April 23, 2020

Why is a lion’s roar so loud?

Understanding science and anatomy will help us find out!

Hearing a lion’s earsplitting roar is enough to make anyone shake!

Lions are famous for their deep, powerful roars. Other big cats like tigers, jaguars and leopards can roar, but not as loud as a lion. A lion’s roar is so loud it may be heard up to five miles away! What makes lions different?


by Denise Cassano- A thunderous ROAR to let us know- HE is the king of the jungle!


When we speak, yell or even sing, we use our vocal chords. Vocal chords are folds of membranes in your larynx that stretch and vibrate when air passes over them. This vibration makes sounds.


Art by Denise Cassano- A lion’s anatomy is what allows then to make such an earth shattering roar. Nature is awesome!

Lions have vocal chords that are quite different from humans and other animals. Our vocal chords are more triangular in shape, while theirs look more like a square. Lions’ vocal chords also have more fatty tissue in them, which makes them stronger. This allows them to stretch more. The stronger it is, the more it can stretch and the louder and deeper the sound a lion can make. Lions can shout thunderous roars without exerting a lot of pressure.

If you ever hear a lion’s thunderous roar, you’ll know why it’s the loudest cat on earth. But don’t stand around and think about it for too long… maybe you should run!


Zielinski, Sarah, “Secrets of a Lion’s Roar,”, November 3, 2011

D’Mello, Brendan, “What Makes a Lion’s Roar So Intimidating?” Science

University of Utah. “Born to roar: Lions’ and tigers’ fearsome roars are due to their unusual vocal cords.” ScienceDaily. 15 November 2011.

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