According to National Geographic, an African lion weighs anywhere from 265 to 420 pounds. Its head and body measures anywhere from 4.5 to 6.5 feet long, and the tail adds another 26.25 to 39.5 inches in length.
Lions can run up to a top speed of around 37 mph, which is 10 mph faster than the fastest human runners. Lions cannot maintain this pace for more than 300 to 600 feet because of their large size.
Lions are carnivorous animals, and they eat a combination of carrion scavenged from other predators and prey that they hunt themselves. Lions typically prey upon the large hoofed mammals of the African grasslands, such as zebras, gazelles or wildebeest.
Zebras and other medium-sized herbivores are favorite foods for many lions. Lions also enjoy other animals, such as antelope and giraffe.
Most lions live in sub-Saharan Africa. The biggest exception to this, other than lions found in zoos, is a population of lions that call India's Gir Forest home.
As of 2014, there are approximately 23,000 lions in the world. Lions live primarily in open grassland and woodland areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are susceptible to extinction as they continue to lose their natural habitats.
Lions generally do not like water and avoid swimming unless it is necessary. Lions only enter water when they are hunting prey or when they must cross the water to get from one point to another.
While other species of cat (most famously, leopards) can and do have solid black fur, as of 2014, there are no confirmed reports of black lions. One popular alleged photograph of a black lion, dating from 2012, is actually a manipulated image of an animal that is actually white.
Starting with the head, a lion's body parts consist of eyes, ears, nose, muzzle, whiskers and mouth. Moving to the trunk, a lion has shoulders, a chest, sides, an abdomen, an underbelly, flanks, a back and a rump. The tail begins at the root and ends with a tuft.
Baby lions are called cubs until they reach maturity around three years old. Adult female lions are called lionesses, while male lions are simply lions. A group of lions is called a pride. The scientific name for the lion is Panthera leo. Because lions are at the top of the food chain wherever they