Lions live in large “prides,” or family groups, of fifteen to twenty. Lions are known as “the king of the jungle,” but their homes are actually grassy plains. Lions are certainly king-sized: male lions can weigh over four hundred pounds! Lions can run at amazing speeds, and use their long, retractable claws and sharp teeth to capture and kill prey. Just like housecats, lions need to keep their claws sharp: they use trees as giant scratching posts! However, lions do have some important differences from housecats: for example, lions cannot purr, but they can roar!
Meet the lion...
Excuse me, too loud? I can be a bit noisy at times: I’ve been told I’m almost 25 times as loud as a lawn-mower – not that I see many of those here on the grasslands. I have a very big mouth – my yawn can open my jaws nearly a foot – but that’s not why I’m so loud. No, my impressive roar is due to the shape of my vocal folds. I can make a lot of sound with just a little air – can you?
I love to roar – especially at night. I let others know this is my territory. I'm very protective of my family. As a male lion, you see, my main job is to defend the pride, to use my loud roar to warn off anything that might threaten us or compete for our food. I also roar to communicate with other lions. We each make our own slightly different roar. We know by sound which lion is which, even across many miles on a dark still night."