The African Lion

Topics: Lion, The Lion King, Africa Pages: 3 (1111 words) Published: June 28, 2008
The lion is known as king of the jungle because of its huge size and ferocious appearance, the most common type of lion is the African lion. The African lion has the genus species Panthera (panther, leopard) leo (lion). Panthera leo has the common name lion and comes from the felidae family. Panthera leo is in the mammali class and has the order carnivora(Bush Gardens, 1996).

Lions live in sub-Saharan Africa in grasslands and semi-arid plains in prides which is a group of lions that live in the same area and share hunting duties(Bush Gardens,1996). Lions are the only truly social cat species, usually a pride consists of two males, seven females, and any amount of cubs. The lionesses are usually sisters or cousins that have all been together since birth. The average mature male stands four feet at the shoulder, weighs in around 450 pounds and is around eight and a half feet long plus his tail. The female on the other hand is considerably smaller and weighs in at a average of three hundred pounds. Lions usually have a light or dark brown plain spotless coat, white coated lions are sometimes found in southern Africa but they are not true albinos (African Savannah).

The male lion reaches sexual maturity at the age of five years and the lioness- which is the female lion, reaches its sexual maturity at the age of four. Lionesses in a pride usually enter breeding season together and later give birth at the same time which allows the lionesses to share nursing and other maternal duties. The lioness is pregnant between 98 and 105 days until it gives birth to a average of 3 cubs, unfortunately only one of those cubs will survive the first year of life due to the harsh conditions in their habitats (Bush Gardens, 1996). At birth the cubs are blind and move very slow. The cubs weigh less than five pounds (Wild Animals) and are marked with spots which sometimes stay on their legs and belly until they are fully grown. (African Savannah).

When the cubs reach...
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