lion has a broad head, thick, strong legs and a long tail tipped with a tuft of hair that conceals a clawlike spine. The male is larger than the female and has a heavy mane on the neck and shoulders.
Lions vary from tawny-yellow to reddish-brown in color. The mane may be light yellow to black. The lion spends 20 or more hours a day resting. They hunt during the day, but in areas where they themselves are hunted, they are active only at night. They live in groups, known as prides. A pride has 3 adult males and up to 15 females and their young. The pride lives in a territory that is defended against other male lions. A small group of young males without prides may live together. Lions prey on mammals, such as gazelles, antelope and zebras, and may cooperate to kill larger animals, such as buffalos and giraffes. Smaller animals and birds and even crocodiles may also be eaten. Lionesses do most of the hunting, often in groups. Lions attack by stalking their prey and approaching it as closely as possible before making a short, rapid chase and pounce.
Lions kill by a bite to the neck or throat.