Why do male lions roar?

Why do male lions roar? If you have ever heard a male lion roar close by, you know it is more than just a sound — it is more like an energy tsunami crashing down on you!

Sleeping in a tent in the African bush and hearing lions roaring in the distance was one of our most incredible experiences.

The roar of the lion is the loudest of all the large cats. Lions roar to show their strength and authority and defend their territory from other males. A lion’s scream may reach 114 decibels at a distance of one metre (I’m curious as to what you’re doing within one metre of a roaring lion?) Because this is louder than the human pain threshold of 110 decibels, it’s no wonder that we can hear a lion roar from up to 8 kilometres away.

While both male and female lions roar, the male’s vocal call is louder and more powerful. Roaring lasts about 30 to 40 seconds and is distinguished by a series of long groaning moans followed by a series of brief ones. The call is most likely used to preserve and defend territory, or possibly, because roaring occurs most frequently at night, twilight, and dawn, it is used to locate one another in the absence of light.