Lion, Toronto Zoo by BRJ INC. on Flickr.

12.02.2011 / 77 notes
# Toronto# Zoo# July# Toronto Zoo# The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera# and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight# [4] it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India# having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene# about 10# 000 years ago# the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa# across Eurasia from western Europe to India# and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru.[5] The lion is a vulnerable species# having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of thirty to fifty percent over the past two decades in its African range.[6] Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fu# habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Lions live for ten to fourteen years in the wild# while in captivity they can live longer than twenty years. In the wild# males seldom live longer than ten years# as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity.[7] They typically inhabit savanna and grassland# although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together# preying mostly on large ungulates. Lions are apex and keystone predators# although they scavenge as opportunity allows. While lions do not typically hunt humans# some have been known to do so. Highly distinctive# the male lion is easily recognised by its mane# and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture. Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period# with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves# through virtually all ancient and medieval cultures where they once occurred. It has been extensively depicted in sculptures# in paintings# on national flags# and in contemporary films and literature. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos the world over since the late eighteenth century. Zoos are cooperating worldwide in b# ngc
  1. allofmyplainjaneglory posted this
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