How Tall Is A Lion?



Lions are some of the largest big cats in the world, only second to tigers, but just how big is the king of the jungle? How tall is a lion?

African lions are considered the largest species of lion, and adult males’ height is around 4 feet (48 inches) or 1.23 m (123 cm) at the shoulders. Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than their African counterparts, reaching approximately 3.5 ft (42 inches) or 1.1 m (110 cm) at the shoulder.

In this article, we’ll explore the average height of lions and some differences between subspecies and other feline species.

Difference In Lion Species Height

The lion (Panthera leo melanochaita), commonly referred to as the African lion, is a large predatory feline inhabiting various sub-Saharan African habitats. 

The big cats of the African and Asian savannahs are often compared.

The African lion is larger, with a lighter mane and thicker fur, while the Asian lion is smaller in size, with a darker mane and thinner fur.

African Lion Height

In terms of height, an adult African lion stands at an average of just over 4 ft (1.23 m) tall, and its length is between 6-8.2 ft (1.8-2.5 m) without the tail.

Asiatic Lion Height

Asiatic lions are slightly shorter, having a shoulder height of around  3.5 ft (1.1 m). The Asiatic male lion has a body length (excluding the tail) of approximately 6.5 ft (1.98 m).

Do Female Lions Have The Same Height As Male Lions?

Female lions typically have a much smaller stature than male lions. Female lions typically have lengths of about 4.9 ft (1.5 m), with a shoulder height of 3-3.6 ft (0.9-1.1 m).

While males can reach lengths of 6-7 feet and heights of 4 feet (1.2 m).  Male lions also tend to weigh significantly more than females – they can weigh up to 190 kg, while females only typically weigh up to 180 kg.

Lion and Lioness

Lion Height Vs Other Big Cats

Let’s look at some of their average heights to understand the size of lions compared to other big cats. 

Lion vs Tiger Height

The average height of an adult male lion is around 1.1-1.2 m at the shoulder, while an average male Bengal tiger or Siberian tiger stands around 1-1.1 m tall at the shoulder.

Both lion and tiger are similar in height, with male lions slightly taller than the average Bengal or Siberian tiger.

However, male lions may appear to be taller due to their larger manes which can add several inches of height and make them appear bigger.

Lion and Tiger

Lion vs Leopard Height

The height of a leopard is typically around 0.6-0.7 m at the shoulder, while male lions average 1.1-1.2 m tall at the shoulder. 

Leopards are generally smaller than lions and may appear shorter due to their streamlined appearance and lack of a mane.

Despite this difference in size, both lions and leopards are formidable predators in their own right.

Lion vs Cheetah Height

Cheetahs have an average height at the shoulder of 0.67-0.94 m. Thus, cheetahs are significantly smaller than lions.

Both lions and cheetahs are highly skilled hunters that rely on their speed to catch prey. Lions primarily hunt large ungulates like zebras and wildebeest, while cheetahs focus on smaller animals such as gazelles and impalas.

World’s Largest Cat

The title of the world’s largest cat currently goes to Hercules, a male liger who lives at Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife reserve in South Carolina.

Hercules measures 3.33 m (131 in) in total length, stands 1.25 m (49 in) tall at the shoulder, and weighs an impressive 418.2 kg (922 lb).

He is the largest living cat in the world today, and one of only a handful of liger individuals known to exist.

Factors Impacting Lion Height

  • The genetics of a lion can play an important role in determining its height. If two parents are genetically predisposed to be larger than average, their offspring may be taller than other lions.
  • A lion’s diet can affect its growth. Lions with a nutritious, balanced diet will grow to their full potential, while those deprived of essential nutrients may fail to reach the same heights as others.
  • The environment in which a lion lives can also influence its height. Lions living in regions with cold climates may be shorter than those in warmer areas.
  • A lion’s overall health can also determine its height. Lions that are sick or injured may not reach the same heights as their healthy counterparts.

Final Thoughts On Lion Height

Lions are one of the world’s largest and most powerful cats, with males standing up to 1.2 meters tall at the shoulder. However, despite their impressive size and strength, lions face several threats in the wild, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-lion conflicts. 

As such, it is important to continue to conserve and protect these majestic animals for their own sake and the health of our planet’s ecosystems.


What Are The Top 3 Big Cats?

The top 3 big cats are tigers, lions, and jaguars. These animals are known for their size, strength, and agility, making them some of the most powerful predators in the world.

Which Is The Bravest Animal In The World?

According to Guinness World Records, the title of the bravest animal in the world belongs to the honey badger. These small but fearless creatures are known for their ability to fight off larger predators like lions and hyenas.

Can A Lion Beat A Tiger?

While tigers are generally considered to be larger and stronger than lions, a coalition of 2–3 male lions would likely have a distinct advantage over a lone tiger. Similarly, groups of 2–4 female lions would likely be able to overpower a lone tigress.

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