How Much Do Lions Weigh?

Lions are known as the king of the jungles and are very swift, fierce, and strong creatures. They’re apex predators and can prey on some of the largest animals in the world, so how do they stack up themselves? How much do lions weigh?  

Lions are the second-largest cats in the world after tigers. They come in two distinct species: African Lions and Asiatic Lions. The African lion weighs between 265-420 lb (120-190 kg), while the Asiatic lion weighs around 240-420 lb (110-190 kg). The males are usually larger and heavier than the females.

In this article, we’re looking at how much lions can weigh. From birth to adulthood, this is how much lions weigh.

Lion

Lion Cub Weight At Birth

Both Asiatic and African lions give birth to cubs that are around the same weight. This ranges from 2.6-4.6 lb (1.2-2.1 kg).

On average, lion cubs weigh around 3 pounds (1.5 kg).

It is interesting to note that the cubs are born blind and their eyes open around 7 days after birth. They start crawling a day or two after they are born and walk within 3 weeks of age.

The cubs stay close to their mother for the first few months and they are eventually weaned by the age of six months. 

Females tend to stay with their mothers longer than males. Males, on the other hand, will typically stay with their mother until they’re two, while females may stay with their mother in the pride for life.

Lioness Cuddles Her Newborn Cubs | BBC Earth

How Much Do African Lions Weigh?

African Lions are found mainly in the grasslands, scrub and open woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. They usually range between 4.5 to 6.5 feet in length, with a tail that measures between 26.25 to 39.5 inches in length.

The African male lion weighs around 150-190 kg (330-420 pounds), while a female African lion can weigh up to 110-180 kg (240-400 pounds). 

Lion face close up

How Much Do Asiatic Lions Weigh?

Asiatic Lions are currently only found in the Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat, India. This region is primarily comprised of dry teak woods and provides a safe habitat for these majestic cats to thrive. 

Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than their African counterparts and males weigh around 160-190 kg (350-420 pounds), and females weigh around 110-120 kg (240-265 pounds).

Lion Weight Comparison

The table below shows a comparison between the different weights of the two lion species as well as the weights between the two genders.

African LionAsiatic Lion
Cub3 lb (1.5 kg)3 lb (1.5 kg)
Male330-420 lb (150-190 kg)350-420 lb (160-190 kg)
Female240-400 lb (110-180 kg)240-265 lb (110-120 kg)

Asiatic And African Lion Differences

Although both species are from the same family Felidae, they have many differences in their behavior and characteristics.

  • African lions usually cooperate with each other in numerous activities on a daily basis. They usually tend to be together when it comes to hunting or traveling. 
  • It has also been found that most African lions typically tend to live and spend most of the time with the lioness of their pride. On the other hand, Asian lions tend to live alone, or in a small pride.
  • Male African lions are larger than male Asiatic lions. Male African lions have a large mane while Asiatic males have a shorter and sparse mane that is darker in color. The unique longitudinal fold of skin that runs along the belly of African lions is completely absent in Asian lions.
Asiatic lion

Difference In Weight Of Male And Female Lions

The difference in weight between male and female lions is quite noticeable. Male lions are generally heavier than female lions of both African and Asiatic species. 

This difference in weight distribution is due to the hunting strategies of the pride. 

Female lions, with their lighter weight, are more agile when chasing down prey. Thus, the female lions are well-equipped for hunting and are able to provide food for the pride. 

Meanwhile, male lions may remain in the pride or roam alone and protect their territory from intruders. 

This difference in weight distribution is essential for the successful hunting and survival of a lion pride

How Weight Is Beneficial In Male Lions

The benefits of being a heavyweight for male lions is largely related to protection. 

Male lions have bigger and heavier bodies than female lions, which makes them more able to fight off intruders or predators that attempt to enter the pride’s territory.

It also helps them when they have to deal with rival prides. 

The larger size of male lions makes it easier for them to protect their pride from dangers.

Lion protecting his territory

Final Thoughts On Lion Weight

Lions of either African or Asiatic species exhibit a difference in weight between males and females, with the male lions being heavier. This is mainly due to the hunting strategies of the pride, as female lions are well-equipped for chasing prey while male lions use their size to protect their pride from intruders. 

African lions typically weigh between 265 to 420 pounds, while the Asiatic lion weighs between 240 to 420 pounds.

It is important to remember that individual lions within a species can vary in weight, and even males and females of the same pride may differ in weight.

FAQs

Is A Lion Afraid Of A Lioness?

Yes, lionesses can sometimes be more aggressive than lions and male lions are often wary of lionesses. Male lions will generally avoid getting into a physical confrontation with a female unless they feel that she is threatening the pride or their cubs. Female lionesses have excellent hunting abilities and are formidable predators in their own right.

Are Ligers Bigger Than Lions?

Ligers are bigger than lions and tigers. They are a hybrid produced by the cross of a male lion and a tigress. They are heavier and while standing on their hind legs, they can reach up to 12 feet.

Are Asiatic Lions Aggressive?

No, Asiatic lions are generally not aggressive toward humans unless they feel threatened. Researchers have observed that unless provoked, starving, or approached when with cubs or while mating, they will usually ignore people. They are much less likely to attack humans than African lions.