How It Works
Lions in profile

Top 5 Facts: Lions

Lions in profile

1) Different from the pack

Occasionally lions have cream-coloured fur. These were once thought to be a separate species but it’s actually a rare genetic morph called leucism.

2) Not so lionhearted

Lions have relatively small hearts for their body size; typically about three per cent of body weight, compared with 4.3 per cent for humans.

3) Lion or leopard?

Lion cubs are born with brown rosette-like spots on their fur. This provides a better camouflage for the scrubland.

4) A load of pants

Despite the searing African heat, lions have very few sweat glands. Instead they can pant up to 200 times a minute to cool themselves down.

5) Eyes bigger than their bellies 

An adult lion needs an average of 5kg of meat each day but they can gorge on up to 30kg in one meal and then not eat for up to a week.

For more amazing facts, pick up an issue of How It Works magazine. Order it in print, download the digital version or subscribe today to ensure you never miss an issue!

Plus, take a look at:

Why do lions hunt in pack but tigers hunt alone?

How do we know that lions are colour blind?

Do ligers and tigons exist in the wild?