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This is an article about the species. For topics that share the name, see Lion (disambiguation)
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A male African lion (Panthera leo krugeri)

The Lion (Panthera leo) is a mammal of the family Felidae. Many who have lion fursonas today originally came from the The Lion King fandom before joining the furry fandom, whilst others are simply inspired by the movie.

Lions are predatory carnivores who live in family groups, called prides, consisting of related females, their cubs of both sexes, and one or more unrelated males who mate with the adult females. Male lions within the pride form a coalition. The females do most of the hunting for the pride while the males are largely occupied with maintaining the borders of their territory.

Lion cubs are born with spots. Some adults retain their spots.

A female lion is called a lioness.

They are the only members of the cat family to display sexual dimorphism, the males have manes, while the females don't. However, not all males have manes, some can also have weak ones. These are called maneless lions.


Lions hunt large animals such as warthogs, zebras, antelopes, gazelles, African buffalo and wildebeest. In times of shortage, they also catch and eat a variety of smaller animals, from rodents to reptiles, including hares. Lions also steal kills from hyenas, leopards and other predators.

Mating behavior[edit]

Lions are one of the most sexually active cats, another popular reason for choosing lion fursonas. During a female's estrus cycle, a male and female will mate unabated for 5-7 days every 10 to 20 minutes. However, it takes 6-9 estrus cycles for the female to become pregnant.


There are several subspecies of lion, most of which once existed or currently exist on the continent of Africa. The Asiatic lion, or Panthera leo persica lives in present-day Gir Forest region of India. The remaining subspecies of lion, along with their scientific names and habitat, are the following:

  • Panthera leo azandica - North East Congo lion
    An African lioness (Panthera leo krugeri)
  • Panthera leo bleyenberghi - Southwest African lion
  • Panthera leo hollisteri - Congo lion
  • Panthera leo krugeri - Transvaal lion
  • Panthera leo leo - Barbary lion (Morocco to Egypt); Extinct in 1922.
  • Panthera leo maculatus - Marozi, or spotted lion (hybrid of a lion and leopard)
  • Panthera leo massaicus - Maasai lion
  • Panthera leo melanochaita - Southern African lion
  • Panthera leo melanochaitus - Cape lion; Extinct in 1860.
  • Panthera leo nubica - East African lion or Masai lion
  • Panthera leo persica - Asiatic lion
  • Panthera leo roosevelti - Abyssinian lion
  • Panthera leo senegalensis - West African lion, or Senegal lion
  • Panthera leo somaliensis - Somali lion
  • Panthera leo verneyi - Kalahari lion

Barbary lions were the largest of the lion subspecies, and were kept by Roman emperors - who ordered the capture of literally thousands of individuals to fight in the gladiator arenas.

Despite its popular moniker of "King of the Jungle" which is more appropriate to the Asiatic lion, the African lion is an animal of the open plains. As a result, it has been the target of extensive poaching and is now a threatened species with significant populations being limited to national parks in Tanzania and South Africa, as well as the Gir Forest.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]