African lion facts

Interesting facts about the king of the beasts, the majestic African Lion.

Common Name:

African Lion

Scientific Name:

Panthera leo


Extinct in North Africa. Now found in Africa, south of the Sahara


Length: Male: 2.6 - 3.3m excluding tail
Female: 2.4 - 2.7m excluding tail
Tail: 60 - 100cm

Weight: Male: 150 - 250kg
Female: 110 - 180kg


Lions reach sexual maturity at 2 years old and mate at all times of the year. The gestation period is 102-112 days which usually results in 2 to 5 cubs.


Lions are social and territorial animals who live in family groups called prides


Carnivorous, mainly mammals from giraffes to buffalo, deer and carrion


Varied, from grasslands of East Africa to sands of the Kalahari Desert

Status in the Wild:

Range constantly being reduced but not endangered yet.

Special Features:

Lions are unique among cats in that the male can be easily distinguished from the female (lioness) because he possesses a mane of hair. As in most cats, the eyes are adapted for seeing at night when they do a lot of hunting. The claws can be retracted in sheaths to prevent them getting blunted when walking across the savannah, which they can do almost noiselessly on soft pads.

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