African Lions offer you photos, info and facts from the life of lions. On these pictures you can admire the deadly strength and beauty of the lion king and his female partner.
Free African Lions Pictures: - Facts
It may be surprising to learn that lions are not the biggest cats. While almost unanimously we gave them the name King of the Jungle, by size and weight they are only second largest cats – after Bengal Tigers.
To add wound to the injury – they do not live in jungles but on savannas, grasslands or open woodlands, but at least this one I understand better – King of the Jungle sounds more “grandiose” so let it be.
More disclosures about lions:
It may be also hard to believe but until few thousand years ago (prior to the modern-human times) lions were the most widespread wild large mammals on Earth. Their habitat included Africa, Europe, Asia and what may be unexpected – both Americas. Well, then we came and the rest is a well known history.
To be true - American lions went extinct during the Ice Period, so their disappearance was not much related to the human activity. These days there are only few hundreds Asian lions in the wild (Gir Forest in Western India) while the African ones are estimated in low few tens of thousands. The dramatic decline in their population was observed in the last two decades.
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Magnificent species found their home in Jungle Park (Tenerife - Canary Islands)
African Lions from the Zoo in Buenos Aires
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Huge mane with dense, long and black colored hairs signifies a good health.
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With this magnificent mane he must be a dream of every lioness....
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Time for an afternoon nap.... silence please!.
BTW - as you can see on the left picture, the African Lion is not that big. Only thanks to his mane lion has this intimidating and at the same time "glorious" look.
White Lions from Timbavati
OK, and now time for the rarity - mysterious and elusive white lions. Once upon a time theirs ancestors were freely roaming on the sacred land of Timbavati....
Breaking news - January 2011
New-born white lion cubs in the Zoo of Buenos Aires. To see them either click on the left picture or select the following link: Free White Lions Cubs Pictures - (previous)
Lions are the only cats displaying sexual dimorphism - in other words physical differences between genders. The highly distinctive image of the lion with its usually dark, long mane is a kind of icon in our times (shown more often than lioness for that reason). It makes the lion look more daunting and intimidating to the rivals and enemies.
However both male and female lions share another very unique characteristic for cats – their tail ends in a hairy tuft. Lions’ tawny colors provide a good camouflage in an African landscape. The only known exceptions are white lions from Timbavati (South Africa).
Unfortunately they disappeared from the wild soon after their discovery to the Western World and now can be only seen in Zoos. Actually a name “White Lion” is a bit misleading because only cubs are snow-white. With age they are changing the color of the skin to a light “milky-tea” one, but certainly very distinctive and different from the typical sandy-tawny.
Lions are social and mostly live in larger groups called prides. Pride includes several lionesses with cubs and one to few males. The composition of the pride is not accidental - females are usually closely related. Unlike other big cats – lionesses may babysit and feed other mother’s cubs. They show their affection by licking and rubbing each other, and in general they are very playful.
They team during hunting greatly increasing the rate of success and together defend the kill from other predators if necessary. BTW- hunting is mainly the job for lionesses. It seems that males mostly use their intimidating postures and stealth power to defend the territory from any kind of competition including other male lions. They may kill “aggressors” and abandon corpses without eating them.
Male cubs are forced to leave their birth pride once they reach maturity. They start nomadic lives sometimes pairing with a female to form a new pride, sometimes they fight for joining a different pride. It is much more difficult for a nomad lioness to join another pride – in most cases as “unrelated” she will be rejected as an intruder.
Asiatic Lions facts.
The Asiatic lions are smaller than their African cousins, but nevertheless as aggressive and fearsome fighters as lions can be. Unfortunately their current population inherited a very small pool of genes.
As the result of the merciless hunting during India’s colonial times only a dozen of wild Asiatic Lions were reported to be seen in wild at the beginning of the 20th century. To make it worst – some of the Asian population of lions (currently slightly more than 400) was interbred with African sub-species causing uncontrolled “genetic pollution”.
Free African Lions Pictures - and the art
Being at the top of the animal world – a place rightfully belonging to Kings of the Jungle, was largely reflected in the art throughout millennia of civilizations.
The most famous evidence of the reverence and respect they enjoyed can be found on the walls of the Processional Way leading to the Ishtar Gate and the gate itself.
This magnificent example of architecture and art from around 545 BC once was part of the city of Babylon. Now it is only sadly proving the fact that Asiatic lions were once roaming freely on the grounds of Persian Peninsula. As it happened more than often in the history of civilizations, being at the top inadvertently leads to the state “close-to-extinction” …..
Today these famous Lions Walls and Ishtar Gate are on display in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
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