The lion (Panthera leo) is a species within the Felidae and a member of the Panthera. The lion’s most recognizable for its muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the top of its tail. it’s sexually dimorphic; man lions have a prominent mane.
With a typical head-to-body length of 184–208 cm (72–82 in) they’re larger than females at 160–184 cm (63–72 in). it’s a social species, forming groups called pride. A lion pride consists of a couple of adult males, related females, and cubs.
Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying totally on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and keystone predator, although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and are known to hunt humans, although the species typically doesn’t.
Typically, the lion inhabits grasslands and savannas but is absent in dense forests. it’s usually more diurnal than other big cats, but when persecuted it adapts to being active in the dark and at twilight. within the Pleistocene, the lion ranged throughout Eurasia, Africa, and North America, but today it’s been reduced to fragmented populations in Sub-Saharan Africa and one critically endangered population in western India.
It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in African countries have declined by about 43% since the first 1990s. Populations are untenable outside designated protected areas. Although the explanation for the decline isn’t fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the best causes for concern.
One of the foremost widely known animal symbols in human culture, the lion has been extensively depicted in sculptures and paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature. Kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and are a key species looked for exhibition in zoological gardens across the planet since the late 18th century.
Cultural depictions were prominent within the Upper Paleolithic period; carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves in France are dated to 17,000 years ago, and depictions have occurred in virtually all ancient and medieval cultures that coincided with the lion’s former and current ranges.