African lion

Panthera leo

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Classification

  • Domain Eukarya: This domain contains organisms whose cells have a nucleus. They can be single-celled or multicellular.
  • Kingdom Animalia-All members of Animalia are multicellular, and all are heterotrophs (they rely directly or indirectly on other organisms for their nourishment).
  • Chordates- are defined as organisms that possess a structure called a notochord, at least during some part of their development.
  • Vertebrates- which include fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, all share a vertebral column, or a chain of bony elements (vertebrae) that run along the dorsal surface from head to tail and form the main skeletal axis of the body
  • Mammals-All mammals share at least three characteristics not found in other animals: 3 middle ear bones, hair, and the production of milk by modified sweat glands called mammary glands.
  • Carnivores-Members of the mammalian order Carnivora are the descendants of a successful late Paleocene radiation of mammals whose primitive food habits were carnivorous.
  • Felidae- With the exception of Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, Japan, and most oceanic islands, native populations of cats are found worldwide, and one species, domestic cats, have been introduced nearly everywhere humans currently exist.
  • Panthera- roaring cats.

General Description

  • Height- is 1.1 m.
  • Length- ranges from 2.4 to 3.3 m and tail length ranges from 0.6 to 1.0 m; the longest male lion recorded was 3.3 m.
  • Weight- Adult males typically weigh 189 kg; the heaviest male on record weighed 272 kg, Females weigh 126 kg on average.
  • Color- Cubs have brown spots on a grayish coat until the age of three months; spots may remain on stomach, especially in east Africa. Adults are goldish gold with a white tip by the nose.
  • Habitat Range- Range length - 2.4 to 3.3 m - 7.87 to 10.83 ft. Range mass - 126 to 272 kg - 277.53 to 599.12 lb.
  • Predators- Adult lions have no natural predators, excepting persecution by humans. Lions often kill and/or compete with other predators. Hyenas are known to kill lion cubs, juveniles, or weak and sick adult lions.
  • Diet- Lions are predatory carnivores. They usually hunt in groups, but the actual killing is done by an individual lion. They frequently bring down prey much bigger than they are themselves.

PHYSICAL ADAPTATIONS


  • The lion's one of a kind roar is used to communicate with other group members and warn intruders of territorial boundaries.
  • They have long, retractable claws help the lion to grab and hold prey.
  • The species' rough tongue helps it to peel the skin of prey animals away from flesh and flesh away from bone.
  • The Lions loose belly skin allows the African lion to be kicked by prey with little chance of injury.

BEHAVIORAL ADAPTATIONS


  • Lion prides are societies; pride members come and go and are rarely all together at once.
  • The resident males of a pride are immigrants that have forcefully gained control of the pride from the previous male members. In order to successfully take over a pride, males form coalitions, usually consisting of brothers.
  • The Lions prides are comprised of related females. Females are lifelong residents in their mother’s territory. Female pride mates do not compete or fight with each other and do not display the kinds of dominance behavior.
  • Lions have the ability to critically injure or kill other lions when head to head in a fight. It would seem that there aggression would be selected against The enemy.

REFERENCES

Harrington, E. 2004. "Panthera leo" (On–line), Animal Divers

http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Panthera_leo/


Lion facts. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from Smithsonian National Zoo

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GreatCats/lionfacts.cfm