lion discussion

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brightstar99
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lion discussion

Post by brightstar99 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:30 pm

name: the lion (panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus panthera, and a member of the family fedlidae. some males exceeding 250 kg(550 ib) in weight, it is the second lagrest living cat after the tiger.

how many years to live: lions can live up for ten to fourteen years in the wild. lions in captivity, they can live longer than twenty years.


hybrids: Lions have been known to breed with tigers (most often the Siberian and Bengal subspecies) to create hybrids called ligers and tiglons.[34] They also have been crossed with leopards to produce leopons,[35] and jaguars to produce jaglions. The marozi is reputedly a spotted lion or a naturally occurring leopon, while the Congolese Spotted Lion is a complex lion-jaguar-leopard hybrid called a lijagulep. Such hybrids were once commonly bred in zoos, but this is now discouraged due to the emphasis on conserving species and subspecies. Hybrids are still bred in private menageries and in zoos in China.
The liger is a cross between a male lion and a tigress.[36] Because the growth-inhibiting gene from the female tiger is absent, a growth-promoting gene is passed on by the male lion, the resulting ligers grow far larger than either parent. They share physical and behavioural qualities of both parent species (spots and stripes on a sandy background). Male ligers are sterile, but female ligers are often fertile. Males have about a 50 percent chance of having a mane, but if they grow one, their manes will be modest: around 50 percent of a pure lion mane. Ligers are typically between 3.0 and 3.7 m (10 to 12 feet) in length, and can be between 360 and 450 kg (800 to 1,000 pounds) or more.[36] The less common tigon is a cross between the lioness and the male tiger.[37]


characterizes: The lion is the tallest (at the shoulder) of all living cats, averaging about 14 cm (5.5 in) taller than the tiger. Behind only the tiger, the lion is the second largest living felid in length and weight. Its skull is very similar to that of the tiger, although the frontal region is usually more depressed and flattened, with a slightly shorter postorbital region. The lion's skull has broader nasal openings than the tiger. However, due to the amount of skull variation in the two species, usually, only the structure of the lower jaw can be used as a reliable indicator of species.[38] Lion coloration varies from light buff to yellowish, reddish, or dark ochraceous brown. The underparts are generally lighter and the tail tuft is black. Lion cubs are born with brown rosettes (spots) on their body, rather like those of a leopard. Although these fade as lions reach adulthood, faint spots often may still be seen on the legs and underparts, particularly on lionesses.
Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism—that is, males and females look distinctly different. They also have specialised roles that each gender plays in the pride. For instance, the lioness, the hunter, lacks the male's thick bow mane. It seems to impede the male's ability to be camouflaged when stalking the prey and create overheating in chases. The colour of the male's mane varies from blond to black, generally becoming darker as the lion grows.
Weights for adult lions range between 150–250 kg (330–550 lb) for males and 120–182 kg (264–400 lb) for females.[4] Nowell and Jackson report average weights of 181 kg (400 lb) for males and 126 kg (280 lb) for females.[21] Lions tend to vary in size depending on their environment and area, resulting in a wide spread in recorded weights. For instance, lions in southern Africa tend to be about 5 percent heavier than those in East Africa, in general.[39]
Head and body length is 170–250 cm (5 ft 7 in – 8 ft 2 in) in males and 140–175 cm (4 ft 7 in – 5 ft 9 in) in females; shoulder height is up to 123 cm (4 ft) in males and as low as 91 cm (3 ft) in females.[40] The tail length is 90–105 cm (2 ft 11 in - 3 ft 5 in) in males and 70–100 cm in females (2 ft 4 in – 3 ft 3 in).[4] The longest known lion, at nearly 3.6 m (12 ft) in total length, was a black-maned male shot near Mucsso, southern Angola in October 1973; the heaviest lion known in the wild was a man-eater shot in 1936 just outside Hectorspruit in eastern Transvaal, South Africa and weighed 313 kg (690 lb).[41] Another notably outsized male lion, which was shot near Mount Kenya, weighed in at 272 kg (600 lb).[21] Lions in captivity tend to be larger than lions in the wild—the heaviest lion on record is a male at Colchester Zoo in England named Simba in 1970, which weighed 375 kg (826 lb).[42] However, the frequently cited maximum head and body length of 250 cm (8 ft 2 in) fits rather to extinct Pleistocene forms, like the American lion, with even large modern lions measuring several centimeters less in length[43]
The most distinctive characteristic shared by both females and males is that the tail ends in a hairy tuft. In some lions, the tuft conceals a hard "spine" or "spur", approximately 5 mm long, formed of the final sections of tail bone fused together. The lion is the only felid to have a tufted tail—the function of the tuft and spine are unknown. Absent at birth, the tuft develops around 5½ months of age and is readily identifiable at 7 months.[44]

Diet and hunting: Lions are powerful animals that usually hunt in coordinated groups and stalk their chosen prey. However, they are not particularly known for their stamina—for instance, a lioness' heart makes up only 0.57 percent of her body weight (a male's is about 0.45 percent of his body weight), whereas a hyena's heart is close to 1 percent of its body weight.[68] Thus, they only run fast in short bursts,[69] and need to be close to their prey before starting the attack. They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility; many kills take place near some form of cover or at night.[70] They sneak up to the victim until they reach a distance of around 30 metres (98 ft) or less. The lioness is the one who does the hunting for the pride, since the lioness is more aggressive by nature. The male lion usually stays and watches its young while waiting for the lionesses to return from the hunt. Typically, several lionesses work together and encircle the herd from different points. Once they have closed with a herd, they usually target the closest prey. The attack is short and powerful; they attempt to catch the victim with a fast rush and final leap. The prey usually is killed by strangulation,[71] which can cause cerebral ischemia or asphyxia (which results in hypoxemic, or "general", hypoxia). The prey also may be killed by the lion enclosing the animal's mouth and nostrils in its jaws[72] (which would also result in asphyxia). Smaller prey, though, may simply be killed by a swipe of a lion's paw.[4]

Lioness in a burst of speed while hunting in the Serengeti
The prey consists mainly of large mammals, with a preference for wildebeest, impalas, zebras, buffalo, and warthogs in Africa and nilgai, wild boar, and several deer species in India. Many other species are hunted, based on availability. Mainly this will include ungulates weighing between 50 and 300 kg (110–660 lb) such as kudu, hartebeest, gemsbok, and eland.[4] Occasionally, they take relatively small species such as Thomson's gazelle or springbok. Lions hunting in groups are capable of taking down most animals, even healthy adults, but in most parts of their range they rarely attack very large prey such as fully grown male giraffes due to the danger of injury.
Extensive statistics collected over various studies show that lions normally feed on mammals in the range 190–550 kg (420–1210 lb). In Africa, wildebeest rank at the top of preferred prey (making nearly half of the lion prey in the Serengeti) followed by zebra.[73] Most adult hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, elephants, and smaller gazelles, impala, and other agile antelopes are generally excluded. However giraffes and buffalos are often taken in certain regions. For instance, in Kruger National Park, giraffes are regularly hunted.[74] In Manyara Park, Cape buffaloes constitute as much as 62% of the lion's diet,[75] due to the high number density of buffaloes. Occasionally hippopotamus is also taken, but adult rhinoceroses are generally avoided. Even though smaller than 190 kg (420 lb), warthogs are often taken depending on availability.[76] In some areas, lions specialise in hunting atypical prey species; this is the case at the Savuti river, where they prey on elephants.[77] Park guides in the area reported that the lions, driven by extreme hunger, started taking down baby elephants, and then moved on to adolescents and, occasionally, fully grown adults during the night when elephants' vision is poor.[78] Lions also attack domestic livestock; in India cattle contribute significantly to their diet.[49] Lions are capable of killing other predators such as leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs, though (unlike most felids) they seldom devour the competitors after killing them. They also scavenge animals either dead from natural causes (disease) or killed by other predators, and keep a constant lookout for circling vultures, being keenly aware that they indicate an animal dead or in distress.[79] A lion may gorge itself and eat up to 30 kg (66 lb) in one sitting;[80] if it is unable to consume all the kill it will rest for a few hours before consuming more. On a hot day, the pride may retreat to shade leaving a male or two to stand guard.[81] An adult lioness requires an average of about 5 kg (11 lb) of meat per day, a male about 7 kg (15.5 lb).[82]

Because lionesses hunt in open spaces where they are easily seen by their prey, cooperative hunting increases the likelihood of a successful hunt; this is especially true with larger species. Teamwork also enables them to defend their kills more easily against other large predators such as hyenas, which may be attracted by vultures from kilometres away in open savannas. Lionesses do most of the hunting; males attached to prides do not usually participate in hunting, except in the case of larger quarry such as giraffe and buffalo. In typical hunts, each lioness has a favored position in the group, either stalking prey on the "wing" then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the centre of the group and capturing prey in flight from other lionesses.[83] Young lions first display stalking behaviour around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are almost a year old. They begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two.[84]


life cycle and lion cubs: Most lionesses will have reproduced by the time they are four years of age.[95] Lions do not mate at any specific time of year, and the females are polyestrous.[96] As with other cats, the male lion's penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's kitten, which may cause ovulation.[97] A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat;[98] during a mating bout, which could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day and are likely to forgo eating. Lions reproduce very well in captivity

The average gestation period is around 110 days,[96] the female giving birth to a litter of one to four cubs in a secluded den (which may be a thicket, a reed-bed, a cave or some other sheltered area) usually away from the rest of the pride. She will often hunt by herself while the cubs are still helpless, staying relatively close to the thicket or den where the cubs are kept.[99] The cubs themselves are born blind—their eyes do not open until roughly a week after birth. They weigh 1.2–2.1 kg (2.6–4.6 lb) at birth and are almost helpless, beginning to crawl a day or two after birth and walking around three weeks of age.[100] The lioness moves her cubs to a new den site several times a month, carrying them one by one by the nape of the neck, to prevent scent from building up at a single den site and thus avoiding the attention of predators that may harm the cubs.[99]
Usually, the mother does not integrate herself and her cubs back into the pride until the cubs are six to eight weeks old.[101] However, sometimes this introduction to pride life occurs earlier, particularly if other lionesses have given birth at about the same time. For instance, lionesses in a pride often synchronise their reproductive cycles so that they cooperate in the raising and suckling of the young (once the cubs are past the initial stage of isolation with their mother), who suckle indiscriminately from any or all of the nursing females in the pride. In addition to greater protection, the synchronization of births also has an advantage in that the cubs end up being roughly the same size, and thus have an equal chance of survival. If one lioness gives birth to a litter of cubs a couple of months after another lioness, for instance, then the younger cubs, being much smaller than their older brethren, are usually dominated by larger cubs at mealtimes—consequently, death by starvation is more common amongst the younger cubs.

In addition to starvation, cubs also face many other dangers, such as predation by jackals, hyenas, leopards, martial eagles and snakes. Even buffaloes, should they catch the scent of lion cubs, often stampede towards the thicket or den where they are being kept, doing their best to trample the cubs to death while warding off the lioness. Furthermore, when one or more new males oust the previous male(s) associated with a pride, the conqueror(s) often kill any existing young cubs,[102] perhaps because females do not become fertile and receptive until their cubs mature or die. All in all, as many as 80 percent of the cubs will die before the age of two.[103]
When first introduced to the rest of the pride, the cubs initially lack confidence when confronted with adult lions other than their mother. However, they soon begin to immerse themselves in the pride life, playing amongst themselves or attempting to initiate play with the adults. Lionesses with cubs of their own are more likely to be tolerant of another lioness's cubs than lionesses without cubs. The tolerance of the male lions towards the cubs varies—sometimes, a male will patiently let the cubs play with his tail or his mane, whereas another may snarl and bat the cubs away.[104]

The tolerance of male lions towards the cubs varies. They are, however, generally more likely to share food with the cubs than with the lionesses.
Weaning occurs after six to seven months. Male lions reach maturity at about 3 years of age and, at 4–5 years of age, are capable of challenging and displacing the adult male(s) associated with another pride. They begin to age and weaken between 10 and 15 years of age at the latest,[105] if they have not already been critically injured while defending the pride (once ousted from a pride by rival males, male lions rarely manage a second take-over). This leaves a short window for their own offspring to be born and mature. If they are able to procreate as soon as they take over a pride, potentially, they may have more offspring reaching maturity before they also are displaced. A lioness often will attempt to defend her cubs fiercely from a usurping male, but such actions are rarely successful. He usually kills all of the existing cubs who are less than two years old. A lioness is weaker and much lighter than a male; success is more likely when a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against one male.[102]
Contrary to popular belief, it is not only males that are ousted from their pride to become nomads, although most females certainly do remain with their birth pride. However, when the pride becomes too large, the next generation of female cubs may be forced to leave to eke out their own territory. Furthermore, when a new male lion takes over the pride, subadult lions, both male and female, may be evicted.[106] Life is harsh for a female nomad. Nomadic lionesses rarely manage to raise their cubs to maturity, without the protection of other pride members. One scientific study reports that both males and females may interact homosexually.[107][108]



White lions: The white lion is not a distinct subspecies, but a special morph with a genetic condition, leucism,[14] that causes paler colouration akin to that of the white tiger; the condition is similar to melanism, which causes black panthers. They are not albinos, having normal pigmentation in the eyes and skin. White Transvaal lion (Panthera leo krugeri) individuals occasionally have been encountered in and around Kruger National Park and the adjacent Timbavati Private Game Reserve in eastern South Africa, but are more commonly found in captivity, where breeders deliberately select them. The unusual cream colour of their coats is due to a recessive gene.[52] Reportedly, they have been bred in camps in South Africa for use as trophies to be killed during canned hunts.[53]
Kevin Richardson is an animal behaviourist who works with the native big cats of Africa. He currently works in a special facility called the Kingdom of the White Lion in Broederstroom[54] which is 50 miles form Johannesburg.[55] The site was built with the help of Rodney Fuhr[56] and was made for the movie set of White Lion: Home is a Journey.[55] He has 39 white lions on-site[54] and works diligently to protect and preserve the white lion type. While the park is currently a private property, there are plans to open it to the public soon.[57]


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Re: lion discussion

Post by Mr Wolf25 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:29 pm

Very good information, I made an article regarding how people perceive lions and their actual situation, If anybody wants to see it you can check it out:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NYz ... t?hl=en_US#
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Re: lion discussion

Post by brightstar99 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:42 pm

Mr Wolf25 wrote:Very good information, I made an article regarding how people perceive lions and their actual situation, If anybody wants to see it you can check it out:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NYz ... t?hl=en_US#
thank you for sharing the link to a website about how people perceive lions, mr wolf.
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Re: lion discussion

Post by Mr Wolf25 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:45 pm

not just that, but how should they be perceived.
but, it's ok :)
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Re: lion discussion

Post by Silver_Stream00 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:23 am

I think lions are majestic animals. The lionesses are incredably skilled in hunting.
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Re: lion discussion

Post by WolvesOfTheSeas » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:43 pm

Wow Thanks for sharing this BrightStar! It gave more things about Lions and I would to add something you great information That lions are being Poisoned by Hunters it just so sad

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