mara black-manedLion (Panthera leo) - sunrise masai mara cubLion (Panthera leo) -  lions sunrise kill masai mara cubsLion (Panthera leo) - feeding lions kill LuangwaLion (Panthera leo) - matured sunrise masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - young grass sunsetLion (Panthera leo) - cub kill buffaloLion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) - nomad masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - lions sunrise masai mara killLion (Panthera leo) - sunsrise masai mara cubLion (Panthera leo) - sunrise masai mara cubLion (Panthera leo) - masai mara savannaLion (Panthera leo) - lionesses cubs masai maraLion (Panthera leo) -  lions sunrise kill masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - morning savanna masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - mane detail sunrise masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - young sunrise masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) - young roaring sunsetLion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) - grass masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - lioness detail masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - walking savanna masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - lion cub detail masai maraLion (Panthera leo) - lion cub feedingLion (Panthera leo) - Lion (Panthera leo) -
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camera:NIKON D300
lens:Sigma 120-300 mm F2.8 APO EX DG IF HSM
extender:Sigma APO 1.4 EX DG
focal length:420 mm
exposure time:1/800 s
stativ:Manfrotto Nature 190 + MA 322RC 2
location:Masai Mara, Kenya