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Body size of the wild lions ( Panthera leo ) from East Africa

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By Raúl A. Valvert L.
Guatemala, March 2014.

Table 1
Measurements and weights of adult male lions, according with modern research and verified hunting records.
No.

Total length
(mm)

Head-body
length (mm)

Shoulder
height (mm)

Weight (kg)

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57

3011
2998
2980
2972
2896
2860
2850
2846
2846
2846
2820
2820
2795
2780
2769
2769
2769
2749
2744
2744
2744
2744
2740
2730
2730
2730
2725
2718
2718
2717
2706
2700
2668
2660
2642
2642
2630
2630
2617
2610
2591
2591
2570
2550
2500
2464
-

2032
2083
1950
1956
1830
1963
1830
1855
1835
1905
1760
1720
1760
1815
1750
1689
1730
1630
-

1067
1092
1100
1067
1041
991
1016
914
965
965
864
1016
1118
980
991
997
908
1050
1016
940
965
889
902
1010
1016
914
1100
1070
813
-

234.0
186.9
230.0
204.7
189.6
184.2
171.9
182.3
186.0
174.2
181.0
175.1
169.1
193.2
195.0
172.8
154.1
176.5
153.0
167.5
156.9
170.6
186.0
145.4
191.0
149.2
168.9
163.3
180.0
175.1
235.0
200.0
200.0
190.5
180.0
169.0
155.5
155.3
146.0

X
n
Max.
Min.

2738
46
3011
2464

1839
18
2083
1630

992
29
1118
813

179.5
39
235.0
145.4

Location

Reference

British East Africa
Kenya
Aberdares NP, Kenya
N-E. Belgian Congo
Tanzania

Rowland Ward, 1914
Gibbons, 1898 *
Hollister, 1918
Roosevelt & Heller, 1914
Patterson, 2004
Hollister, 1918
Rodgers, 1974

Kenya

Meinertzhagen, 1938

Habr Heshi, Somalia
Kenya
Uganda
N-E. Belgian Congo
British East Africa
Somalia
Kenya

Peel, 1900
Meinertzhagen, 1938
Meikle & Meikle, 1917
Hollister, 1918
Bennet, 1914
Inverarity, 1891
Meinertzhagen, 1938
Hollister, 1918
Bennet, 1914

East Africa

British East Africa
Kenya

Meinertzhagen, 1938

Uganda

Meikle & Meikle, 1917

British East Africa
N-E. Belgian Congo
Amboseli NP, Kenya **
Serengeti NP, Tanzania
Maji Moto, Tanzania
Kenya
Amboseli NP, Kenya **
Kenya
Tanzania
Uganda

Hollister, 1918
Van der Werf, 2008; KWS, 2009; Jirmo et al ., 2010

Schaller, 1972
Crile, 1936
Meinertzhagen, 1938
Van der Werf, 2008; KWS, 2009; Jirmo et al ., 2010

Somalia
British East Africa
Kenya
Maji Moto, Tanzania
Tanzania

Meinertzhagen, 1938
Rodgers, 1974
Meikle & Meikle, 1917
Guggisberg, 1975
Meinertzhagen, 1938
Inverarity, 1891
Bennet, 1914
Meinertzhagen, 1938
Crile, 1936
Rodgers, 1974

Kenya

Meinertzhagen, 1938

Tanzania

Rodgers, 1974

Aberdares NP, Kenya
Kenya

Patterson, 2004
Meinertzhagen, 1938

British East Africa

Hollister, 1918

Ngorongoro CA, Tanzania
Aberdares NP, Kenya
Amboseli NP, Kenya
Kenya
Amboseli NP, Kenya

Jansson, 2013 ***
Patterson, 2004
Lion Guardians, 2009
Percival, 1985
Lion Guardians, 2009

Kenya

Serengeti NP, Tanzania
Ngorongoro CA, Tanzania

West & Packer, 2013
Schaller, 1972
Panthera.org, 2013

* This specimen bottomed a scale with a capacity of 450 lb (c.204 kg).
** In its last capture, the specimens No. 26 and 30 had a head-body length of 1850 and 2000 mm respectively (Jirmo et al,., 2010).
*** Includes the stomach content from its last meal.
N-E.: North East. NP: National Park. CA: Conservation Area. Only measurements "between pegs" or in "straight line" were used.

Note: Bertram & King (1976) captured 11 male lions in the Serengeti NP, Tanzania, from which they got an average weight of 187 kg
(adjusted for stomach content). Finally, during 1983-84, T. Sanchez-Arino and W. Bigi hunted 21 male lions in the Loliondo region of
Tanzania and their average weight was of 155 kg, the heaviest lion of the sample weighed 180 kg (De Almeida, 1990). Overall, the
average weight for a male lion in East Africa is of c.174 kg (n=71).

Table 2
Measurements and weights of adult female lions, according with modern research and verified hunting records.
No.

Total length
(mm)

Head-body
length (mm)

Shoulder
height (mm)

Weight (kg)

Location

Reference

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46

2700
2690
2680
2551
2550
2541
2540
2540
2520
2515
2502
2500
2490
2464
2439
2430
2422
2420
2415
2414
2410
2410
2410
2400
2400
2395
2380
2380
2360
2330
2240
2230
2134
2104
-

1760
1575
1590
1575
1639
1524
1588
1480
1621
1680
1490
1560
1540
1524
1470
1560
1520
1530
1440
1470
1410
-

910
990
864
1016
1016
980
838
965
851
820
840
991
876
864
838
780
-

185.5
158.3
167.4
106.1
120.0
112.6
122.0
122.0
126.0
133.4
92.0
180.0
150.0
148.0
130.0
126.1
121.0
119.5
110.0
110.0
108.0
100.0
98.0

Amboseli NP, Kenya

Van der Werf, 2008; Jirmo et al ., 2010

Kenya

Meinertzhagen, 1938

X
n
Max.
Min.

2438
34
2700
2104

1550
21
1760
1410

902
16
1016
780

128.1
23
185.5
92.0

British East Africa

Hollister, 1918

Uganda

Amboseli NP, Kenya
Somalia
British East Africa
Aberdares NP, Kenya
Somalia

Meikle & Meikle, 1917
Roosevelt & Heller, 1914
Meinertzhagen, 1938
Van der Werf, 2008
Inverarity, 1891
Bennet, 1914
Patterson, 2004
Inverarity, 1891

British East Africa

Bennet, 1914

N-E. Belgian Congo
British East Africa

Hollister, 1918

Kenya

Uganda
British East Africa

Jirmo et al ., 2010
Van der Werf, 2008
Meikle & Meikle, 1917
Hollister, 1918

Kenya

Meinertzhagen, 1938

N-E. Belgian Congo
Tanzania

Hollister, 1918
Schaller, 1972 *
Bennet, 1914

Amboseli NP, Kenya

British East Africa
Hollister, 1918
N-E. Belgian Congo
Kenya
British East Africa
Aberdares NP, Kenya
Laikipia, Kenya
Amboseli NP, Kenya
Laikipia, Kenya
Amboseli NP, Kenya
Tanzania

Aberdares NP, Kenya

Guggisberg, 1975
Hollister, 1918
Patterson, 2004
Lion Guardians, 2009
Rodgers, 1974

Bernard Ngoru, in litt ., 2010

* This specimen was pregnant and also have 9 kg of food in her stomach.
N-E.: North East. NP: National Park. Only measurements "between pegs" or in "straight line" were used.

Note: Bertram & King (1976) captured 15 female lions in the Serengeti NP, Tanzania, from which they got an average weight of 124 kg
(adjusted for stomach content). Finally, West & Packer (2013) reported other 4 female lions captured in the same region and their average
weight was of 111 kg, the lightest and heaviest specimens weighed 90.5 and 138 kg respectively. Overall, the average weight for a female
lion in East Africa is of c.121 kg (n=42).