The lion (Panthera leo), also known as African lion, is a very big carnivorous feline that roams sub-Saharan Africa's many savannas, plains, woodlands, semideserts, forests, dense brush, scrublands and grasslands. A smaller population of lions lives in forests of western India. When it comes to habitat, these big cats are very diverse. Although lions are indeed massive, tigers (Panthera tigris) are larger.
Lion Average Weight
In general, fully grown male lions weigh in at around 420 pounds, according to Animal Diversity Web of the University of Michigan. They are significantly bigger than female lions, which generally weigh about 280 pounds. The heftiest weight reported for a male lion is approximately 600 pounds -- almost 200 pounds more than the average. Large as some lions are, Siberian tigers -- a Panthera tigris subspecies -- grow to more than 930 pounds in weight in extreme cases. The average height of the Siberian tiger is slightly under 4 feet at the shoulders.
Lion Average Height
Male lions are also usually a little bit taller than female lions, although not usually by a lot. At the shoulder area, the males typically reach around 4 feet.
Tail and Body Average Length
Lion tails are usually somewhere between 26 inches and 40 inches long, according to the National Geographic. Male lions are usually a little more than 6 feet long, while females are usually slightly less than 6 feet, not including the tail.
Typical Lion Diet
Lions are big-time predators. They go after wildebeests, wild hogs, zebras, antelopes, hares, birds, amphibians, impalas, fish, gazelles, giraffes, ostrich eggs, reptiles, rodents, and buffalo. These felines seek out mammals that are between small and moderate size. Lions also are in no way choosy. If a lion can catch an animal, she'll most likely eat it. Female lions do not have manes, so they stand out far less than males, and they do most of the hunting. Although lions are ferocious, strong and large, they do have some predators of their own. These include human beings and hyenas.
- IUCN Red List: Panthera Leo
- WWF: Lion
- WWF: African Lion
- Arkive: Lion
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Panthera Leo
- National Geographic: African Lion
- Cooperative Mammalian Brain Collections: Lion
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Panthera Tigris
- Feline Conservation Federation: Lion
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