Friday, May 22, 2015

Lioness

Lioness (Panthera leo)


A Lioness resting in her habitat at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL. This image was taken while on a Safari on a bumpy road in a truck, with my Canon 6D and Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. The 28-300 is my go to lens for travel and for just walking around with no particular capture in mind. It's the perfect lens.

Lions (Panthera leo) are one of the five big cats second in size to the Tiger. They are called King of the Jungle for their beauty and strength. The males are easily recognized by their manes that surround their neck, head, and face, which protects them during fights with other males. The female has no mane and looks similar to Panthers. 

They are carnivores and their diet consists of other animals such as, Wildebeests, Giraffes, Buffalo, Hogs and sometimes Rhinos and Hippos. When food is scarce, they have been known to attack Elephants. They will also eat smaller animals occasionally. 

The Lion population has halved since the 50's and are considered vulnerable at this time. Their range is in southern and eastern Africa and the southern Sahara Desert. 

Lions are the only social member of the cat family and live in Prides with up to 15 related females or Lionesses with maybe 2 or 3 males. Males are territorial like most cats. Females do the hunting and will hunt in groups to ambush their prey. Lions inhabit grassy plains, savannahs, open woodlands and scrub country. This allows them to hunt stealthy and hide in the long grasses. 

Males grow to about 4 ft tall and 5-8 ft long. They weigh 330-500 lbs with females being a bit smaller. They live 10-14 yrs and have a top running speed of 50 mph for short distances.

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