Lions are one of the few predators with pronounced sexual dimorphism. Adult male lions are distinguished by the mane and look much larger than lionesses. Leo is considered an adult at 5 years old and by this time is gaining his optimal “combat” size. Males usually weigh from 150 to 225 or 250 kg, on average – 188 kg. The length of the male body without a tail is 170-250 cm on average (according to other data – 180-240 cm), the tail is 90-105 cm, the height at the withers is about 123 cm.
Males weigh 20-27% more females. The weight of the latter is 120-182 kg. The length of their body is 140-175 cm, the tail is 70-100 cm. The height is about 107 cm.
It was reported about a shot lion weighing 272 kg. The heaviest lion was killed in 1936 in the Transvaal, he weighed 313 kg (the Guinness Book of Records). In captivity, animals are usually larger. Thus, in 1970, a record lion weight of 375 kg was registered at the London Zoo.
The Indian (Asian) subspecies of the lion has a mass of 190-250 kg. His mane is not so dense and torso closer to the body, as if licked. This subspecies has a more squat body, which creates a deceptive impression of its smaller size in comparison with the African one.
The way of life of lions is atypical for large cats. Lions live in large family groups – prides. They hunt and look after the cubs, mostly females, but males keep the territory guarded. Battles for females often end with the death of a male defender or pretender. Some prides specialize in one of the prey types (there are lions that hunt elephants). An adult male can eat more than 30 kg of meat per meal. A full lion can sleep for almost 20 hours. On occasion, he kills representatives of other felines and hyenas.
Lions live in steppes and savannahs and hunt medium and large animals, primarily ungulates. To help large animals (buffaloes and giraffes) they are helped by a collective way of life. Lions diverge and occupy certain positions. There are lioness-beaters, they creep up to the victim for a short distance, after which they make a throw, directing the selected animal to the waiting group in ambush. Male helps to fill up large prey if you need rough strength and weight.
In the twilight, the tactics of hunting change, the lionesses silently go into the darkness one by one and surround the herd. If the males help them, a few menacing roars will drive the frightened animals to where the lionesses are waiting for them.
When zebras and wildebeest are many, lions feed almost exclusively on them. The lion usually eats every two to three days, but is able to do without food for several weeks. A serious danger, famine becomes after the herds begin seasonal migration across the plains. Thus, a lioness with helpless newborn lions sometimes remains alone, when herds leave, and behind them also her pride.