Ruler Of the Wild – The Lion

As We all know that Lion is the King of  Wildlife since from many years ago. They are very amazing and intresting animal. from them you learn a lots of thing like caring, sharing, protection etc. so get ready for great knowledge about Lion king.

  • The Lion (Scientific Name – Panthera leo) is a species in the family Felidae and a member of the genus Panthera. It is most recognisable for its muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic, adult male lions have a prominent mane. With a typical head-to-body length of 184–208 cm (72–82 in) they are larger than females at 160–184 cm (63–72 in). It is a social species, forming groups called PRIDES. A Lion Pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs. Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates.
  • Typically, the lion inhabits grasslands and savannas, but is absent in dense forests. It is usually more diurnal than other big cats, but when persecuted it adapts to being active at night and at twilight.

ETYMOLOGY

  • The word ‘Lion’ is derived from Latin: leo and Ancient Greek: λέων (leon).] The word lavi (Hebrew: לָבִיא‎) may also be related. The generic name Panthera is traceable to the classical Latin word ‘panthēra’ and the ancient Greek word πάνθηρ ‘panther’. Panthera is phonetically similar to the Sanskrit word पाण्डर pând-ara meaning ‘pale yellow, whitish, white’.

SIZE AND WEIGHT

  • The size and weight of adult lions varies across global range and habitats. Accounts of a few individuals that were larger than average exist from Africa and India.
AverageMale lionsFemale lions
Head-and-body length184–208 cm (72–82 in)160–184 cm (63–72 in)
Weight186.55–225 kg (411.3–496.0 lb) in Southern Africa,
174.9 kg (386 lb) in East Africa,
160–190 kg (350–420 lb) in India
118.37–143.52 kg (261.0–316.4 lb) in Southern Africa,
119.5 kg (263 lb) in East Africa,
110–120 kg (240–260 lb) in India]
Tail length82.5–93.5 cm (32.5–36.8 in)72–89.5 cm (28.3–35.2 in)

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT

  • African lions live in scattered populations across Sub-Saharan Africa. The lion prefers grassy plains and savannahs, scrub bordering rivers and open woodlands with bushes. It is absent from rainforest and rarely enters closed forest. On Mount Elgon, the lion has been recorded up to an elevation of 3,600 m (11,800 ft) and close to the snow line on Mount Kenya. Lions occur in savannah grasslands with scattered acacia trees, which serve as shade. The Asiatic lion now survives only in and around Gir National Park in Gujarat, western India. Its habitat is a mixture of dry savannah forest and very dry, deciduous scrub forest.

BEHAVIOUR AND ECOLOGY

  • Lions spend much of their time resting; they are inactive for about 20 hours per day. Although lions can be active at any time, their activity generally peaks after dusk with a period of socialising, grooming and defecating. Intermittent bursts of activity continue until dawn, when hunting most often takes place. They spend an average of two hours a day walking and 50 minutes eating.

HUNTING AND DIET

  • The lion is a generalist hypercarnivore (means that  animal which has a diet that is more than 70% meat) and is considered to be both an apex and keystone predator due to its wide prey spectrum. Its prey consists mainly of mammals—particularly ungulates—weighing 190–550 kg (420–1,210 lb) with a preference for blue wildebeest, plains zebra, African buffalo, gemsbok and giraffe. Lions also hunt common warthog depending on availability, although the species is below the preferred weight range.
  • In India, sambar deer and chital are the most commonly recorded wild prey, while domestic livestock may contribute significantly to their diet. They usually avoid fully grown adult elephants, rhinoceroses and hippopotamus, as well as small prey like dik-dik, hyrax, hare and monkey. Unusual prey items include porcupines and small reptiles. Lions kill other predators such as leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena but seldom consume them.
  • Young lions first display stalking behaviour at around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are almost a year old and begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two. Single lions are capable of bringing down zebra and wildebeest, while larger prey like buffalo and giraffe are riskier.
  • In typical hunts, each lioness has a favoured position in the group, either stalking prey on the “wing”, then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the centre of the group and capturing prey fleeing from other lionesses. Males attached to prides do not usually participate in group hunting. Some evidence suggests, however, that males are just as successful as females; they are typically solo hunters who ambush prey in small bushland.

REPRODUCTION AND LIFE CYCLE

  • Most lionesses reproduce by the time they are four years of age. Lions do not mate at a specific time of year and the females are polyestrous. Like those of other cats, the male lion’s penis has spines that point backward. During withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female’s vagina, which may cause ovulation. A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat. Generation length of the lion is about seven years. The average gestation period is around 110 days, the female gives birth to a litter of between one and four cubs in a secluded den, which may be a thicket, a reed-bed, a cave, or some other sheltered area, usually away from the pride. She will often hunt alone while the cubs are still helpless, staying relatively close to the den. Lion cubs are born blind, their eyes open around seven days after birth. They weigh 1.2–2.1 kg (2.6–4.6 lb) at birth and are almost helpless, beginning to crawl a day or two after birth and walking around three weeks of age.
  • To avoid a buildup of scent attracting the attention of predators, the lioness moves her cubs to a new den site several times a month, carrying them one-by-one by the nape of the neck.
  • Usually, the mother does not integrate herself and her cubs back into the pride until the cubs are six to eight weeks old.
  • When one or more new males oust the previous males associated with a pride, the victors often kill any existing young cubs, perhaps because females do not become fertile and receptive until their cubs mature or die. Females often fiercely defend their cubs from a usurping male but are rarely successful unless a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against the male. Cubs also die from starvation and abandonment, and predation by leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. Up to 80% of lion cubs will die before the age of two.

COMMUNICATION

  • They are communicate with the most common peaceful tactile gestures are head rubbing and social licking.
  • Head rubbing—nuzzling the forehead, face and neck against another lion—appears to be a form of greeting and is seen often after an animal has been apart from others or after a fight or confrontation.
  • Lions have an array of facial expressions and body postures that serve as visual gestures. A common facial expression is the “grimace face” or flehmen response, which a lion makes when sniffing chemical signals and involves an open mouth with bared teeth, raised muzzle, wrinkled nose closed eyes and relaxed ears. Lions also use chemical and visual marking, males will spray and scrape plots of ground and objects within the territory.
  • The lion’s repertoire of vocalisations is large, variations in intensity and pitch appear to be central to communication. Most lion vocalisations are variations of growling, snarling, meowing and roaring. Other sounds produced include purring, puffing, bleating and humming. Roaring is used to advertise its presence. Lions most often roar at night, a sound that can be heard from a distance of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi).

Now we’ll talk about some characteristics of ASIATIC LION.

ASIATIC LION

  • The Asiatic lion is a (Scientific Name – Panthera leo persica) population in India. Its current range is restricted to the Gir National Park and environs in the Indian state of Gujarat.  Historically, it inhabited much of Western Asia and the Middle East up to northern India. On the IUCN Red List.
  • The first scientific description of the Asiatic lion was published in 1826 by the Austrian zoologist Johann N. Meyer who named it Felis leo persicus. Until the 19th century, it occurred in Saudi Arabia eastern Turkey, Iran, Mesopotamia, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India.
  • Since the turn of the 20th century, it is restricted to the Gir Forest National Park and surrounding areas. This lion population has steadily increased since 2010.
  • In May 2015, the 14th Asiatic Lion Census was conducted over an area of about 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi), the lion population was estimated at 523 individuals, comprising 109 adult males, 201 adult females and 213 cubs. In August 2017, surveyors counted 650 wild lions. The 15th Asiatic Lion Census could not be conducted in 2020, as scheduled, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, an estimation exercise counted 674 Asiatic lions in the Gir forest region, an increase of 29 per cent over the 2015 census figure.
  • The lion is one of five pantherine cats inhabiting India, along with the Bengal tiger (P. tigris tigris), Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca), snow leopard (P. uncia) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). It was also known as the “Indian lion” and the “Persian lion”.

EVOLUTION

  • Fossil remains of Panthera spelaea excavated in the Cromer Stage indicate that it represented a genetically isolated and highly distinct lineage, not closely related to Asiatic lions.
  • Fossil lion remains were found in Pleistocene deposits in West Bengal. A fossil carnassial excavated in the Batadomba Cave indicates that Panthera leo sinhaleyus inhabited Sri Lanka during the late Pleistocene, and is thought to have become extinct around 39,000 years ago. Deraniyagala described this lion in 1939 that was distinct from today’s lion.

CHARACTERISTICS

  • The Asiatic lion’s fur ranges in colour from ruddy-tawny, heavily speckled with black, to sandy or buffish grey, sometimes with a silvery sheen in certain lights. Males have only moderate mane growth at the top of the head, so that their ears are always visible. The mane is scanty on the cheeks and throat where it is only 10 cm (3.9 in) long.
  • About half of Asiatic lions’ skulls from the Gir forest have divided infraorbital foramina, whereas African lions have only one foramen on either side. The sagittal crest is more strongly developed, and the post-orbital area is shorter than in African lion.
  • Skull length in adult males ranges from 330 to 340 mm (13 to 13 in), and in females from 292 to 302 mm (11.5 to 11.9 in). It differs from the African lion by a larger tail tuft and less inflated auditory bullae. The most striking morphological character of the Asiatic lion is a longitudinal fold of skin running along its belly.
  • Shoulder height of males is 107–120 centimetres (3.51–3.94 feet), and of females 80–107 centimetres (2.62–3.51 feet). Head-and-body measurements of two lions in Gir Forest were 1.98 m (78 in) each, with tail-lengths of 0.79–0.89 m (31–35 in) and total lengths of 2.82–2.87 m (111–113 in), respectively. The Gir lion is similar in size to the Central African lion, and smaller than large African lions. Adult males weigh 160 to 190 kg (350 to 420 lb), while females weigh 110 to 120 kg (240 to 260 lb).
MALE LION
FEMALE LION
LION CUB

LION SIZE

  • The confirmed record total length of a male Indian lion is 2.92 m (115 in), including the tail.
  • Emperor Jahangir allegedly speared a lion in the 1620s that measured 3.10 m (122 in) and weighed 306 kg (675 lb).

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT

  • In Saurashtra’s Gir Forest, an area of 1,412.1 km2 (545.2 sq mi) was declared as a sanctuary for Asiatic lion conservation in 1965. This sanctuary and the surrounding areas are the only habitats supporting the Asiatic lion. 
  • After 1965, a national park was established covering an area of 258.71 km2 (99.89 sq mi) where human activity is not allowed. In the surrounding sanctuary only Maldharis have the right to take their livestock for grazing.
  • Lions inhabit remnant forest habitats in the two hill systems of Gir and Girnar that comprise Gujarat’s largest tracts of tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests, thorny forest and savanna, and provide valuable habitat for a diverse flora and fauna. Five protected areas currently exist to protect the Asiatic lion: Gir Sanctuary, Gir National Park, Pania Sanctuary, Mitiyala Sanctuary, and Girnar Sanctuary.
  • The first three protected areas form the Gir Conservation Area, a 1,452 km2 (561 sq mi) large forest block that represents the core habitat of the lion population.

CONFLICTS WITH HUMANS

  • Since the mid of 1990s, the Asiatic lion population has increased to an extent that by 2015 about a third resided outside the protected area. Hence, conflict between local residents and wildlife also increased.
  • Local people protect their crops from nilgai, wild pigs and other herbivores by using electrical fences that are powered with high voltage. Some consider the presence of predators a benefit, as latter keep the herbivore population in check. But some people also fear the lions and killed several in retaliation for attacks on livestock.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW

  • It’s important to understand that Lions are born to be wild, Equipped with raiser sharp claws huge teeth and extreme power. We need to learn to love them.
  • We always tend to humanize things and other beings but with nature we have to adapt to their laws, rules and perspectives. Lions simply love and live different than we human do and until we don’t understand this way of living we won’t be able to save and protect them. In other words we can say that we want to see them wild, to be dangerous, to fight and to hunt and we also want to see them in natural environment living amongst each other in a PRIDE.
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