Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lion - The Most Social Animal Out of All Cats

Lions are the second largest living cats today. Though they were spread all over the world at one time, they are limited to Sub Saharan Africa and a few areas of Asia today. Even the available population of these animals is endangered due to loss of their habitat as a result of human activities. During the past two decades alone the population of these majestic animals has come down by 30 to 50%.
In the wild a lion may live 10 to 15 years. Generally, a male will live only around 10 years as they often get injured fighting with other males. In captivity there have been occasions where they have lived up to 20 years. They normally live in grasslands and savannas. However, they could be found in forests also. They are highly social animals. A pride of lions consists of a few females that are related and a few males. They live together and hunt as a pack. It is the females that do the hunting.
Lion is the tallest of cats being at least 5.5 inches taller than a tiger. However, a lion is not as strong as a tiger. Color of these animals varies from light brown to reddish. They are animals that have distinctive differences between the males and the females of the species. The male lion has a shaggy main and the female doesn't have one. Even the roles of the males and the females in the pride are different. It is the females that do the hunting.
When it comes to the lifestyle of lions it is noticed that they either live in groups that are called prides and confine to certain territories or roam the jungles as lone animals. This second type of animals is called nomads. While the lionesses do the hunting the lions look after the territory. When the cubs are born they are nursed by the mothers. Once the males grow up they are abandoned by mothers. These grown up cubs that become adult males become nomads.
Though lions are carnivorous animals they are not able to run fast for long distances. Therefore, they need to close on a prey stealthily until they come as close as 30 meters to the prey. Once they close on a heard of animals they select the closest animal and chase after it. Often they surround the animal on a few sides to make it easy to catch the prey. It is the hunters that eat the flesh of the prey first.

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