Where do lions live?
Lions can be found in savannas, grasslands, dense bush, and woodlands.
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What is a lion?
Lions are the second largest living cats after tigers. Male lions are unique among the cat species for their thick mane of brown or black hair encircling their head and neck. Both male and female lions roar—a sound heard as far as 8 kilometers away.
Lions are hunters and scavengers.
Cooperative hunting enables lions to take down prey as large as buffalo, rhinos, hippos, and giraffes. However, scavenged food provides more than 50% of their diets—lions will often take over kills made by other carnivores. Females do 85 to 90% of the hunting, usually by setting up an ambush for their prey. The kill is not shared equally within a pride, and at times of prey scarcity, high-mortality rates of juveniles occur, as hungry females may not even share with their offspring.
They are the most social cats.
While most cat species are solitary, the lion is an exception. It has developed a social system based on teamwork, division of labor, and an extended family unit. The average pride consists of about 15 individuals, with five to 10 females, their young, and two or three territorial males. These are usually brothers or pride mates who have formed a coalition to protect their females.
Lions are affectionate.
When resting, lions seem to enjoy good fellowship with lots of touching, head rubbing, licking, and purring.
Their parenting styles are wildly different.
Usually, two or more females in a pride give birth around the same time, and the cubs are raised together. Some mothers carefully nurture their young and will even permit other cubs to suckle, sometimes enabling a neglected infant to survive. However, at times, a lioness may also neglect or abandon her cubs, especially if food is scarce.