Wolves are usually considered being the top dog in the canine family while Lions are kings in the Feline family. In this article, we will compare the specifics of what makes a wolf a wolf and what makes a lion a lion before figuring out whether a wolf or lion would win in a fight.
Table of Contents
- What is a Wolf?
- What is a Lion?
- Wolf vs Lion [Differences & Strength Comparison]
- Who Would Win in a Fight? Wolf or Lion
What is a Wolf?
The wolf also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America. They have pointed ears, elongated snouts, and bushy tails that curl behind them as a means of expression. The average wolf typically weighs somewhere between 80 and 160 pounds. Wolves can live up to 13 years in the wild, but most die long before that age.
What is a Lion?
The lion is a large cat of the genus Panthera native to Africa and India. It is a well-muscled cat with large head, broad-chested body, round ears and short legs. Lions live in a variety of habitats but mostly grasslands, savannas and shrublands. The lions are most active at night and are found mostly in parts of sub-saharan Africa and one population in western India in Gir National Park.
|Size||2 meters or. 6.6 feet long||Male lions are between 5.6 and 8.3 feet long while female lions are 4.6 to 5.7 feet long.|
|Weight||14 to 65 kilograms or 31 to 143 lbs.||Male lions weigh 330 to 570 lbs. And female lions weigh 270 to 400 lbs.|
|Height||76 cm or 30 inches||Male lions are about 3.9 feet while female lions are 3 to 3.6 feet.|
|Habitat||North America, Eurasia/ Tundra, woodlands, forest, grasslands, and desert habitats||Africa/Grasslands, savannas, shrublands.|
|Bite Power||400 PSI||650 PSI|
|Speed||31 to 37 mph||50 mph|
|Color||Combination of white, brown, gray, and black||Coats are a yellow, gold color but their manes can range in color from blonde, reddish brown, and black.|
|Sound||Howling, whimpering, growling, and barking.||Purr, grunts, growls, roars, hums, meows.|
|Paws||Large, oval paws with four toes. Long middle toe.||It is a very large paw that is long and circular with large paw pads on the bottom of their paw.|
|Senses||Strong sense of smell, can see in the dark and process rapid movement, and can hear high-pitched sounds.||Excellent sense of sight, sense of smell, and hearing.|
Wolf vs Lion [Differences & Strength Comparison]
In this section, we will take a deeper look at the chart and delve into the differences between a wolf and a lion.
Wolf vs Lion: Family
A wolf belongs to the canine family, and a lion belongs to the feline family. There are 38 subspecies of wolves and can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Lions can be found in Africa and not any other place on earth, which makes them pretty interesting in that regard. Also, there is only 1 subspecies of lions out there. There used to be two. The first is the Panthera Leo Leo. This subspecies is the only one that is still alive. The cape lion, which was the second subspecies to be found, is now extinct.
It should come as no surprise that this resulted from humans.
Wolf vs Lion: Size
Wolves are the largest living member of the canine family so you can imagine that they are on larger size. A male wolf is usually around 2 meters or. 6.6 feet long. This also includes the tail. Females are about 20 percent smaller than males.
Lions are the second largest living member of the feline family. First place belongs to the tiger. Male lions are between 5.6 and 8.3 feet long while female lions are 4.6 to 5.7 feet long.
While wolves might be the largest in the canine family, lions are much larger than them.
Wolf vs Lion: Weight
A wolf’s weight can range from 14 to 65 kilograms, or 31 to 143 pounds. Recall that a female wolf is usually twenty percent smaller, so that is also something that needs to be factored in.
We know lions are the second largest felines on the planet so you should expect them to weigh a lot. Male lions weigh 330 to 570 lbs. And female lions weigh 270 to 400 lbs. You would not want to encounter a male or female lion in the wild, but a male lion would be worse given they have a hundred pounds on a female lion!
Wolf vs Lion: Height
A wolf stands roughly about 76 centimeters or 30 inches tall at around the shoulder. They are the tallest in the canine family but compared to a lion they are a midget!
If you are trying to figure out the height of an animal, it is basically you trying to find out how tall it is while it stands on all of its legs. Male lions are about 3.9 feet while female lions are 3 to 3.6 feet. Even the tallest of female lions are shorter than their male counterparts.
Wolf vs Lion: Habitat
Lions are mostly found on the continent of Africa as we mentioned earlier. Habitat wise, they make their homes in grasslands, savannas, and shrublands.
Compared to a lion, wolves are more widely dispersed and found in North America and Eurasia. They can be found in places in North America like Alaska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, and even Arizona or New Mexico. Habitat wise, they can live in the tundra, woodlands, forest, grasslands, and deserts.
Plus, there are 38 subspecies of wolves so no wonder they are more spread out when compared to lions. They only have one subspecies left after the other was made extinct because of humans.
Wolf vs Lion: Food
Wolves are carnivores (meat eaters) and especially love eating large, hoofed animals like bison, elk, deer, and moose. However, they will eat smaller mammals if necessary. This includes such animals like beavers, mice, rats, and hares.
Lions are also carnivores or meat eaters. Interestingly enough, lions also enjoy hunting large, hoofed animals like wildebeests, zebras, antelopes. These two animals are from different families and on different continents, but it appears their diets are very similar.
Wolf vs Lion: Bite Power
Wolves have the strongest bite force in the canine family. Their bite force is around 400 PSI or pounds per square inch. It is weaker than a lion, but still pretty impressive if you think about it.
The bite power of a lion is extremely strong. Their bite force is about 650 PSI or pounds per square inch, making them very formidable. Now tigers, the largest in the feline family, have a bite force double that of a lion so it makes sense that lions PSI is weaker than theirs.
Wolf vs Lion: Speed
A wolf’s range of speed falls between 31 to 37 miles per hour. Even at the low end, they can run pretty darn fast. Problem is if you compare it to a lion they just can’t win.
A lion’s speed can get up to 50 miles per hour. The wolf would not even have a chance at out running a lion!
Wolf vs Lion: Color
The most common color of a wolf is a mixture of white, brown, gray, and black. Interestingly enough, there are subspecies in the arctic region that could be completely white.
A lion’s color is not as varied as a wolf’s can be. At least, not their coat. Lion’s coats are a yellow, gold color but their manes can range in color from blonde, reddish brown, and black. Remember, only the male lions have manes so female lions, they are going to even have fewer variations of color to them than their male counterparts.
Wolf vs Lion: Sound
Wolves communicate by howling, whimpering, barking, and growling. There could even be a mixture of sounds like a bark-howl or growl-bark. When people tend to think of wolves, they think of their howling at the moon late at night. This is true because wolves do howl, but they also make other sounds.
You may think lions can only roar. Now, you are not completely wrong because lions can roar. However, they can also grunt, hum, growl, meow, and even purr! Hey lions are basically giant cats so you should expect that they can not only meow but also purr.
Wolf vs Lion: Paws
Wolves have four toes and an oval-shaped paw. The biggest difference is that the middle toe of a wolf is usually longer, with webbing that can be found between their toes.
A lion also had a similar paw shape to a wolf, but there are differences. It is a very large paw that is long and circular with large paw pads on the bottom of their paw. Plus, you need to keep in mind the size difference between a lion’s paw and a wolf’s paw.
Wolf vs Lion: Senses
All the wolves‘ senses (hearing, smell, vision) is impressive. They have a strong sense of smell, can see in the dark and process rapid movement, and can hear high-pitched sounds. All very useful for when they want to find their prey or avoid predators.
One of the nicknames for a lion is the king of the jungle. Given that they are kings of the jungle, expect their senses are pretty amazing in their own right. They have an excellent sense of sight, sense of smell, and hearing.
Who Would Win in a Fight? Wolf or Lion
Once again, we reach the part of this article where we have to come to a stop with our comparisons and figure out which animal would win in a fight against the other. This is probably one of the more interesting fights out there. Wolves are the strongest in the canine family while lions are the second strongest, right behind tigers, felines in the family.
You typically see cats and dogs put against each other in the media. Here, the cat clearly dwarfs the canine. So, who exactly would be the one to win in this fight?
Well, the winner is clearly the lion, the king of the jungle. This should not even be up for debate. A wolf’s PSI is only at 400 compared to a lion which is at a whopping 650. A wolf could do some damage to a lion. However, the bite would not disable it. On the flip side, a lion’s bite could definitely stop the wolf in its tracks. Plus, look at the size differences again.
A lion is nearly three times heavier than a wolf. It does not matter if the wolf was against a male lion or a female lion who is smaller than its male counterpart. Both genders of lions would decimate the wolf in one go.
This fight would probably never happen in the wild since they do not live on the same continent. Still, it’s an interesting thing to compare and figure out who would be the winner in the end, given these two animals are both at the top in their respective families.
And there we have it all you dear readers and animal lovers out there. We learned all about the similarities and mostly differences between a wolf and a lion. These two are both amazing creatures. They are powerful predators in their own right and not an animal a human would ever want to encounter in the wild.
However, the lion, the self-proclaimed king of the jungle, is the clear winner in a fight between a wolf and a lion. We mentioned that this kind of fight would never happen in the wild. The only way it could happen is if it were at a zoo or something where you would have a chance of finding them at the same place.