Lion – large, powerfully built cat that is second in size only to the tiger. The lion is a well-muscled cat with a long body, large head, and short legs.
A full-grown male is about 1.8–2.1 m(6–7 feet) long, excluding the 1-metre tail; he stands about 1.2 m high at the shoulder and weighs 170–230 kg (370–500 pounds)
Lions are the only cats that live in groups, which are called prides—though there is one population of solitary lions. Female lions are the pride’s primary hunters and leaders. They often work together to prey upon antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and other large animals of the open grasslands. Female lions also raise their cubs communally.
Nearly all wild lions live in Africa, below the Sahara Desert.
Lions are the only known cat species where individuals roar together – with even young cubs joining in with their mews. The calling sequence usually lasts about 40 seconds.
They hunt more during storms, as the noise and wind make it harder for prey to see and hear them.
Lions can eat up to 40 kg of meat in a single meal – around a quarter of their body weight.
Lions are highly adaptable and can live in very dry areas like the Kalahari Desert. Here they get most of their water from their prey and will even drink from plants such as the Tsamma melon.