Top 5 Strange Lion Facts

Top 5 Strange Lion Facts
Top 5 Strange Lion Facts

The lion's worst enemy might come as a surprise, as the culprit is the size of a small dog: turns out the porcupine is the thorn in the big cat's side, or rather mouth, as a lion tricked into sniffing the clever porcupine's sharp quills often ends up with one or more stuck in its jaw for life.

4. Tantalizing Tail

The lion is the only member of the cat family with a tasseled tail, which serves a purpose beyond aesthetics. It's often used to signal to other members of the pride, with messages ranging from directional, "this way" commands to flirtatious, "come hither" invitations!

3. A Manicurist's Nightmare

A lion's claws are not only very sharp, but also retractable, which helps maintain the big cat's slice-and-dice capabilities by preventing injury during play. Their claws grow as a series of layers. These eventually shred to expose new claws that can reach lengths of up to 1 1/2 inches from the base to tip.

2. Armed to the Teeth

A lion's back teeth (called carnassals) work like a pair of scissors, which comes in handy when tackling a fresh piece of meat. Though the teeth help cut up their meals, lions don't actually chew their food, but rather swallow it in chunks, using only one side of their mouth at a time.

1. Rub-a-Dub-Dub

Male and females greet each other not with a handshake but with a rub, which sometimes becomes so vigorous that one gets knocked down in the process. The act is meant as a means of bonding, as lions leave scent markings on each other during the process, similar to how house cats rub up against their pet parents to demonstrate ownership (but hopefully, with less injury!).