Many lion facts have become a little distorted due to the almost mythical position the large African cat holds in the human imagination.
So here are some facts and information about them that might set the record a little bit straighter...
Lions don't only hunt their prey they are also scavengers. They will often steal food away from hyenas and other cats like leopard and cheetah if given the opportunity by using their superior strength or numbers.
They may be called the "king of the jungle" but there are a number of other animals on the African savannah that a lion will retreat from if challenged like full grown elephants, rhinos, buffalos, hyena and wild dog in large numbers.
Hyena compete with them for kills and ferocious battles occur which they often lose if there are enough hyena to drive them away from their food.
They can sleep for up to twenty hours a day and normally eat about twice a week on average.
It's the males responsibility to defend the pride so in return the females do all the hunting and he gets to eat before anyone else. He can hunt for himself if he has to as many bachelor males do.
Many lion hunts are surprisingly unsuccessful because they lack stamina and even though they can run up to 35 mph (60 km/h) they can only sustain it for awhile. Some studies have shown that they average around about a 16% success rate when hunting.
Their roar can be heard up to five miles away and males have a life expectancy of around 12 years in the wild with the females living up to 16 years.
Lions are unique amongst the cats in that they live in large social groups called prides that can have up to twenty individuals in them. The females are all related in a pride while the males remain only as long as they are strong enough not to be driven out by other males who then take over the pride.
More lion pictures of a male chasing hyenas, cubs and a pride feeding on an elephant all taken on safari in Africa...
More lion facts and information at the Encarta online encyclopaedia...