LAZIEST ANIMAL: Lions spend most of their time resting or asleep. Sleeping conserves energy since finding enough food is actually very difficult. Hunting success amongst lions is low and scavenging is unpredictable, so on average lions eat only every 2 or 3 days. Lions have distensible stomachs that allow them to eat large quantities at once, and resting is a good way to make each meal last longer.
HUNTING: Lions are built for quick rushes of speed rather than endurance. When hunting, they stalk their prey, moving slowly and carefully into striking distance before making their move. The hunt itself is likely to be a short charge as opposed to a long chase, and will more often fail than succeed.
Photo courtesy Brian McMorrow
THE BREAD WINNER: Male lions are famous for relying on females to do all of the hunting, but this is not always the case. Males spend a good deal of time as nomads or away from pride females, and during these periods they must fend for themselves. When alone, males will often hunt warthog, typically by chasing one into a hole and then digging it out. Males are also skilled hunters of larger prey where size and bulk are more important than speed. They are especially adept at catching buffalo which are an important prey species throughout the lion’s range.
Did You Know?
- One of the few animals that will attack a lion is a hyena , which will kill an injured lion or attack a healthy one if food is scarce.
- Lions have long been killed in rituals of bravery, as hunting trophies, and for their medicinal and magical powers.
- Most lions drink water daily if available, but can go four or five days without it. Lions in arid areas seem to obtain needed moisture from the stomach contents of their prey.