What Does A Lion Weigh?
Lions are truly majestic animals. Their impressive size and regal character has earned them the role of king in any number of myths and legends. But just how big are lions? And what does a lion weigh? If we average out mature lions by weight, then the answer would be about 350 lbs. (About 158 kilograms.) A male lion will typically weigh about 420 lbs. (Over 190 kilograms.)
But to get a more accurate answer we need to delve into the size differences between male and female lions.
How Much Does a Female Lion Weigh?
Female lions, sometimes known as lionesses, are much smaller than the males. But a lionesses will usually only weigh about 280 lbs. (127 kilograms.)
How Much Does a Baby Lion Weigh?
Baby lions are called cubs. Both male and female lion cubs will typically weigh about 3 pounds at birth. (1.36 kg.)
Cubs grow up at an impressive rate though. By the time they’re one year old a cub will have put on about 50 lbs. And they’ll reach full adulthood by the time they’re three or four years old.
Where Do Lions Live?
The vast majority of lions are found in Africa. They’re primarily seen below the Sahara Desert. This wasn’t always the case though. Lions used to be found all over India as well. But this type of lion, known as the Asiatic lion, is now only found in one small region of India.
What Do Lions Eat?
Most of a lion’s diet will consist of meat. What kind of meat? The short answer is that a lion will eat almost any animal it’s able to successfully hunt.
Some of the more common prey animals for a lion include zebras, buffalo, ostrich, wildebeests and antelope.
But a lion will even mimic the habits of a house-cat and go for a mouse if given the opportunity. They also share another dietary quirk with house-cats. Lions, like house cats, occasionally nibble on grass in order to help soothe their stomachs.
Do Lions Eat Giraffes?
The relationship between lions and giraffes deserves special mention apart from their other prey animals. Lions have the distinction of being the only animal that will hunt an adult giraffe. This is especially impressive when we consider that an adult giraffe is about as tall as a two story house.
However, it’s still quite rare for a lion to take down a giraffe. Lions will typically only make the attempt if they can catch a giraffe in a moment of distraction. For example, lions might attack a giraffe which has lowered its head to drink from a waterhole.
What Are Lions Afraid Of?
Conversely, giraffes are one of the few animals which can scare a lion.
There’s a good reason why lions are so cautious when they consider making a meal out of giraffes. One solid kick from a giraffe’s long legs can injure a lion at a considerable distance.
Likewise lions tend to shy away from many of the larger animals in Africa. They’re particularly wary of rhinos, hippos and of course human beings. A lion is willing to fight almost anything in hopes of getting a meal. But lions know that a medium sized hunt in safety is better than a big score which comes at a higher risk.
Are Lions Intelligent?
Commenting on a lion’s thought process might seem odd at first. But these big cats really do have an impressive mind as well. It’s thought that lions may well be the smartest animal in the feline group.
Many scientists believe that lion’s high level of intelligence is a byproduct of their social structure. It takes extra thought to be able to anticipate the needs and emotions of friends and family. Solitary cat species don’t need to do so. But a lion who can exhibit some empathy has a lot to gain.
In fact, experiments have shown that lions who’ve solved a complex problem will teach other members of their pride how to do the same.
What Are 5 Interesting Facts About Lions?
There’s still a lot to learn about lions. But we’ll conclude with five more interesting facts about this amazing species. And we can even start out with some good news.
The Asiatic lion has existed as an endangered species for most of the 20th century. But we’re seeing some impressive growth in the early part of the 21st. By 2015 India’s lion population had grown to 523 animals. In 2017 that number had climbed to 650 lions. And in 2020 estimates place their population at 674 lions.
Earlier we asked, what does a lion weigh? The average weights of male and female lions were certainly impressive. But what’s the heaviest lion we’ve ever recorded? That honor goes to a lion weighed all the way back in 1936. The huge male was recorded with a weight of 690 pounds. (312 kilograms.)
Our next factoid comes from something we only see with lions in captivity. Sometimes lions and tigers housed in the same facilities will produce offspring. A male tiger and female lion will produce a tigon. While a male lion and female tiger will produce a liger. The liger is the largest known living feline. They typically weigh over 900 lbs. (408 kg.) And there are even reports of ligers weighing more than 1,200 lbs. (544 kg.) What’s more, we’ve even seen a liger bear children of her own.
A female liger and male lion successfully mated in the Novosibirsk Zoo. The resulting cub was dubbed a liliger and was able to successfully grow into adulthood. We’ve also seen multiple incidents of tigons mating. When they breed with a lion the result is known as a litigon. If the tigon mates with a tiger the result is a titigon.
Finally, remember that we noted just how much smaller female lions are than males. But don’t take this to mean that female lions are anything less than a powerful force of nature. Female lions are actually the main hunters in their pride.
While male lions act in a role more akin to a guard or sentry. The male lion’s large size makes him especially intimidating to potential threats. While a female’s smaller frame gives her an advantage when running down prey animals.