Published on Aug 29, 2020

Abstract Lion Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC
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The lion (Panthera leo) is a large mammal of the Felidae (cat) family. Some large males weigh over 250 kg (550 lb). Today, wild lions live in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia. Lions are adapted for life in grasslands and mixed areas with trees and grass. The relatively small females are fast runners over short distances, and coordinate their hunting of herd animals.

Lions have disappeared from North Africa and southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. The lion is now a vulnerable species. There was a decline in its African range of 30–50% over two decades in the second half of the 20th century. Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes of concern.

Lions are often called the “king of the beasts”. They are used as symbols representing courage. They appear in heraldry more often than any other animal. They are an icon of courage and royalty.

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Lions live for 10 to 14 years when they are in the wild. When they are captured, they can live longer than 20 years. In the wild, males do not usually live longer than 10 years. This is because wounds from fighting with other males make their lives shorter. They usually live in savanna and grassland. These areas do have bushes and trees, but lions are mainly adapted to catch prey on grasslands. Compared to other cats, lions are social. A group of lions is called a pride. In a pride of lions, there are related females, their young, and one or two adult males. Groups of female lions often hunt together.

Lions are carnivores and scavengers. Lions are apex predators. Lions eat antelope, buffalo, zebras, warthogs, wildebeest, birds, hares, turtles and fish. Lions scavenge animals either dead from natural causes (disease) or killed by other predators. They keep a constant lookout for circling vultures, because this means there is a dead or injured animal close by.

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