lionPhoto Credit: Stansell, Ken

Panthera Leo

Also Known As: African Lion

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Size: Males are large than females; between 7 and 11 feet long, weighing in between 260 to 550 pounds.

Range: Central to Southern Africa.

Habitat: savannah, grasslands, forested, semi-desert

Diet: Carnivorous; prefers small mammals, also birds, fishes, eggs, amphibians and reptiles.

Breeding: Year round; though the peak is during monsoon season.

Nesting: 1 to 6 cubs born in a thicket, den or cave, the cubs weigh in at 2 to 5 pounds at birth.

Notes: Though the manes define male from the a female, there is a species of maneless male lions in Tsavo, Africa.

Warnings: Though lions are known not to hunt people, there is a much publicized case of two lions attacking and killing human beings in Tsavo, Africa in 1898. The reasons for the man-eaters behavior is unknown to this day.

Description & Behavior
The African Lion has a long, streamline, muscled, lean body with thick, short haired coat that ranges in color from beige to tawny. The African Lion male of the species can grow a main that varies from black to blond in color. Both males and females have a long tails with a black tuft on the very end of it. The underside of the African Lion is white. Cubs of this species have grey coats with brown spots.