Male Lion (Panthera Leo)

The peerless and biggest 'Big Cat' of all, Kenya's male Lions are known as the "King of The Jungle". An adult male Lion weighs up to 35 stone (225kg), is 11' (3.3 metres) long, plus his 3' (1 metre) tail and is 4' (1.2 metres) at the shoulder. Their manes turn black with age and the long hair extends from the sides of their face, around their necks and down onto their chests. Unless you visit the Lions of Kenya's Tsavo NP, which are generally mane-less.

Male Lions are only found in the game parks and conservation areas of Kenya. They typically live in consortiums of other males or in a pride in savanna areas, although some are to be found around swamps or woodland areas. Lions run and chase after their prey, so are rarely seen in dense woodlands.

Male Lions are usually banished from a pride at between 2-3 years old and form coalition groups. Although sexually mature at this age, they do not take over a pride until aged 4+. A single Male Lion, or two or three as a coalition will take over an existing pride, banishing the existing male/s or killing them during a vicious fight. A single male Lion may hold a pride for up to three years and coalitions for longer.
Having been banished from the pride, a male Lion will live until 10 years of age. If a coalition are banished, or one is formed, male Lions may live until age 16. In captivity, male Lions rarely live beyond 25 years old.

Male Lions have no predators, apart from when they are cubs. Due to their size and weight, they are often instrumental in bringing down African Buffalo and can receive mortal wounds from the Buffalo's horns. Man is the biggest predator of Lions, for hunting trophies, although Kenyan laws forbid the hunting of Lion.

Prides have between one and three adult males, living in harmony with various numbers of related females and their cubs. Older male cubs are pushed out of the pride and form a coalition, until they are four years or older, at which point they look to take over a pride, either singly, in pairs or small groups.
Male Lions, looking to take over an existing pride, have to fight both the existing males and their females, who are protective towards the existing pride. However, once the old males are either banished or killed off, the females readily turn their allegiance to the new male/s. Having taken over a pride, the new ruling male Lions kill off all the cubs within that pride, bringing the females into oestrus and thus bringing their own genes into the pride. Males generally only rule a pride for up to three years, although larger coalitions can rule for longer.
Many people have heard male Lions roaring, particularly at night when the sound carries for up to 5 miles (8km). This roaring is part of the method for marking territory, warning other males and prides to 'keep out'.

Male Lions, in charge of a pride, do little hunting, unless their size and weight are required to bring down a large animal like the African Buffalo. But the Lionesses in the pride give preference to the males at all kills, allowing them to take the choice cuts from the backside and the offal.
Male Lions outside of a pride have to do their own hunting, but have to use stealth, rather than speed. Most of their prey is either ambushed, previously killed by another predator (they are quite adept at intimidating and scavenging) or was already dead.

Other Male Lion Facts
A male Lion's heart is less than 5% of his body weight. Thus, he cannot run long distances or at any real speed.
Male Lions use the Flehman's Response to detect if a female is in oestrus. He has a special gland in the roof of his mouth, named a Jacobson’s organ. He uses this to smell and even taste the urine of the female to monitor her condition.
Just four Big Cats can roar. The Lion, Leopard, Tiger and Jaguar. A special 2 piece bone in the throat enables them to do so, named a Hyoid Bone. Male Lions are over two years old before the bone develops.
A male Lion can jump a stream 36' (10.8 metres) wide, but only jump 12' (3.7 metres) vertically.

Images taken in Kenya's Masai Mara, Nairobi National Park and Olara Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory:Big Cats
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:animal, big 5, big cat, big five, cat, kenya, king of the jungle, lion, male lion, masai mara, nairobi national park, olare orok conservancy, wildlife

Lions ~ Mating

Mating Lions, roaring, teeth bared.

Lion ~ Brothers

2 Lions, one sitting, one lying-down, masai mara.

Male Lion ~ Wounded

Portrair of Lion with wounded shoulder.

Male Lion ~ Panting

An adult male lion, panting in the early morning sunrise.

Male Lion ~ Yawn

Portrait of Male Lion, yawning, showing teeth.

Male Lion ~ King

Male Lion full-length portrait, sitting, Masai Mara, Kenya.

Male Lion ~ Portrait

Male Lion head only, eye-contact, stalking, Masai Mara, Kenya.

Male Lion ~ Black-maned

A pale-faced, black-maned old male Lion living the end of his life in Nairobi National Park, Kenya.

Male Lion ~ Prime of Life

Male Lion with full mane showing a tinge of black.

Male Lion ~ On A Roll

Adult male Lion, rolling around on his back in one of Kenya's savannas.

Male Lion ~ Youngster

A young male Lion, not yet old enough to leave the pride, but growing a mane.

Male Lion ~ Running

Large adult male Lion, running across savanna in Kenya.