20 Amazing Facts about Lions

December 14, 2011 Animals, Random OMG Facts

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  • Lions are the only social cats, living in groups called prides.
  • A pride comprises of interrelated females and one to four adult males ~ young male lions are kicked out of the pride when they show signs of maturity.
  • A male lion marks the territory of his pride by spraying a mixture of urine and glandular secretions on tree trunks and bushes.
  • Most lions drink water daily if available, but can go four or five days without it.
  • Lions in captivity live twice as long as those in the wild (25-30 years in captivity; 15 in the wild).
  • For the lion and lioness couple, it’s all about quantity, not quality. Though romps usually only last for 10 seconds, the process is repeated up to 40 times a day.
  • A lion can run up to a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour.
  • The lion is the only member of the cat family with a tasselled tail, which serves a purpose beyond aesthetics. It’s often used to signal to other members of the pride, with messages ranging from directional, “this way” commands to flirtatious, “come hither” invitations.
  • The lions cubs are very vulnerable to predators such as hyenas, leopards and black-backed jackals. At three months old they start displaying stalking behavior although they don’t begin hunting until they are about 1. It takes another year until they until they begin to hunt efficiently. Around the same time they leave the comfort of their mother.
  • Lions remain inactive for up to 20 hours each day. They wait until the coolest, darkest times to hunt.
  • Hunting generally is done in the dark by the lionesses. They often hunt in groups of two or three, using teamwork to stalk, surround, and kill their prey.
  • Lionesses aren’t the most successful of hunters, because they usually score only one kill out of several tries. After the kill the males usually eat first, lionesses next—and the cubs get what’s left.
  • Unlike most cats, lions are excellent swimmers.
  • Although lions seem to be all one color, closer inspection reveals patches of white inside their legs and on their bellies.
  • A lion’s roar can be heard from as far as 5 miles away.
  • Each adult lion needs 10-15 pounds of meat every day.
  • Lions are  featured in the Puranic texts of Hinduism were Narasimaha (“man-lion”) a half man, half lion incarnation of Vishnu is worshipped by his devotees and saved the child devotee Prahlada from his father, the evil demon king Hiranyakashipu.
  • Lions have hair rather than fur. Hair is defined as a single-layered, thin coat and fur is a double-layered, insulated coat.
  • When lions breed with tigers the resulting hybrids are known as ligers and tigons. There are also lion and leopard hybrids known as leopons and lion and jaguar hybrids known as jaglions.
  • When an animal is killed, lions will eat virtually every part of it–the skin, meat, intestines, even the eyeballs.
    But they don’t eat the stomach. It must smell bad to lions because they often bury it.

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