If we wonder which animal deserves to be the king of the jungle, the answer must be Lion. Even it has the predicate as the King, in fact, Lion includes in the cat family. Perhaps, you think that the lion is not as cute as the cat, don’t you? Indeed, the lion is the large version of cat. It is a muscular and rounded head animal. Its tail has a hairy tuft on the tip. It will be easier to differentiate between the male and female lion. It is because their body shape is different. Males are always larger than the female lion. Besides, the male lion also has the dense hair which is called as manes. This mane will make us easier to recognize this creature. There are many types of Lion in the world. One of them is the African lion. This article will discuss more African Lion.
The brief description of Lion Animal
Lion is one of the cat species. It is a big muscular cat with rounded head and ears. The weight of Lion usually ranges between 150 up to 250 kg. The habitat of this animal is in the savannas or grasslands. But, you will not be able to find this animal in a dense forest. You will be easier to find the lion in Africa, Eurasia, and America. Unfortunately, the population of Lion decreases by 43% in Africa. The cause of the declining population is the habitat loss. Besides, they also have the conflict with the human.
Unlike other big cat species, Lion animal is diurnal. It means this animal is active in the day. But, when they are threatened, they will be able to adapt to be active during the night. Lion has become the animal symbol in every culture. No doubt, we can find many sculptures or paintings about Lion. In France, the carving, as well as the painting about the lion, are found 17.000 years ago. It means the ancients believe that the lion is a powerful animal. Besides, you can even find the lion picture on the national flag. Singapore even uses Lion as the symbol of its country.
Scientific Classification of African Lion
After knowing about the general description of the lion. We can start discussing about African Lion. In fact, there are many types of lion based on their origin. For instance, there are American lion and African lion. Each type or species of Lion must have the typical characteristics. The characteristics include the body shape, habitat, or the living method. Before talking further about the characteristics of African Lion, let’s see the scientific classification of African Lion. The complete classification can be seen from this following table.
|Subspecies||P. l. leo and P.I. melanochaita|
|Common Name||African Lion|
|Scientific Name||Panthera leo|
|Weight||265 to 420 lbs|
From the table above, we can see that Lion is a mammal. So, it gives birth to its baby. The baby or the child of the lion is called as Lion cub. As a carnivore, Lion always hunts its prey. The unique fact about Lion is that the hunter is not the male lion. Even they live in groups, the female lion will hunt the prey. Furthermore, Lion is the only cat species which lives in the group. The group of Lion is known as Prides. It is the family group. Usually, every pride has three male lion, a dozen female lions, and their cubs. All the members of one pride are related. So, all of them are the family. The female lion always stays with this group as long as its life. In contrast, the young male lion will leave this pride. Then, they will create their own pride.
The Kinds of African Lion
African is the suitable habitat for Lion. It is because this continent has the wide area of grassland. When someone mentions the African Lion, you must think that it is only one kind of Lion. But, you are definitely wrong. African Lion consists of some species. The classification of African Lion is based on its habitat. For your information, there are five kinds of lion animal in Africa. They are Barbary Lion, West African Lion, Central African Lion, Southern Lion, and White Lion. The complete explanation about each species of Lion can be seen in the following paragraph.
- Barbary Lion.
The Barbary lions are the extinct Lion African lion subgroup. Indeed, the Barbary lion is also known as the Nothern lion. It means you can find the Barbary lion in the northern part of Africa. The habitat of the Barbary lion spreads from Egypt to Atlas mountain. Unfortunately, the population of the African lion in this northern part is extinct. This issue can occur because of the excessive hunting. The population of this Barbary lion was in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Libya.
Unfortunately, this Barbary lion has been extinct in the middle of 19 century. This North African lion is also known as the Egyptian lion, Berber lion, or Atlas lion. The characteristics of the North African Lion are as the following.
- The fur of this lion has the greyish tawny color.
- The male lion has the long and dark manes. This mane extends over the lion’s shoulder and their belly. Besides, the length of the manes is about 8 up to 22 cm.
- The length of the male body varies from 2.3 to 2.8 meters. Besides, the length of the female lion is about 2,5 meters.
- Barbary lion is bigger than other types of the lion.
- The average weight of North African lion reaches 300 kg.
- West African Lion
As like its name, the West African lions live in the west part of Africa. The status of this West African lion is critically endangered. Nowadays, the population of this lion is less than 250 lions. The scientific research shows that the West African lion is related to North African lion, Central African, and the Asian lion. No doubt, the population of that lion is classified under the same species, P.I.leo. Curious about the characteristics of West African Lion? Check out some points below.
- The color of West African lion varies from the light yellow to the dark brown color.
- It has the rounded ears as well as the black tail.
- The length of the male West African lion is around 2.47 to 2.84 meters.
- The weight of the male is about 148 up to 190 kg.
- The female West African lion is smaller.
- Central African Lion.
Central African lions still exist today. We can find this Central African lion in Sudan, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, and the Central African Republic. The Phylogeographic research states that Central African lion is the subgroup of the Northern African lion. It is because The Central African lion is genetically close to the population of North as well as West African lion. This group of the lion has two subspecies, they are P.I melanochaita and P.I.leo. the population of the Central African lion is as the following.
- There are 100 up to 400 lions live in Benoue National Park, Cameroon. Besides, another lion group lives in Waza National Park.
- There are 150 up to 500 lions live in the Central African Republic.
- Besides, in the Congo, there are 175 lions. They live in Garamba National Park.
- Southern Lion.
The Southern lion has the scientific name as Panthera leo melanochaita. This African lion lives in the East and Southern part of Africa. Unfortunately, the Southern African Lions are extinct in Eritrea, Lesotho, and Djibouti. But, since the 21st century, the population of the Southern lion has increased in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. However, the population of this species declines in the East African country. The cause of this declining is the habitat loss and the prey base. Besides, the local people also kill this animal for the livestock. The characteristics of Southern African lion can be seen from the explanation below.
- The Southern African lion or P.I melanochaita is from the Cape of Good Hope. No doubt, this lion is also known as Cape Lion.
- It is easy to distinguish Southern lion with other African lions. It is so since it has the black manes. Besides other lions may have the brown manes.
- The color of Southern lion varies from the light yellowish to the dark brown color.
- The average length of the Southern male lion is 2.47 up to 2.84 meters.
- The average weight of the male lion is about 148 up to 190 kg.
- The female Southern African lion is smaller than the males.
- White lion.
Have you ever seen a white lion? In fact, the white lion is the rare genetic condition. This condition is called as Leucism. This genetic disorder is caused by the double recessive allele. But, this lion has the normal pigmentation in their skin and eyes. You can only find the white lion in Timbavati Private Reserve in Eastern South Africa. Besides, it also can be found in Kruger National Park. The white lion is moved from its wildlife in 1970. The scientist records that there are 17 births in five prides in 2007 up to 2015. Unfortunately, people attack this white lion during the hunts. Thyen, they use this lion as the trophies.
Lion Characteristics, Behavior, Pride, and Hunting
In this section, we present some facts about Lion. The more you find out about this animal, the more surprised you are with the fact about Lion. Check out some points below to explore about this King of the Jungle.
- Lion characteristics.
It is easier to distinguish the male lion and the female lion. It is so since only the male lion has manes. What are the manes? It is the dense long hair which encircles the lion head. This hair makes the male lion easy to recognize. The female does not have these manes. This way, the appearance of female lion resemble as the tiger. Furthermore, the body of the male African lion is bigger than the female.
- Lion behavior.
Lions always live in a group. Each group always consists of some male lions, a large number of the female lion along with the young lions. Male and female lions have their own duty in the group. The responsibility of male lions is to defend the territory. Usually, each pride has 100 square miles. Usually, the habitat of the lion includes the grassland, open woodland, or scrubs. The male will give the sign of their territory by using their urine. Sometimes, the male lions will roar in order to warn other pride. Besides, the male lion will chase off other animals that approach their territory.
Besides, the duty of female lions is different. The female lions are responsible to hunt the prey. They usually hunt the deer, zebra, antelopes, and other animals.
- Lion Hunting behavior.
As stated before, the primary hunter of the lion’s pride is the female lions. Usually, the female lions work together to hunt. They attack the wildebeest, zebra, antelope, or deer in the open grassland. Some preys can run faster than the African lion. So, they have to work in the team in order to get the prey. Once they get the animal they hunt, the female lions will share the kill. The young lion will not help the prey hunting activity until they are one year old.
- Lion’s habitat.
Lion can be found easily on some continents. For instance, you can find this animal in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Africa lion is the most popular one. However, their existence is threatened. So, you can only find the African lion in the sub-Saharan of Africa.