Panthera leo

Adult lions have a plain, unspotted coat that is light brown to ocher in color. Cubs are born with spots that sometimes persist on the legs and belly until maturity. Males have a mane which tends to grow fuller and darker with age. The tail has a black tuft at the end. Males stand 48.5 inches at the shoulder and have a head and body length of 67 to 98.5 inches. The tail is 35.5 to 41.25 inches and the weight for males is 330 to 550 pounds. Females stand 42.25 inches at the shoulder. Their head and body length is 55 to 69 inches and the tail is 27.5 to 39.25 inches. Their weight is 265 to 400 pounds.

The best known of the cats, lions are also the most social, living in prides that range in size from 3 to 30 individuals. This variance is dependent on the availability of prey. Related females and their cubs form the core. Because of its strength and predatory habits, the lion has long been known as the King of Beasts. Yet in the wild lions sleep 16 to 20 hours a day. Sexual dimorphism among lions is unique among the cats.