Learn About Lions in the Wild
Q:At what time of the day are lions most active?
Lions are supposed to be nocturnal, and there is a popular misconception promoted by guidebooks that lions sleep about 20 hours per day. In fact, lions are very opportunistic in terms of when they are active. For sure, most lions will probably wake from their daily slumber and begin to get active at dusk, but this is not always so. If lions have water within their territory that attracts prey animals in the daytime, the lions will be active in the day. Lions are extremely attuned to descending vultures during the day and will follow them to a free meal. Lions hunt at night not because their eyesight is better under low light conditions than that of their prey, but because with stealth they can probably approach their prey closer at night than during the day. Many antelopes also store heat in their bodies during the day and release it in the cool of the night, meaning that their muscles work less efficiently at dusk, so they run slower and have less endurance. That would also benefit a lion hunting at the end of a hot day.
We have also published a number of research papers on lions and lion conservation which you can download for free.