Lions are large cats that live in groups and are usually called prides. All lionesses of the pride are related, and female cubs typically stay with groups of their age. Young males eventually leave and create their own prides by taking over a group with another male leader.
Only the male lions have manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that encircles their heads. Males carefully defend and offer safety to the pride's territory, which can comprise about 100 square miles of grasslands, scrub, or open woodlands. These intimidating animals mark their area with urine forming their territory. Female lions are the most important hunters in prides. They often team up to prey upon antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and other big animals which live in the open grasslands.
Lions have been celebrated and admired during the time for their courage and strength. Lions once roamed most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. Nowadays they can be seen only in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, except a very small population of Asian lions that survived in India's Gir Forest. The lion can reach a highest speed of about 50 miles per hour. Although male lions don't use speed for hunting, because the lionesses practice this. The lion is also the second largest cat in the world after the tiger, reaching sizes of up to 550 lbs.
Interesting facts about lions
The body of the lion is very muscular,featuring less bone mass than compared with animals of the same size.
The forebody of the lion is very powerfully built, and has the greatest forebody strength in the cat’s family. The bones of the front legs are twisted in such a great manner offering a good range of motion to the forelimb.
Each paw includes soft pads that permit to its movements to be quiet. Extra bones in the toe joints give the toes a wide range of motion. The claws are retractible and very sharp. Mostly species of lions have their bodies covered by a sandy brown coat, but there is also a white variant that appears once in a while, especially in the Timbavati region of South Africa. Lions which have a very dark brown coat have been observed, but this species are really rare.
The mature male lion has a mane that covers the backside of the head, and the shoulders. The extent of the mane varies at each animal, as some of them have no mane at all, while others have a luxurious mane that runs onto the body, along the abdomen.The mane has a different color from the rest of the body, and becomes darker with age. The lions from the Serengeti area and from North Africa are distinguished with a nearly black mane. Like the body hair, the color of the mane is determined by the proportion of dark hairs to light hairs present. The hair of the mane is stiff and wiry, like stiff horeshair. The primary role of the mane is protecting the male during fights, and besides this it also has been discovered that female lions love the males with bigger and darker manes.
The eyes of the lions are proportinaly larger then on the other animals with the same size, posessing round pupils. Like most cats, the lions are visual animals. The eyes are perfectly adapted for use under very low light. This allows the lion to hunt during the night. A lion's eyes do not glow in the dark, but they feature a special reflective coating that will reflect even moonlight. This increases the visual acuity of the animal in very low light. Their eyes are effective even by starlight.
The sense of smell is well developed at these amazing runners. Lions mark their territories this necessitating a very good sense of smell. This extraordinary sense helps them find preys killed by other predators, and perhaps obtain an easy meal. Another interesting fact that lions and all other cats posess is a quite special olfactory organ on the roof of the mouth known as Jacobson's organ. Sometimes, the tourists will get to see a lion, or their cat as well, grimace when smelling something. The sense of hearing is perhaps only slightly above average. The ears can be swiveled over a wide angle to enable the lion to hear distant sounds, and they already know from what direction these sounds are coming.
The lion's teeth are well -adapted for killing their prey and eating it. The great canine teeth are spaced such that they can slip between the cervical vertebrae of their favorite-sized prey animals, and sever the spinal cord. These beautiful animals are also a treasured pearl for our planet. They represent very beautiful attractions for tourists who are interested to find out more about their lifestyle. They run very fast and they are very slick when hunting, loving to attack their prey in a very spectacular way.
By Eugenia Cvasov
The Fastest Animals in the World .
If something moves, someone else wants to know how fast it moves and the speed that is registered. We cannot deny - the need for speed is in our blood.
To be fast in the animal kingdom is a very important factor when it comes to surviving. To have a fast pair of legs can save the animals life and help catch up their food. This case is valid in the human world also, not only in the animal kingdom. The animals can move in a different way, but they all fight for one thing, just to stay alive. Several animals can run extremely fast and keep peace in their natural environment. These are really unique animals that enchant our eyes with spectacular races and fights. Take a deep look how far some creatures have to be in order to get away. For true lovers of animals we will recommend a list of the fastest animals in the world with a lot of useful and interesting information.