Lion Facts for Kids | African Cats
Top 10 Lion Facts for Children and More
The best lion facts for kids. Lions are impressive creatures. Interesting too, come and find out some child-friendly facts about lions. One of our favorite African cats.
My older son loves African animals, especially the carnivores. He loves to find out all about his favorite animals so I've been researching the information about lions.
I've included some wild lion videos too and ideas of where to find more lion information and encourage a child's interest in lions and other wild animals.
African Lion Poster Print, 24x36
Top 10 Lion Facts for Kids
- How big are lions? Lions are big cats. The largest males can be over 550lb in weight (250kg). Male lions are typically the weight of 2-3 adult men! (Tigers are bigger though.)
- Lions are the only cats that live in family groups. A lion family is called a pride and includes up to three male lions, several lionesses and their young. Females typically stay with their pride whereas young males must leave and make their own way in life.
- Where do lions live? Most lions live on the savannah and grassy plains of Africa. They used to be common across Europe and Asia. There are still a few lions left in Asia. The asiatic lion is found only in the Gir Forest in Gujarat, India. Lions are also bred in zoos around the world. Zoo conservation work plays an important part in preserving these amazing animals for the future.
- Lions are yellowy-brown or tan in color. This coloring is referred to as tawny. The term tawny lions is used to distinguish regular colored lions from the more unusual white lions.
- In modern culture lions are associated with being brave, as in the phrase 'as brave as a lion'. It's easy to be brave when you're the top predator! The cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz turns this around.
- Lions are of course carnivores or meat-eaters. In Africa they eat large african mammals such as wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and warthog. In a pride, it's the lionesses that do most of the hunting to provide meat.
- Lions make lots of different noises. They are known for their roar which is used to communicate their location and ownership of territory. Lions roar a lot at night and their roar can carry over long distances. They also snarl, purr and hiss.
- The IUCN red list of endangered species lists Panthera Leo as vulnerable. It's hard to calculate how many lions are left (they don't tend to return the census forms ;-) but recent studies suggest there are 20 to 40,000 lions left in the wild. There are only around 350 Indian lions left.
- In the wild, lions live for around 12 years. In captivity they can live for much longer, 20 years or more. This is because they have an easy life in captivity. They are less likely to get injured and will receive medical treatment for any problems. And if they reach old age, they'll be well looked after.
- And yes, I haven't forgotten. Male lions have manes. Male lions are very distinctive with their impressive yellow manes. This makes them readily identifiable and physically impressive. Lions are a popular theme in many cultures, look around your city and see if you can spot any lions.
Papo Lioness with Lion Cub
Papo animals are very well made and this lioness gently holding a cub in her mouth is very cute.
More lion toys.
Disney African Cats Trailer
Lion fans will enjoy the new Disney African Cats movie. It's filmed in Africa and full of gorgeous scenes and fascinating wild animals. Careful though some younger kids might find it too sad.
Disney: African Cats - New for 2011
Disney: African Cats is set in Africa and is full of breathtaking scenary. One of the stars is Mara, a lion cub who is growing up.
It's quite emotional so I suggest that parents watch first.
My boys love watching lion documentaries. Kevin Richardson, the Lion Ranger is one of their favorites. Kevin has a deep knowledge of and respect for lions and is able to interact closely with them. And African Cats is a wonderfully shot documentary - not for sensitive kids though, there are some very sad bits!
Wild Lion Video
A Mom lion introduces her cubs to their Dad. Lots of great wild lion behaviour.
Lions are well-represented in modern culture. There are lots of famous lions in movies including:
- The Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz
- Aslan from Narnia
- Simba from the Lion King
- Alex from Madagascar
Best Lion Books
Some of the best lion books to help learn more about these amazing African big cats. My sons love to hear stories about lions and soak up lion facts and see lion pictures.
Lion Fact Books:
African Cats: A Lion's Pride
Christian the Lion
National Geographic Readers: Deadliest Animals
Lion Story Books:
The Lion & the Mouse
Lazy Lion (African Animal Tales)
The Lion and the Little Red Bird (Picture Puffins)
If you want to help protect lions you can donate money to LionAid
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Lion Facts for Kids