Lions, By Eleanore Avery, Dallas, Texas, USA


Panthera leo

Learn more about Panthera leo from the Encyclopedia of Life

Encyclopedia of Life

Serengeti, Tanzania, Africa
By Eleanore Avery
Dallas, Texas, USA

The largest African carnivore, the lion is an iconic image of power. Females, weighing an average of 280 pounds and standing almost 4 feet high, generally live their entire lives in the territory where they were born. Though males often fight aggressively among themselves, the females are cooperative and often work together to hunt and raise their young. The only truly social cat, lionesses live together in prides of 4 to 6 adults with their young and break off into smaller groups to hunt. Most commonly preying upon antelopes, zebra, and wildebeest, they are built to make a meal of animals of any size—from rodents to elephants.

“I was so excited to see this pair gazing at distant prey, as it is most unusual to come upon lionesses side by side hunting in this way. The determination in each lion’s face was striking—there was no mistaking their serious intent.”—” —RK

Canon EOS 40D; 100-400mm IS lens at 320mm; 1/500 sec at ƒ/8; ISO 320; beanbags on vehicle.