• Reading Comprehension Lion
  • Chiara_998
  • 19.04.2024
  • Englisch
  • 8
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The Lion - King of Be­asts

Ex­cept for the tiger, the lion is the lar­gest mem­ber of the cat fa­mi­ly. Nick­na­med the “king of be­asts,” the lion is a well-​muscled cat with a long body, large head, and short legs. The males are ea­si­ly re­co­gni­zed for their mane of fur around the head and neck. The lion’s sci­en­ti­fic name is Pan­the­ra leo.

  • Most lions live in Afri­ca, though a small group can be found in India.
  • Fe­ma­le lions, cal­led li­o­nes­ses, usu­al­ly do most of the hun­ting.
  • Lions are ex­cel­lent le­a­pers and jum­pers.
  • Lions are the only cats that live in groups, cal­led pri­des.
  • A lion’s roar can be heard up to 8 ki­lo­me­ters away.
  • An adult male lion me­a­su­res 1.8–2.1 me­ters long. It can weigh 170–230 ki­lo­grams.
  • The fe­ma­le is smal­ler, shorter, and more slen­der. The fe­ma­le weighs only about 120–180 ki­lo­grams.

His­to­ri­cal­ly, lions ran­ged across much of Eu­ro­pe, Asia, and Afri­ca. Now, howe­ver, they are found main­ly in parts of Afri­ca south of the Sa­ha­ra. An iso­la­ted group of about 650 Asi­a­tic lions lives under strict pro­tec­tion in India’s Gir Na­ti­o­nal Park. Lions live in a va­rie­ty of ha­bi­tats but pre­fer grass­land, sa­van­na, dense scrub, and open wood­land.

The lion’s coat is short. It va­ries in color from light yel­low, orange-​brown, or sil­very gray to dark brown. A tuft on the tail tip is usu­al­ly darker than the rest of the coat. A male lion usu­al­ly has a mane, or lon­ger hair around the neck and head. The length, color, and thick­ness va­ries bet­ween dif­fe­rent in­di­vi­du­als and po­pu­la­ti­ons.  In some lions the mane and frin­ge are dark, al­most black. Howe­ver, some males lack a mane al­toge­ther. Manes make male lions look lar­ger and may serve to in­ti­mi­da­te ri­vals or im­press pro­spec­ti­ve mates. The fe­ma­le never has a mane.

Lions are uni­que among cats in that they live in a group, or pride. The mem­bers of a pride ty­pi­cal­ly spend the day in se­ve­r­al scat­te­red groups that may unite to hunt or to share a meal. A pride con­sists of se­ve­r­al ge­ne­ra­ti­ons of li­o­nes­ses, a smal­ler num­ber of bree­ding males, and their cubs. The group may con­sist of just a couple or more than 30 mem­bers. Howe­ver, about 15 is the average size.

Each pride has a well-​defined ter­ri­to­ry that is strict­ly de­fen­ded against in­tru­ding lions. There’s also a frin­ge area where some over­lap is to­le­ra­ted. Some pri­des have been known to use the same ter­ri­to­ry for de­ca­des, pas­sing the area on bet­ween fe­ma­les. Lions proclaim their ter­ri­to­ry by roaring and by scent mar­king.

Li­o­nes­ses li­ving in open sa­van­na do most of the hun­ting. The males ty­pi­cal­ly take their meals from the fe­ma­le’s kills. Howe­ver, male lions are also adept hun­ters, and in some areas they hunt fre­quent­ly. Males in scrub or woo­ded ha­bi­tat spend less time with the fe­ma­les and hunt most of their own meals. No­ma­dic males must al­ways find their own food.

Fe­ma­le lions usu­al­ly breed with the one or two adult males of their pride. The ge­sta­ti­on pe­ri­od (the time bet­ween con­cep­ti­on and birth) is usu­al­ly about 108 days. The lit­ter size va­ries from one to six cubs, but two to four is usual.

The ne­w­born cubs are hel­pless and blind. They have a thick coat with dark spots that usu­al­ly di­sap­pear as they grow. Cubs are able to fol­low their mo­thers at about three months of age and are wea­ned by six or seven months. They begin parti­ci­pa­ting in kills by 11 months but pro­bab­ly can’t sur­vi­ve on their own until they are two years old.

Li­o­nes­ses often leave their cubs alone for long hours as they hunt. With no pro­tec­tion, the cubs are often at­ta­cked by ani­mals such as hy­e­nas. As a re­sult, there is a high death rate among the cubs. Howe­ver, sur­vi­val rates im­pro­ve after the age of two.

Some fe­ma­le cubs re­main within the pride as they grow older. Others are forced out and join other pri­des or wan­der as no­mads. Male cubs are ex­pel­led from the pride at about three years of age and be­co­me no­mads. When they are old enough (after age five) they may try to take over ano­ther pride. Many adult males re­main no­mads for life.

In the wild, lions sel­dom live more than 8–10 years. Hu­mans hunt them, and other lions may at­tack them. In ad­di­ti­on, they may be hurt and die from kicks or punc­tu­re wounds from their prey. In cap­ti­vi­ty, lions may live 25 years or more.

The genus Pan­the­ra in­clu­des le­o­pards, ja­gu­ars, and ti­gers as well as lions. In cap­ti­vi­ty, sci­en­tists have bred lions with other big cats. These ma­tings are un­li­kely to occur in the wild.

  1. The off­spring of a lion and a tigress (fe­ma­le tiger) is cal­led a liger.
  2. The off­spring of a tiger and a li­o­ness is a tigon.
  3. The off­spring of a le­o­pard and a li­o­ness is a le­o­pon.


What di­stin­guis­hes male lions from fe­ma­les?
What is a de­fi­ning cha­rac­te­ristic of lion pri­des?
How do lion cubs ty­pi­cal­ly reach in­de­pen­dence?
Which of the fol­lo­wing state­ments about lion re­pro­duc­tion is true?
Fill in the gaps with the cor­rect in­for­ma­ti­on from the text!

Lions are the second lar­gest mem­ber of the cat fa­mi­ly, sur­pas­sed only by the tiger. They pri­ma­ri­ly in­ha­bit sa­van­nas of Afri­ca, alt­hough a small po­pu­la­ti­on also exists in India. Un­li­ke other cats, lions live in groups cal­led pri­des. Lion cubs are born helpless and blind. They begin to parti­ci­pa­te in kills by 11 months of age, but may not be fully in­de­pen­dent until they are two years old. The life­span of lions in the wild is ty­pi­cal­ly around 8-10 years, while those in captivity may live con­sider­ab­ly lon­ger, so­me­times re­a­ching 25 years or more.

Com­pa­re the life ex­pec­tan­cy of lions in the wild with that in cap­ti­vi­ty. Briefly ex­plain why the life ex­pec­tan­cy could dif­fer in these two en­vi­ron­ments.
Ex­plain the dif­fe­ren­ces bet­ween liger, tigon and le­o­pon.