Hi Horse Pals ~
Here's my latest story for the newspaper ... thought you might enjoy it! Had a great jumping week with Dandy ... hope you did, too!!
Your Horse Pal, @raya
I have always loved wild animals! They are all so different and have a special way of life! But my favorite of all is the lion! They are all so royal and magical! I espcially love the males with their manes! I wanted to learn more about lions and here are some interesting facts I found:
Fact #1 --- The Lion (Panthera leo) is the only big cat that lives in social groups. These groups are called prides and consist of 3 to 30 lions. The females are often related and share care of the cubs, including suckling. The lionesses do the majority of hunting with some driving prey towards an ambush of other waiting lionesses.
Fact #2 --- Lion cubs weight about three pounds at birth. By age 2, they are good hunters. They are full grown at 5 to 6 years of age. A litter usually is 2 to 3 cubs. Adult male lions weigh 330 to 500 pounds, females 265 to 400 pounds. Height is 3.5 feet (females) to 4 feet (males). Length 4 ½ to 8 ¼ feet, with the males at the higher end of the range. Lions are the second largest feline. The tiger is actually the biggest wild cat.
Fact #5 ---- Lions lie around for 21 hours a day.
Fact #6 ---- Lions can go 5 to 6 days without drinking water.
Fact #7 ---- Lion cubs have spots at birth that disappear with age.
Fact #9 ---- The average lifespan of lions in the wild is 15 years but they may life up to 25 years or beyond in captivity.
Fact #10 --- White lions were found to exist in the late 20th century. The pale color of their coats is due to a recessive gene.
There is also a big cat called a liger. It is the world's largest big cat. An average male liger weighs over 900 pounds and stands almost 12 feet tall. Ligers have a mane like a lion and stripes like a tiger. The reason that they are called a liger is because the father was a lion and the mother was a tiger. If the situation was reversed and the mother was a lion and the father was a tiger, he would be called a tigon, and would be a dwarf instead of a giant. A fully grown tigon is usually less that 350 lbs. Ligers are not sterile, and they can reproduce. If the mother was a lion and the father was a tiger it would be called a tigon.