The lion is one of the big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. The commonly used term African lion collectively denotes the several subspecies found in Africa.Lions have captured our imagination for centuries. Stars of movies and characters in books, lions are at the top of the food chain. The Swahili word for lion, simba, also means “king,” “strong,” and “aggressive.” The word lion has similar meaning in our vocabulary. If you call someone lionhearted, you’re describing a courageous and brave person. If you lionize someone, you treat that person with great interest or importance. Prime habitat for lions is open woodlands, thick grassland, and brush habitat where there is enough cover for hunting and denning. These areas of grassland habitat also provide food for the animals lions prey upon.
Photograph by Eric Isselee | Dreamstime