The King of Beasts! The impressive mane, which encircles the head of the adult male lion, helps the lion to attract females. Male African lions will defend their territory fiercely and mark it with urine to help convey the message to other lions to stay away. The territory of one pride of lions may include 100 square miles (about half the size of the City of El Paso) of grasslands or open woodlands.
- African lions are one of four big cats surviving in our world today along with the tiger, leopard, and jaguar.
- They are in the same family as the domestic cat, Felidae.
- The lion’s color helps it blend in with its grassland environment. Young lions have faint brown spots that disappear as they mature. These spots provide camouflage to help protect them from predators, like hyenas.
- You can hear a lion’s roar from 5 miles away!
- Lions are the only cats that live in groups, called prides, though there is one population of solitary lions. Prides may comprise anywhere from 2 to 40 lions.
Species: P. Leo
African lions once roamed most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe, but the species has disappeared from 94 percent of its historic range and can only be found today in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. These lions stick to the grasslands, scrub, or open woodlands where they can more easily hunt their prey, but they can live in most habitats aside from tropical rain-forests and deserts.