Absolute Predator

 

African Lion

African Lions  

 

A lot of people are not aware that lions do not come as a single type. There are eight subspecies of lions. The most well known of them all are the African lions. What exactly sets this subspecies apart? 

 

Lion Subspecies 

 

The truth is that of the eight subspecies, six are generally called African lions. This is mainly because these six subspecies are found in Africa. The two other non-African subspecies are the Panthera leo melanochaita or Cape lion and the Panthera leo persica or the Asian or Persian lion. The six African lion subspecies are the Barbary lion, West African lions, North East Congo lion, Massai African lions, Katanga African lions and the Transvaal African lions.  

 

The six African subspecies are the most studied in the world. Since they are more popular than the other two subspecies, the term King of the Jungle is often attributed to them. This term however has long been discovered to be inaccurate. As you may quickly observe, African subspecies do not really live in jungles. They instead populate the wide Savannahs of Africa.  

 

Despite being one of the most popular and intimidating members of the cat family, African lions are really only the second largest cat. Tigers are bigger than lions. Even so, lions have the loudest roar among all other cats. African subspecies are also quite heavy, with males averaging 440 lbs and females averaging 330 lbs.  

 

 

African Lion

 

African Lions and Their Pride

 

Adult African lions and lionesses must all be part of a group called a pride. Lion prides can have members of up to 40. Most of the members are females with cubs and only a few males. The reason for this is that the presence of more than one strong male can create leadership issues. Only one male is allowed to dominate the pride. Other male members of the pride must therefore leave and fight their way to become the top male of another pride.  

 

Pride membership is a must for all African lions. It is a matter of survival. Like a large extended family, pride members take care of each other’s needs. Lionesses hunt for food and take care of their young. The male lion in the pride offers protection and goes against any male lion that wishes to pose a challenge.  

 

Physical Traits of African Lions

 

African lions seem perfectly built to fight and hunt. They have large muscular bodies and strong hind limbs that allow them to pounce on their prey easily. They have large jaws and sharp teeth that let them efficiently bite through a prey or an opponent. Their tails provide balance when they are in action. They have very fine tuned senses and are able to smell and see even in limited lighting.  

 

Even the mane of male African lions is partly a tool of aggression. Although males do not hunt, they do have to fight aggressors or fight to join a pride. Their large, brown manes attract females and intimidate other animals and lions.  

 

The African lions are truly a remarkable, if not a frightening beast to behold. Even if a lot has been understood and discovered about the African subspecies, you don’t want African lions staking you in a Savannah.  

 

  

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