In the cat family, lions have always occupied a dominant position. Despite the fact that tigers are faster and more agile, and domestic kittens are cute and pleasant to the touch, the lion will always remain the true king of the beasts. The lions are imperturbable and, with their own greatness alone, lead the pride. The lion is the only member of the cat family who will carefully keep order within the family. He knows exactly who should eat the first prey, quickly adapts to any situation. But the main advantage and advantage is that lions are the biggest cats in the world.
It is also called Czech. This is explained by the fact that in this country in one of the provincial museums there is an effigy of the largest representative of the cat family on the planet. "Exhibit" has an unusual history. Once upon a time, while on business in Africa, travel lover Emile Golub purchased a small lion cub from the locals. Since he was rarely at home, the servants did not follow the animals very well. Poor care and improper feeding led to the fact that the lion died in his second year in captivity. However, the owner wanted to save the animal, making it stuffed.
After the death of the traveler, the lion's effigy was transferred to one of the local museums. For years, no one noticed that there was an unusual scarecrow in front of them. This is a Cape Lion. As you know, these are the biggest lions in the world. It has been proven that Panthera leo melanochaitus has lived throughout almost all of Africa, including the southern regions. The Cape hunters, called the Boers, knew their business well. As a result, the lion was completely exterminated. The death of the last representative of this species is dated 1858. Around the world, there are 6 stuffed animals, the seventh was a stuffed animal from the Czech Republic. The estimated weight of the female was about 180 kg, the male - 240 kg, the length of the body - more than three meters.
He, like the "Czech", is considered the biggest lion in the world. The photo proves this, not to mention the stuffed figure in full size. In contrast to the Cape, the Barbary lion preferred to live in North Africa. At the moment, it no longer lives in the wild. The distinctive features of this subspecies is considered a huge thick "hair", which not only covers the shoulders of the animal, but also hangs on the belly. The last barbarian lion was killed in 1922 in the African mountains.
Now about the size of the biggest lion in the world. The weight record for males was 260 kg, and the body length reached 3.4 m. The females, of course, were slightly less than the males. The length of the Barbary lion's head alone was more than 2 m. The height at the withers: males - 1.3 m, females - 1 m.
To the biggest lions in the world can be attributed, and representatives of the feline living in India. More precisely, in the Indian zoos. It is proved that lions in captivity grow larger than in the wild. The Indian lion has not a thick mane, but a stocky and squat body organization. Animals perfectly adapt to captivity, perfectly amenable to training. The largest weight of the Indian male is 220 kg, and the female weight is about 160 kg.
Of course, man always fixed, if possible, the size of the king of beasts. How much did the biggest lion weigh in the world? There is no unequivocal answer to this question, since several maximum sizes were fixed for different subspecies. For example, the Indian lion, who lives in London Zoo in 1970, weighed 375 kg. The length of the body of Simba (namely, the servants of the zoo called their lion cub at birth) was 3.3 meters. This is the maximum recorded weight of a lion living in captivity.
In 1936, in South Africa, a real man-eater was hunting people. The hunt was announced. As a result, a huge killer was shot. Carcass weight was 313 kg. This weight is a record for lions living in the wild. More than 340 individuals live in the Indian reserve. Workers not only carefully guard and carefully monitor the habitat of the largest lions in the world, but also make attempts to increase the population.
Currently, these beautiful animals live only in Asia and Africa. It is proved that before the lions lived in the open spaces of Europe and even could live on the territory of the modern Caucasus.
Speaking about the biggest big lions in the world, one can not fail to mention the “product” of love of a tiger and a lion. Of course, in the wild, such a union would be simply impossible, but in captivity it turned out to be a hybrid. The ligre, namely the so-called bred individual, is larger than the mother-tigress and the lion-father. The largest hybrid was bred in the Novosibirsk Zoo. The girl was named Zita. The parents of this wonderful creature are the African lion and the Bengal tigress.
We can say that the kittens in this unusual couple appeared by chance. The young lion, for one reason only known to him, refused to eat for many days. The tigress sitting in the next cage was sad and constantly howled. Zoo workers decided to "acquaint" animals. As a result, two beautiful kittens were born. The girl stayed in Novosibirsk, and the boy went to live at the Kemerovo Zoo.
At the age of seven, the young lgrika already surpassed the size of an adult lion living in the next room. The maximum recorded weight of the ligra is 450 kg. The largest is Hercules, who lives in Miami.
The only negative - male ligers can not fertilize their females. However, the ligrits are fine with lion bridegrooms. They do not even consider tigers as potential second half, as they are very small for them. By the way, Zita already has posterity. Kittens, which were born from the union of a lion and ligritsa, called liligry.
Description of the lion, appearance, characteristics, photos of the animal.
Of the now existing wild cats, the lion is inferior in size only to the tiger. An adult male lion weighs an average of up to 250 kg with a body length of 2.5 m. The flexible, movable body of a lion has a well-developed musculature of the neck and front legs. Claws of a lion reach 7 cm in length.
The massive head of a lion with an elongated muzzle is endowed with strong jaws. The lion has 30 teeth, canines up to 8 cm in size allow it to successfully hunt large animals: deer, wild boars, zebras and antelopes. The tongue, covered with tubercles, helps to quickly get rid of blood-sucking insects and care for hair.
On the face of a lion there are several rows of whiskers with dark spots at the base, forming a unique pattern for each individual. Newborn lion cubs are spotty, like leopards, but at puberty, the spots disappear. The color of the lion's fur may be sandy, brown or red. The tail ends with a spectacular black tassel. Individuals inside the tassel have a “spur” - a fused vertebral ending.
A peculiar difference between lions is exceptional sexual dimorphism. Lions males are much larger in size than females and endowed with a luxurious mane, appearing already in six-month-old cubs. By three years, the pile on the mane of a lion grows to 35-40 cm. Color, length and pomp depend on the genetics, area and amount of testosterone. Older, seasoned lions have the thickest and most shaggy mane.
It may seem surprising, but lions are animals that have the smallest heart among large predators. That is why they do not differ in special endurance, although when running for short distances the lions can reach speeds of up to 80 km / h. Under natural conditions, lions live 12-15 years, in captivity life expectancy increases by 5-7 years.
Types and classification of lions.
The classification of lions has 8 subspecies:
- Asian(Persian, Indian) lion (Latin: Panthera leo persica): it has a squat body and a sleek, not too thick mane. The weight of a lion is 150-220 kg, for males from 160 to 190 kg, for females from 90 kg to 120 kg. The height of the Asiatic lion at the withers reaches 1.05 meters. The record length of the lion reached 2.92 meters. Just over 500 representatives of this species of lions inhabit the Indian Gir Reserve. The largest Asian lion had a length of 2.92 meters,
Asian (Persian, Indian) Lion
- barbarian lion (barbarian) (Latin Panthera leo leo): the most massive predator with a dark thick mane. Everywhere inhabited the African continent. Unfortunately, it was finally exterminated by man in the early 20th century. Today, the descendants of the Berberian lion live in captivity, but we cannot speak of the pure blood of the species. The weight of the male lion reaches 160-270 kg, the weight of the female is 100-170 kg. It was the largest predator of all types of lions,
The lion that possibly comes from the barbarian lion (barbarian lion)
- Senegalese(West African) lion (lat. Panthera leo senegalensis). Males are distinguished by a light, short mane (or lack thereof), light wool and small sizes. The prides of this predator are smaller, and the shape of the skull is different from other types of lions. Habitat is located south of the Sahara from Senegal in the west and east to the Central African Republic. About a thousand representatives live in the savannas of Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal. This type of lion is endangered,
- North Korean NKL (lat. Panthera leo azandica): in appearance it is similar to other African relatives. It lives in the savannas of the northeast Congo. The population of this species of lions gradually decreases
- east african(masai) lion (Lat. Panthera leo nubica) - subspecies of the African lion. Males are distinguished by elongated limbs and a “combed” back mane. Male lions reach a length of 2.5 - 3 meters, including the tail. The length of the lionesses with a tail of 2.3 - 2.6 meters. The weight of a male lion is 150 - 230 kg, females 100 - 165 kg. Lions and lionesses have withers height of 90 - 115 cm. The habitat of this species of lions - Zambia, Uganda, Mozambique and other states in eastern Africa, also inhabit the Kenyan reserve Masai Mara,
East African (Masai) Lion
- southwest african(katanga) lion (Latin Panthera leo bleyenberghi): different light color. It lives in southwestern Africa from Angola to Zimbabwe. The length of the male lion together with the tail is 2.5 - 3.1 meters, the length of the lioness is 2.3 - 2.65 meters. The mass of a male lion is 140-240 kg, the weight of females is 105-170 kg. The endangered species of lions is on the verge of extinction,
- southeast african(transvaal) lion (Lat. Panthera leo krugeri): large individuals, males are owners of a long dark mane. Some representatives have leukism, a mutation associated with the absence of melanocytes. Such exotics have white hair and pink skin. The length of the body of a Transvaal lion with a tail is 2.6 - 3.2 meters, the size of the lioness is more modest 2.35 - 2.75 meters. Male weight reaches 150-250 kg, females - 110-180 kg. More than 2 thousand lions live in the Kruger National Park, as well as in the southern part of the African continent and in the Kalahari Desert,
- Cape Lion (lat. Panthera leo melanochaita). A subspecies that disappeared in the 19th century. The last Cape lion was shot down in 1858. These lions lived in the Cape at Cape Good Hope, which is located in southern Africa. This species of lions was distinguished by black tips of the ears, and the mane of a lion covered the belly and shoulders of a mammal.
Extinct Cape Lion
Together with the tiger, leopard and jaguar, the lion forms the genus Panthera, whose representatives can interbreed to form viable hybrids: ligers (tigers), leopons (leopard + lions) and yagulvas (jaguars + lions).
White lions are not a subspecies, but a genetic disease called leukism, when the coat turns white. White individuals live in the Kruger National Park and in the Timbavati Reserve, which are located in the east of South Africa. Basically, such animals are kept in captivity.
Are there black lions in nature?
Black lions do not exist, in captivity this kind could survive, but in the wild it is impossible. In Okovango they saw a pride of dark brown lions, which scientists called the result of closely related crossing. In general, evidence of the existence of a black lion does not exist.
Where and how do lions live?
Lions live on 2 continents: in Africa and Asia. The area of distribution of lions in Africa is in the southern part of the Sahara desert. In Asia, the wild lion lives in India, in the Gyr forest of the Indian state of Gujarat.
In fact, during the times of the early Middle Ages, the habitat of lions was much wider: animals lived throughout Africa and India, in the Middle East, in Iran and even in southern Europe and Russia. But the destruction of the habitats of predators and the pursuit of humans has led to a reduction in the habitat of the lion.
In nature, lions live in savannas, sometimes in forests or shrubs. Predators live in small flocks - prides consisting of 5-6 related females, their young and 1-2 mature males (2 males can be in the pride only if they are brothers). Young lions, expelled from the pride, expects a single life, the opportunity to join another pride or create your own.
What does a lion eat?
Night hunting allows lions to sneak up as close as possible to their victims. Lionesses are beautiful hunters, agile and agile, which is not the case with males covered with a heavy mane. Females surround a herd of ungulates and immediately attack a gaping animal. In India, the prey of lions are warthogs (boars) and deer. African lions feed on wildebeest, buffalo and zebras. Large transvaal lions often hunt giraffes.
Occasionally lions attack hippos and small elephants, do not bypass the livestock. Leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, alive, diseased or killed by other, weaker predators, become food for lions. The lion eats about 7-8 kg of meat per day, the need of the female is less - five kilograms of meat is enough for it.
Lion - breeding in the wild.
Lions breed regardless of the season. Males become sexually mature at the age of 6 years, females by 4 years. Lions arrange fierce battles for the female, often leading to the death of a competitor. Pregnancy lioness lasts 110 days. Before giving birth, the lioness leaves the pride, hiding in a safe place. 1-4 helpless and blind cubs weighing up to 2 kilograms are born. The eyes of the cubs open in 7 days.
In order not to attract other predators, the lioness mother transfers the offspring to another place several times and hunts near to safely hidden kids. Milk feeding lasts 6-7 months. At one and a half months, cubs are allowed to hunt, and meat supplements begin. Then the mother with the cubs returns to the pride.