Asiatic Lion – Interesting facts, diet, habitat, and Threats

Asiatic Lions of India

Asiatic lion is one of the most amazing, and powerful big cats found in India. The Panthera Leo’s population of lion in India, found in Gujarat. More precisely, Asiatic Lions are now confined to Sasan Gir National Park in Gujarat, India. Their kingdom is Animalia and the scientific name is Panthera Leo persica. They are one of the five big cats found in India and are better known as ‘the king of beasts’.

Asiatic lion classification

FamilyFelidae
Sub-FamilyPantherinae
GenerePanthera Leo
Common NameAsiatic Lion / Lion

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of the Asiatic Lions of compared are generally smaller than African Lions. They possess a unique color and texture. Their fur color ranges from sandy or bluffish grey, Ruddy Twany or Silvery sheen Here is the Asiatic Lion’s detailed physical attributes

  • Their ears are always visible due to the mane growth at the top of the head.
  • Generally, male lions possess a head to body length of 5.5 ft – 8.2 ft (1.7-2.5 m) Whereas lioness head to body length is about 4.6-5.7 ft (1.4-1.75 m).
  •  Weight of an Asiatic Lions is around 352-419 lb or 160-190 kg whereas a female can weigh up to 243-265 lb or 110-120 kg.
  • The length of their tails is around 70-105 cm and its top has an outsized tuft.
  • At the end of their tails, they are marked with tassels.
  • The height of these amazing members of the big cat family is 107cm at the shoulders. 
  • Asiatic Lion’s elbows are messed up with heavy or long bunches of hair.
  • Having sharp canine teeth of 10 cm, they do have strong retractable claws.
  • The most unique characteristics of Asiatic Lions are the longitudinal fold of skin that runs along its belly.
Asiatic Lion Big Cat of India
Asiatic Lion, Img-Credit

What does Asiatic Lion eat?

They belong to the category of the only wild cat, found in India, which hunt in pride. They are predators and can be defined as carnivores. Asiatic Lion mostly prey for are nilgai (blue antelope), chital (spotted deer), sambhar, cattle and buffaloes found in Gir National Park.

The lions mostly prefer the meat and the facts state that fresh meat or flesh is much preferred by them. It is the eating behavior of the lions that typically the adult male lions firstly take their share. Also, they sometimes do prey for small animals as well.

Behavior

Highly social in behavior these Loins are limited to smaller pride. They generally do not travel and feed together. Rather, they associate with each other to the limited time interval at the mating season.

Hunting is a general cooperative activity among their other behavior but the male Asiatic lions or the old adult lions rarely take part. They possess small pride. It is their choice to mostly hunt at night.

The male lion doesn’t seek for a large group and prefers to be with their 2 or 3 female loins. For the activities like hunting, feeding and various other such requirements, female lioness travels with the pair of male lions.

Whereas, the lioness go for a heavy group of around 10 to 12 lioness along with their cubs. But, when it comes to being with their counterparts they are rarely found to do so. Male Asiatic Lion spends up to 20 hours per day resting or sleeping therefore, they are almost inactive for most of the day time.

How Asiatic Lion is different than African Lion

Some of the behavior and characteristics possessed by these two species of lions are similar to each other because they are from the same Felidae Family. Whereas, they also consist of various different and distinct features as well.

  • African lions generally cooperate with each other in numerous activities on a daily basis. They usually tend to be together while it comes about to hunt or travel.
  • It has also been found that mostly the African lions typically tend to live and spend most of the time with the lioness of their pride.
  • Unlike this social behavior of the African lions, the Asiatic lions do not generally tend to live with their counterparts. These amazing species always prefer small pride. They associate with their lioness at the interval or the season of mating.
  • On the comparison of the size, Asian lions tend to be smaller in size if compared to African lions. Asiatic male lions consist of a short, sparse and darker mane than the African lions having a fuller mane.
  • The unique characteristic of the longitudinal fold of skin is completely absent in African lions.

Amazing facts about Asiatic lions

There are various interesting and attention-seeking facts about these amazing big cat species. Let us have a look

  1. As mentioned, this wild population is only found in one place in the world. This place is the Gir Forests of Gujarat, India.
  2. They wander in a group called ‘Pride’ generally comprise of 7 – 14 Lions.
  3. It has been noticed that one member among the other lions in the pride tends to be dominating upon others.
  4. Mostly the hunting activity among these Leo species is done by the female lions.
  5. The male member takes part in hunting only if the prey is highly aggressive or too strong to be trapped.
  6. Again an interesting and unique feature is related to their walking style. This is because whenever they walk, their heels avoid any contact with the ground.
  7. This type of fact is general in many species of animals, similarly in the Asiatic lions, sometimes the male lions kill or eat up the cubs of the pride or sometimes their own babies as well.
  8. The most suitable time when you will find the lions to wander around will be early morning or evening time.
  9. Like the other wild animals, these big cats also do not prefer the crowd around them.

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