African Lion vs Asian Lion
These two top predators are important components of the wilds of especially Africa. However, in Asia, lions are not thriving with a very restricted distribution. Both Asian and African lions are threatened animals, but fall into different IUCN categories. By the looks at them, both carnivores look the same, but there are some slight distinctions between them. They both belong to the same species, Panthera leo, but in two subspecies. This article aims to emphasize the differences between Asian and African lions.
African lion is the commonly referred lion, and they have a large area of distribution in the mainland of Africa. They are the tallest among all the members of the Family: Felidae. The weight range of the African lion is from 120 – 190 kilograms, and the body length ranges from 1.5 to 2 metres. Their size could vary according to the environment that they live and the prey species available. Lions live in groups called prides, with two or three males and 10 – 12 females. The lionesses in one pride are blood relatives of each other. Females never leave the pride but males do as they grow, which stops inbreeding. They are efficient hunters, as they do it in a group and mostly females play the hunting roles and share the food with all. However, males are responsible for defending their territories, which are usually larger than 250 square metres. Urine marking and loud roars demarcate their territory boundaries. They often involve with fearsome fights with males of other prides to protect the boundaries. Scientists believe that these fights have a negative effect for the longevity of males. The average lifespan of African lion is 15 – 18 years in wild and almost up to 30 years in captivity.
Asian lion, Panthera leo persica, is a subspecies of the African lion. They only survive in only one forest reserve in India, Gir Forest in Gujarat state. Their population is a small one with around 200 – 400 individuals surviving in the wild. According to IUCN red list, Asian lion is an endangered species. They have stout bodies, and their usually large body could exceed two metres of body length more often. Asian lions have some anatomical uniqueness, as their tympanic bullae are less swollen and possess and a divided infraorbital foramen. Apart from those, the social life is also interesting to consider. Asian lion prides consist of two or three related lionesses with their cubs, but not males. Males are solitary in Asian lions; females only interact with them during mating. Average lifespan is around 17 years in wild and almost twice as that in captivity.
What is the difference between African Lion and Asian Lion?
• As their names indicate, the natural distributions of these two are in two different continents.
• African lion has a larger population and a large home range, while Asian lion has only a small forest reserve in Western India with a very small population.
• According to IUCN red list, Asian lion is in the endangered, and African lion is in the vulnerable categories.
• Asian males are solitary, while African males are social. In fact, one of the African lion males leads each pride.
• African lion prides are many times larger than those in Asian lions are.
• Asian lions have less swollen tympanic bullae and a divided infraorbital foramen, whereas those in African lion are different.