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Lions are the only cats that live in groups, which are called prides. Prides are
family units that may include up to three males, a dozen or so females,
and their young. All of a pride's lionesses are related,and 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.
Only male lions boast manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that encircles
their heads. Males defend the pride's territory, which may include some
some 100 square miles (259 square kilometers) 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. Many of these animals are faster than lions, so
teamwork pays off.
After the hunt, the group effort often degenerates to squabbling over
the sharing of the kill, with cubs at the bottom of the pecking order.
EYoung lions do not help to hunt until they are about a year old.
Lions have been celebrated throughout history for their courage and strength.
They 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. - National Geographic
Type: Mammal
Size: Head and Body: 4.5 to 6.5ft (1.4 to 2m)
1111 Tail: 26.25 to 39.5in (67 to 100cm)
Weight: 265 to 420lbs (120 to 191kg)
Protection Status: Vulnerable
Size relitive to a
6 ft (2m)man:
Lion - Panthera leo
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