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lion, large carnivore of the cat family, Panthera leo, found in open country in Africa, with a few surviving in India. Lions have short-haired coats of tawny brown, with the tail ending in a dark tuft. Most males have black or tawny manes of varying length growing from the head, neck, and shoulders. The mane may be quite long and magnificent, giving the lion the imposing appearance that has led it to be known as king of the beasts in folklore; studies indicate that long manes are typical mainly of cooler climate lions. Grown males are about 9 ft (2.7 m) long including the 3-ft (90-cm) tail, stand about 3 ft (90 cm) at the shoulder, and weigh up to 400 lb (180 kg). Females are smaller and lack manes. The lion is anatomically very similar to the tiger although it is different in habitat and way of life.
Lions are the only cats that are social rather than solitary. They usually live in groups called prides, which vary in composition but may occasionally include as many as 30 individuals. The lionesses do a considerable part of the hunting. There is no definite breeding season. They inhabit grasslands, scrubland, and semidesert areas, where they hunt antelope, zebra, and other large herbivorous animals, as well as domestic stock. Lions also eat carrion. They do not normally attack humans unless wounded or provoked; under unusual conditions they may prey on humans, but even old and sick animals are more likely to subsist on rodents, insects, and other small prey.
In early historic times lions ranged over Eurasia from E Europe to India and over all of Africa. They were eliminated from Europe and the Middle East by the beginning of the 2d cent. A.D. and from most of the rest of their range in recent times. They are now numerous only in E and S Africa, although even there they are severely reduced in numbers. The lion subspecies of central and especially W Africa are even more severely reduced. At the beginning of the 20th cent. a few pairs remained in India and were preserved as tourist attractions in the Gir forest (now Gir National Park) of Gujarat state in W India. This group had increased to 290 individuals in 1955 but, although still protected, has been somewhat smaller since; they are the only remaining Asiatic lions. In early Christian symbolism the lion represented Jesus and has also represented St. Mark. For the constellation and sign of the zodiac see Leo.
Lions are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Felidae.
See the many books by J. Adamson; G. B. Schaller, The Serengeti Lion (1972); A. E. Pease, The Book of the Lion (1986).
Lion(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
The Lion is a popular name for the sign Leo.
(Panthera leo), a predatory mammal of the family Felidae. It has a powerfully built body with a large head; the tip of the tail has a tuft of black hair. The animal stands up to 120 cm high at the shoulder and weighs up to 280 kg. The body length measures up to 210 cm and the tail length up to 110 cm. The lion possesses great strength and adroitness. The hair is short and of tawny or sandy color; the belly is light. Part of the head, the neck, the chest, and part of the belly are covered with long shaggy hair (mane) ranging from a light tawny color to black. The young are spotted. There are two subspecies—the African lion and the Asian lion.
In the Quaternary Period the lion was distributed throughout Africa (except in the dense tropical forests of the western part), in southern Europe, and in Southwest Asia. It has been preserved only in the eastern and southern parts of Equatorial Africa (where it is protected in preserves) and in Asia (northwest India, in the Gir Hill Forest preserve). The lion inhabits savannas, mountain semideserts, and riparian forests in deserts. It hunts at twilight and at night, singly, in pairs, in families, or in groups (called prides) of five to ten individuals; it hunts for antelope, buffalo, zebra, deer, and domestic cattle. It also feeds on birds, reptiles, and locusts. It rarely attacks man. The gestation period is about 116 days. The young (one to six, usually three or four) are born weighing about 400 g and with their eyes open. They attain sexual maturity at three years. The lion’s life expectancy is 30 to 35 years. Hybrids between a lion and a tiger and a lion and a leopard are encountered. The lion’s vocal sounds include loud roars and deep growls. The lion differs from other large cats in its calm disposition; it is easily tamed and submits to training. It reproduces in captivity.
N. K. VERESHCHAGIN
What does it mean when you dream about a lion?
The lion symbolizes daring, strength, and ferocity. As king of the jungle, it also symbolizes royalty, leadership, and dominion (“the lion’s share”). The specific implication depends on the dreamer’s associations with the lion in the dream.
Lion(1) (LiOn) See lithium ion.
(2) (L10N) (L-ocalizatio-N) See l10n.
(3) Version 10.7 of the Mac OS X operating system. Introduced in 2011, Lion was a major upgrade with numerous enhancements as well as iPad-like features. For example, apps could be run from an icon grid like Apple's iDevices (see Launchpad). Apps could display full screen, and they could resume where the user left off when re-opened.
Applications automatically saved their data without user intervention, and the Mac's Exposé thumbnails of open windows and Spaces desktops were combined into one Mission Control function. The Mail app was redesigned like the iPad version, and new gestures were added to the trackpad. Befuddling users at first, the mouse scroll wheel direction was reversed to emulate trackpad movement.
No More DVD Installation
Lion was the first Mac OS version from Apple that was no longer offered via optical disc. Lion was available as a download or on a USB drive. See Mac OS X.
|A Mac and an iPad|
|Along with many new features, Lion provided an icon grid for launching apps like the iPad (see Launchpad). (Image courtesy of Apple, Inc.)|