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Definitions Page

Lion Definitions

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A B C E F G H I L M N P R S T V

A

Africa
Africa has the most lions living on its continent.


African tribes
Some African tribes still consider hunting lions an important ritual and so they are a major threat to lions.


Animalia
All animals are members of the Kingdom Animalia, also called Metazoa. This Kingdom does not contain the prokaryotes (Kingdom Monera, includes bacteria, blue-green algae) or the protists (Kingdom Protista, includes unicellular eukaryotic organisms). All members of the Animalia are multicellular, and all are heterotrophs (that is, they rely directly or indirectly on other organisms for their nourishment). Most ingest food and digest it in an internal cavity.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web


Asian lions
A few hundred lions live in the Gir forest of Western India.

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B

Buffalo
A buffalo is a source of the lions food but a buffalo can also cause fatalaties in lions.

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C

Canine teeth
A lion has thirty teeth but four of their teeth are very largy and pointed, these four teeth are called canines. None of the lions teeth are good for chewing so they have to swallow in chunks.


Carnivora
The Carnivora is the result of a great radiation of mammals that ate meat. But not all meat eaters are in this order; carnivorous species can certainly be found among, for example, the marsupials, bats, primates, cetaceans, and others. It is also true that not all Carnivora are carnivorous; some, such as bears and raccoons, are decidedly omnivorous, and at least one, the panda, is primarily vegetarian. But the Carnivora clearly are a monophyletic group that is first known from the late Paleocene and whose primitive food habits were carnivorous.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web


Chordatus
Chordates are defined as organisms that possess a structure called a notochord, at least during some part of their development. The notochord is a rod that extends most of the length of the body when it is fully developed. Lying dorsal to the gut but ventral to the central nervous system, it stiffens the body and acts as support during locomotion. Other characteristics shared by chordates include the following (from Hickman and Roberts, 1994):
  • bilateral symmetry
  • segmented body, including segmented muscles
  • three germ layers and a well-developed coelom.
  • single, dorsal, hollow nerve cord, usually with an enlarged anterior end (brain)
  • tail projecting beyond (posterior to) the anus at some stage of development
  • pharyngeal pouches present at some stage of development
  • ventral heart, with dorsal and ventral blood vessels and a closed blood system
  • complete digestive system
  • bony or cartilaginous endoskeleton usually present.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web

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E

Elephants
Elephants are a threat to lions, especially if the lion is not quick enough to move. Lions will move when they see elephants approaching and an elephant will sometimes charge a lion to hasten their removal. Lions have been known to attack and eat small elephant calfs.


Endangered
Lions have been so persecuted, the lion has become one of the most threatened major groups of land animals. Lion numbers are dwindling and will soon be wiped out, so they are now endangered.


Estrus
Estrus is when the females reproductive cycle begins and is ready to mate.

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F

Felidae
Includes all felines - Cats; wildcats; lions; leopards; cheetahs; saber-toothed tigers.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web


Flehmen face
A flehmen face is exhibited when a lion uses his vomeronasal organ. The flehmen face is characterized by an open mouth, a wrinkled nose and an uplifted chin.

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G

Gestation Period
The gestation period is the length of a lionesses pregenancy. A female gestation period for the lioness is between 105 and 118 days.

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H

Habitat
The habitat of a lion is important for the lion to survive. If the habitat does not have year round water or prey, the lion and pride will move to a better habitat. A lions habitat is usually either grassy plains, savannas, arid woodlands and semi-deserts.


Hunting
Lionesses are usually the ones to hunt for the food, though male lions will sometimes join in on large prey. To learn about hunting, follow this link to Lions Realm hunting page.


Hyena
A hyena is a lions main rival in food. A hyena will attack a lion, especially if the lion is sick or wounded.

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I

Infantcide
When a lion or new coalition of lions take over a pride, the new kings of the pride will kill all the young cubs so to start the lioness to get into heat again, so the male and female may propagate. Some females will fight off the male lions and stop the infanticide but this may result in the mother dying or the mother and cubs fleeing the pride.

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L

Lioness
A female lion.

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M

Mammalia
Warm-blooded vertebrates characterized by mammary glands in the female.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web


Marking territory
A male lion is very territorial and one of the ways that they define their territory is by marking it with their scent. The marking is a mixture of urine and scent from two glands at the base of their tale. Males mark trees, bushes and the ground.

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N

Nocturnal
Lions are nocturnal, so they do alot of their moving aand hunting at night, although lions still like to rest and sleep at night to.


Nomad
Lions go through a period after they have been ejected from the pride that they were born into, roaming the lands. During this time they are called nomads, they are nomads until they find a pride of their own. After a lion has had his own pride and is ejected by other rival lions, the lion will travel the lands until he dies, and during this period the lion is also known as a nomad.

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P

Pantherinae
Subfamily of the felidae.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web


Paw


A lions foot is called a paw.


Prey
Prey is what the lion hunts and eats.


Pride
A pride is a family group of lions, ranging from 3 to 30 lions. The prides size depends on how many prey animals live near or migrate through the the pride's territory. A pride consists of related females, mothers and daughters, sisters, cousins etc. There may be 1 to 4 male lions living in a pride and the males will only last two to four years before they are evicted or killed by a coalition of new male lions that take over the pride.


Propagate
Propagation is the mating of male lions and lionesses to create cubs. The normal time for propagation between births is around two years.

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R

Roar
A lion will roar in the hours from dusk till early morning. A lion roars to stay in contact with their companions when separated and also to show their location and strength to rivals. Lions can also distinguish the roars of companions from those of strangers.


Running
A lion can run about 35 miles an hour.

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S

Scavenging
Scavenging food is what a lion would rather do as it involves less work and has lesser risk than hunting. One way that lions find dead carcasses is by seeing vultures circling in the air or grouped on the ground. A lion will eat carcasses dead of natural causes such as disease and will also steal carcasses from other predators, such as wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and even other lions.


Scenting
Scenting is a way for males to mark their territory. Lions also have a specialized organ for detecting scents, this is called the vomeronasal organ.


Sleeping
Sleeping is very important to lions as it conserves their energy. Lions spend most of their time sleeping or resting.Since prey is scarce, a lion may only eat once every one to three days and since lions have distensible stomachs that allow them to eat large quantities at once, resting is a good way to make each meal last longer.


Spotted coat
When a cub is born it has a spotted coat and loses the spots as it gets older.


Synchrony
Synchrony is when things occur at the same time.

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T

Territory
A territory is an area that a pride live in. A pride may occupy the same territory for many years. The size of a territory depends on prey availability, water sources and suitable places for hiding young cubs.Females defend a territory from other females and males defend against other males. Territory defense consists of roaring, scent marking and patrolling borders.

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V

Vertebrata
Vertebrates, which include fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, all share a vertebral column, or a chain of bony elements (vertebrae) that run along the dorsal surface from head to tail and form the main skeletal axis of the body.
- More information please visit: Animal Diversity Web


Vomeronasal organ
The vomeronasal organis a specialized organ in lions for detecting scents. When a lion uses this organ, lions exhibit a facial expression called flehmen.

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