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    Home >> Wildlife >> Lions

    Lions

    The lion (Panthera leo) is a member of the family Felidae and one of four big cats in the genus Panthera. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight,it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with a critically endangered remnant population in northwest India, having disappeared from North Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia in historic times.


      In captivity both male and female lions can live for over 20 years. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and keystone predator, although they will resort to scavenging if the opportunity arises. While lions, in general, do not selectively hunt humans, some have been known to become man-eaters and seek human prey.

     


    The male lion is highly distinctive and is easily recognized by its mane. The lion, particularly the face of the male, is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture.

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