Are Lions Smart? Explained With Proves

The muscles of the lions are very powerful. They have short legs, long bodies, and large heads. They are very famous because of their hunting skills. But there is a question that arises? Are lions smart?

The answer is simple: lions are smart animals and very good at problem-solving. Many types of research proved that they are smarter than all animal species, such as other big cats. The researchers have some experiments on the lions in which they gave them some tasks. In reply. Lions did all tasks properly.

The researcher also believes that lions live a social life that gives them advantages over other smart animal species. Their social intelligence makes them the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom. 

Now, we deeply discuss the main topic in this article: how smart the lion is. This article will also learn about some experiences implemented in wild and captive lions.

How Are Smart Lions? Proved With Experiments

Measuring the intelligence level of each wild animal is a challenging task. Therefore, researchers have not yet been satisfied by the discussion with one another on this matter. So, they decide to solve this matter practically.

Scientists face a long procedure for measuring the lion’s intelligence. They typically analyze lions in different ways. Their (lion) adaptive behavior, survival techniques, processing speed, and high brain IQ are some primary factors that scientists analyzed.

Click if you want to read: Are Tigers Smart?

Experiment On Lion In Captivity

They placed a box in a cage that contained food in it. They shut the door of this box and let the lions enter the cage.

In this experiment, the scientist involved a lioness and gave them 20 minutes to find the solution. Once she opens the door of this box, she remembers the solution to this problem after a long time. So she can also open the box again and again.

Besides this lioness who opened the door, another lioness was also watching this action. They were not involved in this process but remembered all the scenes and solved the puzzle in the early minutes when they got a chance. This shows that lions are very fast learners and can learn new things by observing them.

This research shows that they are smart creatures and keen observers. Lions also can learn from observing without practicals. This standard’s intelligence level compelled the scientists to put the lion’s name on the list of most intelligent animals. 

Now, it is time to discuss the other experiment. The primary motive behind this experiment was also to check the smartness of lions.

Experiment In Wild

Another interesting thing about this experiment was that it was held in a forest and explored the smartness of lions in real meaning.

In this procedure, the scientists produced roars near the forest lions. The lion is responsible for the safety of all his pride. The pride makes this kind of roar while any other intruder attacks them. Based on these roars, the lion estimates the number of its enemies.

The defending lions followed the roaring voices when they felt that the enemies were in small numbers.

Conversely, when the researchers create various roars simultaneously, the defending lions think there might be many enemies. So, the lion left its territory without any action.

The result of this experiment is that the lions’ intelligence level is enough to estimate the possibilities of their victory. 

Why Lions Are Smart Animals? Reason Explained

As we said earlier, different experiments were done on the lions in which they showed high intellectual abilities. This makes them different from other animals.

They can change their habits and attitudes when changes in the environment occur.  Besides this, lions have some extra natural virtues (given below), making them more intelligent than other animals.

1.    Lions Are Social Creatures

Lions live in groups, and every group consists of 40 members. Social life is a big cause of their high intelligence level.

Lion With Cub

  1. Every member is responsible for their task. The male lions are responsible for the protection of their area and pride, while the females control prey for food.
  2. During hunting time, female lions use different intelligent tricks to hunt their prey. Every hunter-lioness has played different tasks based on hunting.
  3. The lioness selects their hunt according to the number of their group members. When they are large in numbers, they select big size animals for hunting, such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes and other big size animals.
  4. Moreover, contact and calls between them are important signs of their intelligence and hunting.
  5. They use many kinds of sounds for communication, both with the pride community and intruders. The most common use of voice for chat among them is roaring.

2.    Keen Observers

Observing happenings with laser focus is the easy way to adopt a new behavior; lions are best at it. During childhood, they learn to attack and hunt with their observation. First, they observe their older and then mimic it with one another. This proves lions are a fast learner and share their adapting ability.

Lion In Thoughts

Further, they use their smelling ability to find the lost territory. They follow scents to approach their territory in case they lose their pride.

3.    Lions Are Carnivores

Yes, carnivores are more intelligent than herbivores. They need to use extra intelligence to catch their hunt when they follow their hunt. The carnivores also understand that when they chase young and weak prey, they succeed in most cases.

Lion Eating Prey

Herbivores do not have this type of ability. They need help learning or understanding the next step of the hunter. They work on an estimate basis.

Not all carnivores need to be smarter than herbivores; however, some species of herbivores also show a high level of intelligence, such as parrots, elephants, chimpanzees, and more.  Most animals belong to the meat-eater group with a high intelligence level.

Lion’s Smartness Comparing Other Animals

1.  Lion’s Smartness Against Tigers

Lions are more intelligent than tigers and other big cats. I am not saying it on my own. Many studies held to find the smartest big cat, but they all agreed on the name of the lion. You may also think how lions can be smarter than tigers, while when both come face to face, the percentage of winning the tiger is 90%.

Tigers mostly win over lions due to their physical adaptations, but we are talking about smartness, not physical strength.

As lions solved many tasks that other big cats could not, they proved themselves smarter than other big cats.

2.  Lion’s Smartness Against Dogs

According to the number of neurons, lions, and dogs have almost the same standard of intelligence because they have the same number of neurons. Still, when it comes to practicality, dogs can solve complex tasks that lions cannot complete. So, due to this reason, dogs are considered smarter than lions.

3.  Lion’s Smartness Against House Cats

Lions are considered more intelligent than domestic cats. Environment and social circle have a deep influence on their intelligence level. So, lions are more intelligent than domestic cats.

The difference in their size is also very important for their intelligence level. Lions are big, and they are not worried about in the case of predators.

On the other hand, domestic cats see the world from the vision of fear, which includes their predators, such as dogs. Lions contain more neurons than domestic cats, but the pet cat beat the lions in the neuron fight.


After studying this article, you know that lions are smarter than tigers even from are all big cats. Scientists say that social lifestyle plays a big role in animal intelligence, but in recent studies, social behavior was not considered important for intelligence.


Are lions smarter than humans?

Lions are smarter than other animals. But they are not smarter than humans.

Can lions beat tigers?

When a fight between lions and tigers. Usually, tigers are victorious in this fight because they attack their enemy from the upper hand. In the case of the lion, the tiger has more physical adaptation, which makes it victorious in most battles with lions.

Do tigers have big brains than other animals?

No, smartness never rely on brain size. Despite this, it does not seem that lion have bigger brain.



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