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Wild Things: Lions

Lions and tigers and bears… well, just lions for now!  

Physical Characteristics

Lions, one of the four big cats, are the second-largest living cat after the tiger. In the wild, they tend to live relatively short lives: males may reach 12-14 years before natural death occurs, while female lionesses will often only live until 8 years of age. Many lions and lionesses in captivity have been known to live a full, long life of 20 years or more. Visually, male lions are highly distinctive and recognized by their large, bushy manes. Of course, the head of a male lion, mane and all, is one of the most highly recognized animal symbols in human culture – just think of that roaring lion head that appears after many of your favourite movies and TV shows!

Lions are known for their beautiful manesLions are known for their beautiful manes

Lions are the tallest (shoulder-height) of all the felines, and the second-heaviest after the tiger. Lions can weigh between 350-550 pounds for males and 260-400 pounds for females. Powerful legs, strong jaws and long, canine teeth (8 cm long!) all help the lion bring down some pretty powerful prey. Lion coloration ranges from light buff to yellowish or reddish brown, with lighter underparts and a black tuft at the end of the powerful tail. Lion cubs are actually born with spots on their bodies, like those of a leopard or jaguar, but these fade as the cubs grow into adulthood.

The mane of the male lion, unique among cats (along with the tufted tail) plays a very specific role in the survival of the species. It makes the lion look larger and more intimidating to other animals and competitors. The mane also keeps the lion warm during winter.

Hunting Habits

Hunting in a lion pride is usually done by the females, since they are smaller and more agile than the males. Lions prefer large mammals, especially wildebeest, impalas, zebras, buffalo and warthogs in Africa.

Groups of lionesses typically hunt together for large prey. They hunt with pride and catch their prey with precise and complex teamwork. In fact, each lioness develops specific skills for her role in the hunting techniques used by her pride and, generally, assumes that role during most hunts.

Adult lions have zero natural predators, but the majority die violently because of humans or other lions. Because male lions fiercely defend their prides, they often come into aggressive contact with other males. .

Home and Habitat

Currently, wild lions live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The population of lions in India is very small and extremely endangered. At one point, lions could be found roaming across North Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia, but have long since disappeared from these parts of the world.

Lions typically inhabit savannah and grassland, though they will make bush and forest areas their home, too.

Social Studies

Compared to other big cats, like the solitary leopard or jaguar, lions are relatively social felines. They live in groups called prides, which consist of related females and offspring and a small number of males.

Some lions – called nomads – constantly move around individually or in pairs, rather than live in a pride. These types of lions may actually have been rejected or excluded from their birth pride, as prides typically only accept a maximum of two males. If these nomad lions can find a pride to join, then they can alter their lifestyle.

When cubs are first introduced to a pride, they’re usually quite shy and lack confidence when the other adult lions (other than their mother) confront them. But cubs soon get used to pride life, playing with their siblings and often trying to initiate games with the adults.

Lions in a pride love to communicate with each other. If you ever get the chance to observe a pride of lions, you may see them rubbing their heads together, nuzzling and licking each other. Lions also have quite a few facial expressions and can make a range of sounds: snarling, purring, hissing, coughing, meowing, woofing and, of course, roaring. A lion’s roar can be heard from a distance of 5 miles away.

Conservation Status

Lion numbers are decreasing quickly, mainly due to loss of habitat and human beings.

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Lions, Tigers or Bears? Vote for Your Fave!

  • I dig lions, they're awesomely huge cats.
  • Tigers rule, they have those wicked stripes.
  • Bears are the best!
  • They all taste the same with ketchup.

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1. Shauna2. 173. Female4. Complicated to explain5. @AnnaOfExquizurd 6. No one really7. Currently Tim Burton. Although I'm in a lot.8. I don't really know. I like a bit of everything.9. Talk to people XD10. Forums11. I'm fine where I am12. Yellow13. Does such a thing exist?14. No one15. Alisa, Maggie, Ronin, Rachel and Leon16. Nah17. Yeah18. The one who doesn't even know? Like I get along with a lot of people (I think), but my personality is so weird. Like I could kinda fit in with any group I want. But I just like being with my friends.19. Single20. A younger brother21. Live with my mom22. Island close to the coast of California23. Depends on what my friends are doing. If they're busy and stuff then I'll just chill at home. If there's something we can do, we go and do it.24. Food25. Blue26. Dirty blonde27. I'm kinda tan28. Pink...?29. Mainly apps like Clash Royale and stuff nowadays, but I used to play video games all the time. I always enjoyed Animal Crossing, Fossil Fighters (cause dinos), Kirby, etc. And I don't know what I would choose as my favorite console.30. Yes I did. Nicely done!
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Author's note: This is just something quick that I whipped up, and I thought someone might enjoy it. I'll try to put up the ending in a few days, but don't count on it unless I'm reminded enough. If you have edits or whatever, comment. Okay, here it is: The bullhorn had sounded at the third hour of the shadow’s presence. A dark shape on the horizon, first noticed at dawn, and mad clear be the rising of the sun. The people were frightened, and the king was forced to make a decision. “I will fight it myself!” “My young lord, although I respect your decision, it would be horribly foolish for the last of the royal line to waste his life on a foolish attempt, and to die a death meant only for fools.” The advisor was cold, stern as he looked at the very young king. He sighed to himself. The boy was too young to be crowned. “I would advise you to send the only other people in this kingdom who have experience in such matters.” The boy puffed out his cheeks and crossed his arms, looking away from the advisor. “I need to prove to my subjects that I am a brave king!” He stood up as he said this, but the huge crown on his head was driven down over his eyes by the movement. It didn’t help him much. “I could do it! I will do it!” “My lord. I do not wish to enforce the command your late parents gave me.” The advisor’s eyes were showing a rare emotion for him: frustration. “But, I highly advise that you send the wizard and his apprentice.” Turning away, the advisor handed a written order to the guard, then looked back at the “king.” A slight twinkle of amusement was now shown from his usually cold, grey eyes. “I also highly advise that you retire for the afternoon. You seem to be getting cranky without your nap.” The remaining guard began escorting the boy out of the room, who was struggling as much as he could. “That’s not fair! You can’t use my guards against me! It’s not even 12:00!” ________________________ The wizard bent close to the paper. “Ah, so he finally remembered me?” “No, he has always remembered you. This is simply the first situation there has been need of you.” The words were uncertain, shaky, and the guard was inspecting the ceiling intently. “That is what he told you to say, isn’t it? Well, never mind. Samuel! Come to the front! We’re doing something today!” The wizard grabbed a staff from the corner, and when his hand laid on the withered wood, he seemed to straighten up. The dark room was suddenly illuminated as the door was flung open to the sunshine. Dust flew everywhere from the breeze, and the wizard stood in the doorway. “Samuel! Wake up, or I’ll come in there and pull you out of bed myself! By your ears!” Finally, a staggering figure with a small satchel on his shoulder and ratty clothes came beside the wizard. “What is it, Grey?” “I told you to not call me that! ‘Ebenezer’ will do, as it’s my name. But, Samuel, we will finally be able to put your skills to the test!” “I don’t have any skills.” The boy smirked, but the humorous tone was underlined with sincerity. “Nonsense boy!” Ebenezer slapped him across the back. “You’ve been one of my best students!” “Aren’t I… your second apprentice?” “True, true, but your still the best! Now, off! To fight the beast!” The wizard whistled, and a few faint “clops” came from behind the old house. “Wait, you were being serious? We’re fighting something?!?” A small white pony emerged, and the boy took it by the harness and began putting a few saddle-bags on it, full of strong-smelling herbs and various other items. He was working much faster than usual, before he paused. “Wait, this isn’t one of your ‘training assessments’, is it? I’m sick of those pointless-“ “That’s funny, because, just yesterday, you said my assessments were a welcome break from studying.” Ebenezer smiled at Samuel, leaning on his staff. “Well, if you’re all finished up, we can head off.” The dark figure on the horizon shifted, appearing to move quite quickly for its distance. ________________________ The miles that they had predicted were passing much faster than expected, and, even before dusk, the pair reached a clearing in the trees shrouded by a black fog. “This is it, right, G?” “Stop that.” “Stop what? I didn’t call you ‘Grey.’” “Stop calling me nicknames! Now, be silent. The beast could already be listening…” Peering through the mist, Ebenezer tried to see something, anything that would validate their quest. He sighed. “Or maybe it isn’t-“ “Who’s there?” The voice was soft, silky. Rather unbefitting to the monstrous creature that presented itself from the fog. Nothing but panicked breathing, more from the wizard than the apprentice, answered. A head resembling a wolf, but, at the same time nothing like any animal, bent down towards the pair. It smiled. After a moment, Samuel gathered the courage to stand up. “Hello, I… am Samuel. And this is my master, Gr-… Ebenezer. We wish to know the intent of your visit.” “Greetings.” The creature raised an eyebrow at the old wizard, still in some shock. “I am Bibigul. It ‘tis a pleasure, young one. I assure, no harm would come to any human in my path.” Bibigul’s teeth flashed, dropping liquid onto the ground. It was unsettling, to say the least. His black fur was matted with a dark, sticky substance, and the light barely made it through the fog that seemed to gather around him. Also, the creatures of the forest seemed to have been silenced. Perhaps Bibigul had been true to his word, and no humans were harmed. Ebenezer propped himelf up with his staff. “And what are you?” His voice was now empowered, and Samuel was stunned that his master could produce such menacing tones. “I… am a…”
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drowning posted in Say Anything:
I prefer honest and loyal people to surround me. Don't sugar coat something to make me feel better, I won't do the same for you.
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