Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animals on the cover of Java and XML, are lions (Panthera leo). These great cats differ from other solitary felines in that they form family groups, called prides. Prides consist of as many as 30 to 40 lions, most of whom are females and their offspring. The life span of a lion is approximately 10 to 14 years (quite a bit more if in captivity). Full grown males can grow up to 10 feet in length; the only cat larger is the tiger. The lion's eye is particularly sensitive to movement, and it can detect the movement of its prey from a great distance. Special receptor cells in the cat's eye give it exceptional night vision. Lions live in eastern and southern Africa, although some subspecies of the African lion are endangered. The Asiatic lion (P.l. persica) once lived throughout India, the Middle East, and Southern Asia. Today, with conservation efforts, its population still numbers only approximately 359 animals, which can be found in the Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat in western India. The Barbary and Cape lions are extinct. Lions are carnivores and prey on large herd animals. They are at the apex of the food chain, the top predator of their environment. The females are the hunters, while the males' role is to protect the pride from other aggressive males. Lions are not as fast as other big cats, such as the cheetah. As a result, they concentrate on heavier, less agile animals, and ambush their prey by driving them toward concealed members of the hunting group. They use coordinated, cooperative techniques that enable the group to hunt with more success than an individual could. African lions eat wildebeest, zebra, antelope, gazelle, impala, and giraffe. The cover image is from Original Antique Engraving. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed.

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