Lions have acquired the title of ‘King of the jungle’, but they don’t really live in the jungle. Lions are mostly found in savannah, grasslands, or on rocky hills. Lions are also known as ‘King of beasts’. They are the symbol of strength and bravery (think ‘as brave as a lion’). If your child likes animals and would like to learn about them more, how about you share some interesting and fun facts about lions with your child. We bring you some amazing facts about lions that you could read to your little one!
Cool Facts and Information About Lions for Children
Given below are some interesting lion facts for preschoolers and children. Read them to your little one!
- Lions belong to the cat family, scientifically they also belong to the family ‘Felidae’. They are also called ‘big cats’.
- Lions are though called ‘king of the jungle’, they hardly live in the jungle. They are mostly found in the open savannahs of Africa. You can also find lions in the Gir forest in western India.
- Lions are the second biggest type of cats and they are only a little smaller than tigers. Male lions can grow up to 10ft long from head to tail and stand 4ft tall. Females are slightly smaller at 9ft.
- Male lions can weigh 400lb (180kg) on an average and females can weigh close to 290lb (130Kg). They can live for 10-15 years in the wild.
- Lions are social animals and live in groups called ‘pride’. Typically, it consists of two males, several lionesses (female) and younger ones. A pride of lions may comprise anywhere between two and forty lions.
- Lions usually hunt in packs and at night. Their prey usually includes zebras, antelopes, gazelles and wildebeests. They hunt with strategies as a team!
- Females hunt most of the time in a pride. They hunt in teams with members placed at strategic places to take down fast or large prey.
- Lions are built more for power than speed. They can sprint up to 50 mph to catch prey but they get tired easily.
- Male lions apart from being bigger also have a thick growth of hair around their head and neck called a ‘mane’ that distinguishes them from the females.
- Their eyes are 6 times more sensitive to light in the dark than other animals which gives them an exceptional ability to hunt in the night.
- Lions can spend 16 to 20 hours a day sleeping and resting just to conserve energy. They become active in the night mostly to hunt.
- A lion can eat close to 66 lb (30 kg) meat in one session and even rest in between if the kill is large. They also share the leftovers with old and injured members of the pride.
- Lions reach mating age by 3 to 4 years. Female pregnancy is close to four months and she can deliver 2-3 cubs at a time and a maximum of 6.
- Females keep their cubs hidden for the first six weeks of birth. They also take care and nurse neglected cubs of other females.
- When male cubs grow older, they leave their pride usually with another male sibling. Female cubs grow up and stay in the pride.
- A lion’s roar can be heard 5 miles away! They roar to show strength or to warn other lions or animals to stay away.
- There are an estimated 20,000-40,000 lions left in Africa. Although their numbers are low they are not classified as endangered.
- Poaching is the primary cause of a decline in the population of lion.
- The mane of a lion is meant to protect it in fights with other males and also to attract females.
- A lion’s teeth are meant for tearing flesh and not so much for chewing. They also have rough tongues to scrape the flesh off bones.
- Lions can breed with tigers and produce an offspring called a Liger. Ligers are bigger and more powerful than a lion and tiger.
- Lions are often depicted in cave paintings. The most famous ones are from the Lascaux and Chauvet caves in France that are 17,000 years old.
- Male lions often protect their cubs and ensure they get enough food after a hunt.
- Lions are the national animal of many countries such as Singapore, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Bulgaria, Albania, Ethiopia, and England.
- Young male lions fight with older lions to take over a new pride.
Lions are fascinating animals. Although they share most characteristics in common with other cats, everything about them is grand! We hope you enjoyed reading these facts about lions; read them to your kids and enrich his knowledge on animals.