For one to win, they not only need physical strength but also wit, speed, maneuverability, intelligence and perseverance. These two animals have been sighted and recorded fighting a number of times. In most cases the lion emerges as the winner. However, lions come out as winners but sustain wounds that are sometimes fatal. Here are facts and information about the two animals.
African Lion facts and information
- Scientific name is Panthera leo.
- Males are larger than females.
- Males normally have a maximum head and body length of 3 meters while females have a maximum of 1.75 meters.
- Males can weigh up to 250 kg while females weigh a maximum of 180 kg.
- Are categorized as ‘vulnerable’ as their population has been steadily declining.
- Poaching is the biggest threat to their survival.
- Social animals that live in groups of up to 30 members.
- They are the only members of the cat family that live in groups.
- A pride of lions may consist of up to three males, more than a dozen females and several cubs.
- All females in a pride are normally related.
- Once male cubs reach maturity (about 2 years), they leave the pride to go take over other prides. When taking over a pride, a male lion would typically kill the male lions and all the cabs in that pride.
- Males normally dominate a pride for a maximum of three years before being ‘overthrown’ by younger and stronger lions that have been chased from their birth prides.
- Territorial animals that fiercely fight to defend their territories.
- Mark their territories by leaving a strong urine scent and through strong roars.
- A pride’s territory may be as large as 150 square kilometers but normally smaller.
- Females do the hunting most of the time.
- Males take the role of protecting the territory and guarding young ones.
- Females hunt in groups as opposed to solo hunts.
- Once a hunting mission is successful, male ones eat first followed by females and then young ones come last in that pecking order.
- Carnivorous animals that feed on wildebeest, zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, giraffes, crocodiles, hares, hogs, hippos, rhinos, young elephants, mice and other wild animals.
- Sometimes snatch food from other hunters such as Hyenas and wild dogs.
- Originally roamed the forests of Africa, Asia and Europe but are now majorly found in the African grassland and woodland savanna.
- Lifespan in the wild is up to 14 years.
- Can be heard roaring from a distance of 8 kilometers away.
- Sleep for up to 20 hours each day.
- A female African lion can give birth to a maximum of 4 cubs in each reproduction cycle.
- In most cases, several females in a pride give birth around the same time. The cubs are subsequently raised communally.
- Gestation period is about 110 days.
Nile crocodile Facts and Information
- Scientific name is Crocodylus niloticus.
- Second largest of the three species of crocodiles found in Africa.
- Average length is 5 meters (16 feet).
- Maximum length is 6 meters (20 feet).
- Average weight is 230 kg (500 pounds).
- Maximum weight is 750 kg (1650 pounds.)
- Known to attack and eat any living being including humans. It is estimated that up to 200 people are killed by Nile crocodiles annually.
- Mostly feed on fish and animals that frequent water bodies including zebras, birds, hippos, porcupines, gazelles etc.
- Are endemic to and mostly found in the Nile river basin, Sub-Saharan Africa and the sub-continent of Madagascar. Mostly live in freshwater bodies and mangrove swamps.
- Are not endangered species.
- Can eat up to half its weight at time.
- Both males and females take care of their young ones. They both guard and take care of eggs until hutching.
- Biggest threat to survival is hunting and habitat loss.
- Has 68 teeth.
- Even though it has many teeth, it cannot chew after a bite. Normally bites huge chunks of meat before swallowing in full.
- Eyes, ears and nostrils are located at the top of the head and therefore they can manage to submerge almost their entire bodies and move undetected.
- Current population is less than half a million but more than a quarter a million.
- Sex of the hatchlings is dependent on the average temperature at certain times during egg incubation.
- Incubation period is between 80 and 90 days.
- Females can lay up to 60 eggs in one season.
- For incubation, eggs are normally hidden near water bodies and stay heavily guarded by mature male and female crocodiles.
Compare African Lion vs Nile Crocodile
|Animals||African Lion||Nile crocodile|
|Average Head & Body Length||6 ft 1 inch||19ft 8 inch – 20ft|
|Average Weight||180 kg||900-1000 Kg|
|Area||Africa||Africa and Nile delta|
|Weapons||3 inch canines|
3 inch claws
|Average Life Span||15 years||70-100 years|
The duel between the African Lion vs Nile Crocodile
A battle between these two animals may take dozens of minutes or even hours as both of them are strong fighters and never give up easily. The African lion, commonly referred to as the king of the jungle is an agile animal with strong jaws and canines that can tear apart the crocodile.
The crocodile on the other hand has powerful jaws with a grip that can instantly break strong bones. Both animals are capable of killing each other even though none of them is venomous. Both rely on their physical strength to win the war. It is said that a Nile crocodile has a jaw grip that is equivalent to more than one ton of weight applied per square inch.
Sometimes the lion has an upper hand because it is a flexible animal that can jump several feet into the air. The crocodile on the other hand is a rigid animal that cannot jump as high as an African lion. When the two animals are fighting, lions mostly pounce on the crocodile’s neck before strangling it to death.
The lion can also turn out to be a great meal for the crocodile if it is not careful. This is because if the crocodile manages to grip the lion, it will not let go until the lion is dead. In most cases crocodiles waylay lions at water points and attack lions that have come to quench their thirst. Crocodiles normally hide their body under water and swim steadily not to alert the lion. They then attack when the lion least expects and within a few seconds the lion is trapped between the strong jaws of the crocodiles with the crocodile’s canine teeth deep inside the lion’s flesh.
Though rare, sometimes lions jump into water to catch crocodiles. Most times African lions hide in bushes near water points waiting for crocodiles to come out of the water for basking. The lion is so good at camouflaging with the surrounding that crocodiles don’t normally discover they are being trapped until it is too late to run away and hide.
The muscle in a crocodile’s tail and its course and tough hide is also sometimes used as a weapon to defend itself. The only way a lion can kill a crocodile is if it ambushes it without notice. The opposite is also true as there is no way a crocodile can kill a lion unless it ensnares it.
To increase success rate, lions normally target smaller crocodiles while avoiding larger ones. A large crocodile is not easy to kill even if it is attacked by several large lions. On the other hand, crocodiles mostly rely on their ability to stay under water for so long without having to breathe. A hunting crocodile will clasp a lion and drag it under water where it stays for several minutes waiting for the lion to drown.
These two animals have equal chances of winning. The winner is determined by the location of the fight and the first one to attack.