There is a reason why the lion is the king of the jungle. For instance, did you know that a lion’s canine teeth are about 10cm long? See what else is amazing about this apex creature.
1. Mighty mane
The one thing that sets male lions apart from other big cats is without a doubt their marvellous manes. No other predator has such a lovely mane. But that big hairdo serves more than one purpose and isn’t only there to impress the females. It protects the male from attacks around his throat and is a sign of his strength and age.
2. We are family
Lions are very sociable animals. A pride can consist of one, two or a few more males, with a few females. Males will fight to the death, or near death, to be the leader of the pack. The females normally stay within the same pride and will hide their young in thick bushes. When the cubs are old enough, they will be introduced to the rest of the pride. The lionesses will protect all the cubs in the pride.
3. Hear that roar
The road of a male lion is distinctive, loud and majestic. It’s not only males who roar, females also roar. Hearing a lion’s roar in the middle of the night can be eery or frightening, if he is close by. This amazing sound can be heard across a distance of up to about 8km away.
4. Time for a catnap
Lions mostly sleep during the day when it is hot. They will lie under bushes in the shade. They use the cover of darkness to hunt their prey, as their vision is adapted to see better in the dark.
5. Big eaters
A male lion usually needs about 7kg of meat a day, but can eat up to 40kg in one sitting. This is understandable for a creature who can weigh up to 250kg. Lionesses eat less – they only need about 5kg a day, but can eat up to about 25kg at a time.
6. King of the jungle
Lions earned this title due to their brutal strength and because they’re at the top of the food chain. They don’t fear other animals and don’t think twice about fighting other predators to get what they want.
Being such powerful creatures, one would think that lions don’t have any enemies, but they do. Hyenas are among their biggest irritations, as they often try to steal the lions’ kill. Sadly, the biggest threat to an adult lion is poachers.