What animal can you hear from 5 miles away?
A lion’s roar can be heard from more than 5 miles away.
It’s generally a good idea to keep your distance from lions, which is why it’s reassuring to know that hearing one doesn’t necessarily mean it’s nearby. A lion’s roar is so loud, in fact, that it can be heard from more than 5 miles away. Reaching 114 decibels (about 25 times louder than a gas-powered lawn mower), the sound is louder than that of any other big cat — just one reason why the lion is known as the king of the jungle. They’re able to make such an imposing call thanks to their larynx: While most animals’ vocal cords are triangular, a lion’s are square and flat. This allows air to pass through more easily and results in a loud roar that requires relatively little effort on the lion’s part.
Lions aren’t the only animals that can be heard from long distances. Blue whales make the loudest sound of all, with males emitting a rumbling call that can reach 188 decibels and be heard by potential mates hundreds of miles away. The famous hyena “laugh,” meanwhile — actually a sound the animals make under stress — can reach a distance of 8 miles. Lions, blue whales, and hyenas would all be impressed by the mighty, tiny pistol shrimp, which shoots out bubbles to incapacitate its prey and in doing so creates a sound that can reach 218 decibels, louder than a gunshot. Fortunately for any humans that might be nearby, it lasts only a fraction of a second.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Weight, in pounds, of the largest lion ever recorded
Estimated number of lions living in the wild
Cat species larger than the lion (tigers)
Super Bowls won by the Detroit Lions
Lions don’t need to drink water every day, but they do need to eat often.
Lions can go for days without drinking water, and get much of their moisture from prey and plants. They aren’t as resilient when it comes to food, however. They need to eat frequently, and typically consume about 17 to 20 pounds of food each day. Males can eat close to 100 pounds of food a day, while females can eat more than 55. Though mostly known for eating medium-sized hoofed animals such as zebras, antelopes, and wildebeest, lions are opportunistic hunters who will also dine on everything from mice and hares to lizards and tortoises.