Zoology & Botany

lion

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy lion in advance, as well as a sample of fur.

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a lion.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out. (Point to the lion) say: Renowned for its majesty and nicknamed "the king of the jungle," the lion possesses both beauty and strength. Lions have strong, compact bodies and powerful forelegs, teeth, and jaws for pulling down and killing prey. Their coats are yellow-gold. Mature male lions are unique among big cats due the thick brown or black manes that encircle their necks and protect them while fighting. Young lions have light spotting on their coats that disappear as they grow up. A lion may run at speeds of over thirty miles per hour when attacking prey, but can hold this speed for only short distances. Go back to the picture of the lion. Say: let’s find lion’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; this is its tail. It is long with a tuft of longer fur at the end. Lions are very social compared to other cat species, often living in prides that feature females, offspring and a few adult males. Pride members keep track of one another by roaring. Both males and females have a very powerful roar that can be heard up to 8 km. (Come on, baby, open your mouth widely and let´s roar like a lion). Lions are living things and need energy to survive.

Lions eat large animals, such as zebra and wildebeest. In times of shortage, they also catch and eat a variety of smaller animals from rodents to reptiles. Since they feed only on other animals; they are called carnivorous!  After a gestation period that lasts for nearly four months female Lions give birth to between one and six cubs that are born blind and are incredibly vulnerable in their new surroundings. The fur of Lion cubs is covered in darker spots that help to camouflage them into their den to protect them whilst the adults go out to hunt. Lion cubs suckle on milk until they are about six months old and although they won't begin actively hunting until they are about a year old, Lion cubs start to eat meat after 12 weeks or so. Lions live on the African savannah and veldt (grasslands) and in open woodlands on the edge of the grasslands. We need to take care of Lions and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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