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Lions are fierce animals that require large amounts of food to survive. Sometimes people may wonder what do lions eat to make them so large. Because lions are carnivores, they eat meat and a lot of it.

The main part of a lion's food menu consists of large animals such as zebras, elephants, buffalo and even giraffes. When they are unable to obtain one of the large animals, they feast on smaller animals like rats and squirrels or even birds. The male lions may eat over 100 pounds at one time since they never know when they will get more food. It takes around 15 pounds of food each day for a lion to live. By eating more at a time, the food will keep the lions from starving until the next big kill. Once a large animal has been attacked by the lions, the male lions will get to partake of the food first. Then, the female lions will be allowed to eat after the male lions finish. Little cub lions will get to eat last. When the food source becomes scarce due to no prey to hunt, the cub lions will not survive for lack of food.

Mountain lions are larger than some other species of lions, and the male lions are larger than the female mountain lion. The adult male mountain lion likes to travel alone in search of its prey to eat. The habitat where mountain lions are found can range from a desert area to a mountain area. Usually if an area has many deer roaming, there just might be a mountain lion hiding nearby waiting to attack since they love to eat this type of animal. What do lions eat besides deer? They prefer to kill animals like elk or livestock, and even some domestic animals may be at risk if a mountain lion is close by. The mountain lion will ambush their prey by attacking from behind. The bite of a mountain lion to the skull of its prey will break the animal's neck. One bite is all it takes for a mountain lion to get their next meal. The lion will then drag the dead prey to a spot to eat it and when finished eating, the mountain lion will cover the dead carcass up with dirt or leaves to return later for more food.

The male African lion is recognized by its mane and very large size. The muscular body of the African lion makes it easy for this lion to capture its prey. The African lion hunts medium to large size animals such as wild hogs and zebras. The African lion will try to get close enough to its prey to grab it, but sometimes they will have to run toward the prey, which causes the animals to start running. The animals will try to outrun the lion, but they are not always successful. The African lions will share their food with the rest of the lions. These lions like grassy plains or desert areas to live and hunt their food. Because African lions have good eyesight and a strong sense of smell as well as great hearing, it is able to find and capture animals for food. The African lions have reflexes that are quick enough to keep up with the fast moving antelopes. The African lions do not have to worry about other predators coming after them due to all of these senses being so strong, and because of their size and fierce nature for food.


A What Do They Eat? project.