Lion

By : Shankar Kalidindi Period 1 May 16, 2016

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Habitat

Many lions mostly live in the grasslands or the Savannah. A small number of lions live in India's Gir forest.They are Asiatic lions, and they are considered highly endangered.Africa is where most of the world's lions live.African lions can be found in many different types of terrain. Some live in woodland areas. Others make their homes on the grassy African plains. Still others scratch out a living in the hot,dry Kalahari Desert.(Hirschmann,6-8)
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Movement

Lions use their legs to move.Lions have four legs.They run in a medium pace, mainly their legs are made for agility. They also use their paws for climbing trees.Lions are not particularly fast animals. With a top running speed of of 35 miles per miles they lack the swiftness that graces most of their favorite prey. Instead stealth, surprise, patience and occasionally luck are their greatest assets when it comes to hunting.(Bocknek,35)
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Body Covering

You know what a lion looks like a big powerful beast covered with the golden yellow fur. The fur on a lion's back is a little darker than the fur on it's sides and it's belly and neck are even lighter(Saign,21).The lion's most famous feature is the male's majestic, shaggy mane.This feature, unique among members of the cat family, frames the face and grows backward and downward to cover the neck, shoulders, and chest. A man's color can vary from yellow to brown to black, and it is usually a mixture of these colors.(Bocknek,11)
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Diet

Lions are carnivores. They eat large animals, such as antelopes, giraffes and buffaloes. They also eat smaller animals, such as hares , birds and reptiles.(Lion).Lions eat primarily large animals, such as zebra and wildebeest, weighing from 100 to 1,000 pounds. In times of shortage, they also catch and eat a variety of smaller animals from rodents to reptiles. Lions steal kills from hyenas, leopards, and other predators, but may also lose their catches to hyena groups. Lions may also feed on domestic livestock, especially in areas near villages.(Smithsonian''s National Zoological Park).These are the animals that lions mostly eat Impala, Warthog, Giraffe,Zebra, Snake,Wide beast (Bocknek,36).

Reproduction

Female lions usually give birth to a litter every two years. Females are receptive to mates for a few days several times a year, unless they are pregnant or nursing. Mating spurs ovulation. Females give birth to one to six cubs after a gestation of about three and a half months. Cubs nurse for six months, but start eating meat at three months. Due to varied dangers, including starvation during times of food shortage and attacks by male lions taking over prides, 60 to 70 percent of lion cubs die within their first two years of life.(Smithsonian''s National Zoological Park).Newborn cubs weigh 2 to 4.5 pounds. They are totally defenseless and dependent on their mother, who stays with them for the first several weeks. She only leaves to hunt and eat with her pride.(Bocknek,25)
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Adaptations

With their large, golden amber eyes, lions see about as well as humans, their pupils can can open very wide-about three times bigger than the pupils of human eyes. This let them collect light even its dark. Lions can swivel their ears like radar receivers. This helps them detect and pinpoint sounds from from any direction-another advantage when hunting. Lions have powerful jaws lined with with thirty teeth.Two pair long, sharply pointed canine teeth at the front are used to hold on to kill prey.Soft pads on the bottoms of their paws help cushion and muffle each step as lions stalk their prey.Razor-sharp , curved claws help lions bring down prey and prevent it from escaping.(Bocknek,13-14)
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Other Info

  • Tigers are lions' closest relatives. Without their coats, lion and tiger bodies are so similar that only experts can tell them apart.
  • A lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away.
  • A male coalition rarely holds onto a pride longer than two to three years before being run off by fierce challengers.(Smithsonian''s National Zoological Park)
  • They rest up to 18 to 20 hours(Bocknek,32).

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