Awe-ducational: The Lion

Throughout the world the lion is viewed as brave and wise, and is often referred to as “King of the Beasts.” There is only one species of lion; however, lions from different areas have some variance in appearance. These are known as subspecies. The Asiatic lion is found in western India, all other subspecies are found throughout Africa.

A large, male lion

Unlike most cats, lions do not live alone. They live in a group called a pride. There can be up to 40 lions in a pride. Each pride has its own territory, it is the male lion’s job to protect the pride and its territory. The lioness’s (female lion) job is to hunt for food for the pride. A lioness normally hunts at night, because it is harder for their pray to see. Lions on the other hand have very good eyesight, they can see 5 to 6 times better than a human.

A pride of lions

A Lion cub weighs about 3 pounds when it is born, it cannot see or walk for about 10 days. A lion cub will drink its mother’s milk for 6 weeks. The lionesses then begins to teach the cubs how to hunt and survive. Once a cub is old enough to fend for itself, about two years old, a male cub is forced out of the pride while a female will usually stay with the pride in which it was raised.

Lions are fast over short distances, they can reach speeds up to 35 MPH. However, they are poor at running long distances, so they must sneak up on their pray in order to hunt successfully. A single lion can hunt prey twice its size, but in order to hunt larger prey, like giraffe or buffalo, they must hunt in cooperation with the pride.

If you want to learn more about lions you can visit the juvenile non-fiction section at the Auburn Hills Public Library. Here are some books that you can check out on the topic.

Lions Life in the Pride by Adele Richardson Lions by Sally Morgan Lions Tigers and Bears Why Are Big Predators So Rare by Ron Hirschi