Height: 100 cm (40 inches).
Weight: male: 180 - 230 kgs (397 - 507 lbs) / female: 113 - 160 kgs (250 - 353 lbs).
Habitat: Depending on food supply: can be very wide range.
Grouping: Highly social, small family prides to big groups.
Breeding: All year, 2 - 3 cubs.
Diet: Medium to large hoofed animals, carrion
King of African Carnivores.
Body: Coat short except for tail tuft and male's mane appearing third year, maximum development at 5. Color: tawny with white underparts often faintly spotted (especially in East Africa); black tail tuft, ear backs, and lips; mane individually variable, from blond to black; cubs woolly with grayish, spotted coats, changing to adult coat by 3 months. Teats: 4
Ecology: Savanna and plains habitats with greatest variety and biomass of hoofed mammals carry up to 1 lion/3 square mile (12/100 square kilometer). Where prey density is very low, as in Miombo Woodland Zone or Sahel, there may be only 1 lion/50 to 100 square mile. Commonest ungulates from impala to wildebeest and zebra in size are main prey. Different prides have different preferences and traditions. Some, hunting in groups usually including males, regularly kill buffaloes, including biggest, oldest bulls; even bull giraffes are occasionally taken (caught lying down).
Activity: While prey is plentiful, lions spend 20 hours out of 24 conserving energy, becoming active in late afternoon when mothers retrieve, suckle, and socialize with young cubs and one another; hunt most actively early and late at night, carrying over for a couple hours after daybreak. But lions become active any time, day or night, hungry or gorged, that easy opportunities to catch prey present themselves.
Reproduction: Year round but often synchronized within prides— perhaps mainly as a result of male takeovers and infanticide. Typically 3 cubs/litter, after 14 to 15 week gestation; 20 to 30 months between births. Females start breeding at 4, only a year earlier than males.