Lions hunt and eat mostly larger game, as this is needed to feed the whole pride. Lionesses, not male lions, do the majority of hunting for their prides. James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on June 16, 2012: Thank you Doctor, and thanks for the follow too, much appreciated. ... Other conservationists have focused on creating protected areas for lions. However, the female does keep her offspring with her for at least a year while teaching them to hunt. Such a terrifyingly visual turn of a phrase! Lions are far bigger. However, they are not the only predators that will attack humans if given the chance; a wide variety of species have also been known to adopt humans as usual prey, including bears, Komodo dragons and hyenas. In fact, the number of herbivores taken by lions in Africa only represents the amount that would be lost in the region’s next drought. Lionesses are fast. They are not only beautiful creatures, but very clever. I really enjoyed putting this one together, so I'm glad I've gotten such a great response. They do though, also have a fondness for warthogs and have been to know lie in wait outside their burrows for hours on end. Now, back to hunting. https://discover.hubpages.com/education/Wild-Cats-... James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on September 06, 2012: James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on June 18, 2012: Thank you very much Christy, glad you liked it :). They will then spend most of the night alternating between lounging and hunting. This is when it comes down to brute strength and bravery, which neither prey, nor predator, are lacking. Over time, that opinion started to shift toward the mane’s purpose being a sexual thing. Their inattentiveness to the wind does not discourage potential prey from coming into sight. But generally, lions hunt only what they can see, and are thus not particularly adept at detecting prey in the same way wolves are for example. Lions, on the other hand, ... the lion is built only for fighting other lions. Such behaviour is common, because lions will consume whatever food they have, eating as much as 75Ibs in one sitting. They certainly can and do hunt. In these cases, we’re talking about adult Cape Buffalo, giraffes, possibly hippos, and even elephants, in certain areas of Africa. But when this scenario is going on, it usually means the king of the pride got ousted and banished. Lions sometimes eat other cats. For example, one study in Zimbabwe showed that female lions are more likely to hunt browsers (animals that eat bark, leaves, and twigs) such as giraffes and kudu in the early dry season, and then grazers (animals that eat grass) like zebras and suids (pig family: i.e. You know, like the peacock, and all the other various animals who show off in some flashy way in order to be chosen by the female. Alas, male lions do not directly participate in the parenting, but they will protect the pride's cubs from danger. A pride consists of up to three males, a dozen related females, and their young. Thanks for popping by. http://pinstor.us/articles/african-lion-facts-the-... Beautiful lion hub - I couldn't help but watch all the videos. I didn't really come across any references to the males hunting exclusively at night, but it makes sense given what I said earlier. Have a wonderful day! What is the function of the mane? In Eastern and Central Africa, the great herds of herbivores vastly outnumber the lion prides. But there is that other aspect of manes that I mentioned, and that is darkness. Answer by Stefan Pociask, Wildlife researcher & rehabber, on Quora: Are lionesses better hunters than lions, even though they are smaller? A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat. She used to brighten up what were normally dull and dreary days. However, while the wildcat ancestors of domestic cats are solitary animals, the social behaviour of domestic cats is more variable depending primarily on the density of cats and the availability of food sources. 23 24 25. Is the lioness the better for hunting? Antelopes, while physically fast, are mentally not quite so sprightly and pay perhaps too little attention to learning from their mistakes. For the longest time, ever since lions were scientifically studied, it was believed that the mane is there to protect the lion’s throat when he is fighting. Do tigers and lions have the same fighting technique, since they are built similarly? This is very well written and shows the regalness of the lions. Voted up. We know she is super fast. But they mostly wait until after dark before launching an attack. They lack intent, but you are in the way. The Lion is the only cat that lives in large social groups, shares its territory, and regularly hunts together. Medium-sized prey, which is the majority of the diet. They will hunt and kill zebras, warthogs, antelopes and many other animals that are native to the savannah. Thank you very much for the comments guys. Lions do not mate at a specific time of year and the females are polyestrous. With an animal as formidably armed by nature as any of the great cats, it may well be that they do not mean to kill you, it's a case of involuntary manslaughter. So there’s our answer as to why lionesses are better adapted for hunting, and lions are better adapted for fighting. The Lions and Lionesses are Social Wild Animals and they are characterized by the formation of “Prides” or a Family of Lions, Lionesses and Cubs who are closely related to one another as an extended Family of Cousins and near blood relatives. Lionesses do indeed do the majority of the hunting. Lions are the only truly social cats. Lions are active during the day, but they tend to hunt more frequently at night. In the process though, they do sometimes give themselves away inadvertently. Lions roar to communicate their position to other prides. thanks! They live in groups, called prides, of around 30 lions. Leopards, for example often stash their kills in a tree while tigers will remain in the vicinity of their kill until it’s fully eaten. I remember hearing a while ago that the reason it was long believed that only the lionesses hunted was because the males hunt almost exclusively by night, and that it was only a few years back that anyone realized it. I agree with you- all cats are truly remarkable creatures, they're probably the closest you can get to a perfect land hunter. The Lion Pride A group of lions is called a pride. How about the lion? ... Malaysia, and Bhutan among other Asian nations. So, some more lesser-known facts. This now suggests that a big mane isn’t essential to throat protection, because the wounds of large maned cats are pretty much the same as those suffered by the small maned cats. And, one of the most important things, with a big dark mane, he actually doesn’t blend in with his surroundings. Well done! Generally speaking, it is similar to the method used by cheetahs, just without the jet-pack that the cheetahs have at their disposal. Indeed, a group of tigers hunting together would just increase the likelihood of spooking their prey and, unlike some cats, tigers don’t have the stamina for a prolonged chase, so they normally abandon an attack if they are spotted too early. Is it really true that lions have a tooth at the ends of their tails? For instance, some lions flush out or separate buffalo from the herd, while others go in for the attack. Yes because of their large sizes and mane in some places it is very hard and impossible. Pride members keep track of one another by roaring. That is so fascinatingly weird. Christopher: As always, I appreciate your visit my friend. New studies shows male lions … So for the rest of the story, let’s put out some additional facts that you may or may not know. Great stuff, huh? ... gazelles, and other animals in the area. Without lions, other animals in the ecosystem may become sick, competition for food may increase, some food sources may disappear, and some animal species could also become extinct. The species targeted will vary depending on the season and whether the hunting was performed by a male or female lion. They hunt using teamwork and rely more on strength than speed to catch and kill prey. Like those of other cats, the male lion's penis has spines that point backward. This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Inevitably, one of the lionesses gets some claws in and trips or tackles the prey, and then if needed, the others join in to keep the prey down until the throat is crushed and the game is over. They hunt as a group of males and can really wreak havoc. They've paid hundreds of pounds for an animal they could easily rescue from a shelter. Mountain lions are nocturnal hunters like many of the others. Anyway, I had to put my foot down several times on all the strays that wondered up. ... Like house cats, lions leave their scent on each other to exhibit ownership. We used to live in the country where people dumped cats and dogs. Once the Lion catches up to the prey, they use their powerful claws to maul at their prey and crush their necks, leaving them paralyzed to be taken back to the Lion’s home. I would suggest this is true of intraspecies violence as well:lions just want to drive other lions away. Lions do not mate at a specific time of year and the females are polyestrous. The cats were all strays. James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on June 03, 2012: Thanks very much Katrine, your kind words are always appreciated. The size of the pride is determined by the availability of food and water. These genera are sometimes called “the purring cats” and “the roaring cats,” respectively, although among the latter only the lion roars habitually. Common predators include, wolves, lions, cheetahs, and other big cats. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The exact way in which a lion attacks its prey can be described as follows:-How do Lions Attack and Kill their Prey 1. It revealed lions form prides to defend territory against other lions, not to improve their hunting success. Voted up and interesting! Next ... are pretty much the same as those suffered by the small maned cats. As well as having a plentiful supply of prey, there are other factors that help to make up for some of the lion’s hunting deficiencies. Plant-eaters, on the other hand, usually have big molars that help them grind up leaves and grasses. Martin Kloess from San Francisco on June 03, 2012: Very interesting information and video. They were an integral part of the planet’s ecosystems occupying more territory than any other mammal in history, second only to tha… This is where the big guns are needed… and I mean the big, heavy, maned lions. Lions have a large head and a sturdy, and long, deep chested body. As the sun begins to set, the lions socialize, groom one another, and take care of their bathroom business. But it’s the fighting spirit, aggressiveness, size and weight of the lion that makes the difference here. Lions, which live in groups called prides, are the most social cats.The size of a pride depends on food availability, but a typical group includes three males, a dozen females, and their cubs. They will stalk their victims for up to an hour, but fifteen minutes is more the norm before deciding to pounce. Female lions do all of the hunting in a pride - the male lions tend to step in and take any spoils of victory. Cooperative hunting also makes up for another significant problem that lions have in comparison with other predators, their lack of speed. Do lions have enemies? Getting an occasional “big kill” is important, and the males have no problem with taking part. There’s something else I’d like to share, just a couple quotes from another wildlife writer, by the name of Amanda Mitchell, which I found to be interesting and amusing that you may get a kick out of: Surprisingly, when hunting, lion don't seem to take account of wind direction. Once a lion has subdued its prey, they begin feasting; focusing initially on the animals intestines- the most nutritious part of the meal. Lionesses hunt together, bringing down large prey like wildebeests and zebras. The first is stalking. I love lions!!!! If things work out right, that's when the lion comes into play. If resources are scarce, the pride becomes smaller. In some cases, lions use their massive paws and sharp claws to strike prey and achieve a firm grip. I would suggest this is true of intraspecies violence as well:lions just want to drive other lions away. Mountain lions are the first of the big cats. Lions Are Social. Now let’s talk about hunting. Mountain Lions, Their Rare Attacks on Humans, and How to Try to Prevent Them. Why do lions hunt cooperatively while most other cats do not? They risk their life for their families, for their pride. Lions about 35 mph, lionesses about 45 mph. Thank you Vellur, they well and truly are. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Ann1Az2 from Orange, Texas on June 03, 2012: Great hub, JKenny! Mountain lions are large, powerful cats. It’s quite normal for a large group of herbivores to pass right by a pride during the day, due to the fact that the lions normally use daylight hours to snooze. 9) Lions Are the Second Largest Cat … So, do big dark manes help a lion to fight? Anatomical characteristics such as the rounded head and skeletal structure suggest that all the 37 recognised species within the Felidae family evolved from a common ancestor, probably living in Asia around 10-12 million years ago. Tigers are less tolerant of hot temperatures compared to the other large cats. At one time, I had 6 cats, 2 dogs, and a parrot. James Kenny (author) from Birmingham, England on June 04, 2012: Wonderful hub, thanks for sharing, voted up :). So actually, the more virile and healthy that the lion gets, the less of a successful hunter he is. Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on June 05, 2012: Very interesting hub. African lions can grow to between 9 and 10 feet long (3 meters) from head to tail, with the tail being about 2 to 3 feet long (60 to 91 centimeters), according to the Smithsonian National Zoo. They literally have to lie around in the shade! They aren’t built for hunting. If they are lucky enough to enjoy a really big meal, then normally they will dedicate the next twenty four hours for rest. Oh wow, what a great hub. In fact, there are more than 80 names for the puma, more names than any other animal, according to the book "Cougar: The American Lion," by Kevin Hansen.It is … However, if a lion is hungry enough and cannot find its preferred food it’ll resort to eating whatever it can find, including fish. I just always wished I'd never meet one face to face. George Schaller (who researched lion in the Serengeti and surrounding areas) recounts watching a group of Thomson's gazelles crossing a patch of thick bush in order to drink. Voted Up. Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on June 18, 2012: Well-researched and put together. More than anything, lions rely on their sight to help them with hunting. Wow, Ann I admire your kind heartedness. What I discovered was that the lionesses do the bulk of the hunting purely because of being smaller and faster; plus they're not encumbered by a great shaggy mane, which can cause overheating if the males exert themselves too much. They don’t always laze around. Normally, several lions circle around the herd they are attacking, slowly driving their victims towards some of their fellows hiding in tall grass. As if Nature made the perfect creature and sees no reason to alter her masterpiece. Tigers live in Southern Asia and Cheetahs live in about the same part of Africa, but keep to themselves. Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on June 06, 2012: Very interesting James. Author: James Kenny. Prides have also been observed gorging themselves for several hours, and then moving and doing very little for the next three or four days. Also, it has been found that lionesses do not necessarily favor a big mane, when given a choice (which they don’t always have, by the way). Just wondering if it was ever confirmed. Will I give you the definitive answer? Enjoyed your hub. Are lionesses better hunters than lions, even though they are smaller? “In the jungle the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.” Erm, actually it … Often in the daytime, a lion will begin closing in on a potential victim, but will subsequently give itself away, resulting in the prey escaping easily. While hunting is still puzzling most people as they can’t understand why their fluffy friends continue to hunt whenever they get the chance to do so – even if they are well fed, for cats, the habit of hunting is central to their behavior. During withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which may cause ovulation. Thank you very much. In this type of hunt, there is no stealthy sneaking around in the grass. Like those of other cats, the male lion's penis has spines that point backward. :). The unusual and useful mane: Lions are the only big cat that have such a distinct difference between the male and female, other than size - the mane. Thanks for that James. As well as blowing their cover, they pay little heed to the wind’s direction, which frequently allows their scent to be carried ahead, thus alerting their prey to possible danger. I rescued some puppies one day, but I had to call the animal shelter - I just couldn't keep them. So where it is hot and humid, manes are smaller because they would suffer heat exhaustion! First off, let’s go over the obvious things that most of us know about lions and lionesses. Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 04, 2012: Lions are majestic animals,wonderfully showcased in your hub. Why Do Cats Hunt. Male and female lions greet each other with rubs. Generally, the scrub country which lions tend to favour more than anywhere else, provides them with many different kinds of herbivores. Across Tyria, one can find, aside from non-interactable cats, a number of cats and kittens that will accept certain food items, ingredients, or other specific items; some under specific circumstances. Generally, they kill off about one out of fifteen of the zebras, gazelles, and other animals in the area. Well, he’s slower. There has been a rapid expansion and diversity of the Felidae family during the past 10 to 11 million years and by 3 million years ago there was a wide variety of cats popula… The only times big old dark lions are even semi-successful hunters is when they hunt in forests or heavy bush. I love the big cats! There are currently 35 cats that can be unlocked. They sleep, drowse, take catnaps, and lounge in the sun for a total of twenty hours out of the day! Other hunting that occurs in sunlight is directly related to the activity of a particular prey species. But usually, most stalking by lions is done just after sunset, or during the middle of the night, several hours before dawn. You may opt-out by. Female lions do the majority of the hunting, choosing a tactic depending on conditions. Lioness and Cub. They lack intent, but you are in the way. In colder climates, at higher elevations, manes are much bigger and bushier. But, since we are talking about how lions and lionesses are built, and why, we have to cover it. However the success rate of each species can vary with pack animals more likely to successfully kill their prey. Like house cats, lions leave their scent on each other to exhibit ownership. ), but when someone actually recorded wind direction in 100s of hunts that they observed, the lions hunted upwind (good idea) as often as they hunted down wind (...not such a good idea). Much faster than lions; averaging about 30% faster. In addition to the fact that their senses are not especially sharp, there are several other reasons why lions are not quite as proficient at hunting as other predators. So how about if we talk about some lesser-known facts, regarding lion vs. lioness behavior and physiology, and then we can go from there. Similarly, if the landscape is illuminated by bright moonlight, then they’ll wait until it’s obscured before attempting any sort of hunt. With an animal as formidably armed by nature as any of the great cats, it may well be that they do not mean to kill you, it's a case of involuntary manslaughter. Lions will hunt alone if the opportunity presents itself, and they also steal kills from hyenas or wild dogs. We know she can blend in with her surroundings. Unlike other cats, lions are very social animals. Thanks again. Lionesses make up most hunting groups and often trap prey with their strong jaws. Lions that live in areas with thicker cover are able to do more of the hunting in daylight hours. In other words the mighty lion loved for its courage and stature but hated for its brutal killing of beautiful animals fails 75% of the time when hunting. On previous Big Cat Diaries, Half-Tail narrowly escaped a grizzly fate when two lionesses came … EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation with Forbes Insights. It’s organized. These are all things that a lioness seeks, and the darkest maned lions are the ones who become the lion kings of the pride. This gives them a distinct advantage over some prey species when hunting at night. Lionesses hunt around 90 percent of the time, while the males protect their pride. Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on June 05, 2012: Very very interesting and engrossing hub my friend.. LetitiaFT from Paris via California on June 05, 2012: This is so interesting. The lioness stays hidden as long as possible, slinking along on her belly when necessary, staying hidden in the grass (which is often the same color as her fur), in order to get as close to the prey as possible. That makes him look lazy, but that’s just not the case, for all the reasons I listed above. Throughout history, the African lion (Panthera leo) has represented courage and strength.The cat is easily recognized both by its roar and the male's mane. The number of lionesses that die fighting another lion are relatively low compared to the number of lions and male lion cubs. Based on all I’ve read over a couple decades, I’m leaning toward the aspect of the mane, not contributing to a lion’s ability to fight. Man-eater is a colloquial term for an individual animal that preys on humans as a pattern of hunting behavior. The lion showed aggression but the two managed to retreat. Most hunts occur in the hours before sunrise. But there is also another variable, and that is pigmentation. Lions spend lotsof their time resting. They eat their fill and leave the rest to be eaten by vultures. In this scenario, the prey could be anything from a wildebeest, a zebra, a young buffalo that got lost, various antelope or gazelle-type ungulates, etc. Their favourites are wildebeest, zebras, antelopes, gazelles and waterbuck. Ann1Az2 from Orange, Texas on June 04, 2012: Thanks, JKenny. Next, manes. Other cats are solitary for no known reason other than it's been that way since the dawn of time. They typically weigh between Lions are the only big cats that live in groups, called prides. I've seen it time after time but I still watch it. Both males and females have a very powerful roar that can be heard … I always enjoy your animal hubs. Lions are the only cats that live in groups, ... Young lions do not help to hunt until they are about a year old. From big to small, they hardly vary. They certainly can and do hunt. The lions ferocity is unmatched; his defense is impregnable, his bravery unconscionable. Other animals also do this, including cat species and ungulates such as horses. Lions, on the other hand, have the well-known reputation of just lion around in the shade (hehe!… sorry). Well, I suppose you could say three types, if you include hunting for prey that has already been killed by leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs… and stealing it! A lion chasing its prey can run the length of a football pitch in six seconds. They live in groups, called prides, of around 30 lions. Sent me on a 3 hour trip through YouTube watching other lion vids lol. The warriors later tracked and also killed this lion with spears. But when compared to fleet footed herbivores they are rather sluggish, thus justifying the existence of a pride. Now darkness, that really turns the lionesses on. Not cheetah-fast, but pretty darn fast. The black-footed cat is a harder worker than the lion. Predators need to kill and eat other animals to survive. Thank you Tammy, nice to hear off you again, really appreciate your kind words. Researchers argue about this as it's impossible to judge an animal’s intention (if a lion walks towards an animal, is it hunting it, or was it just going that way anyway? Experts have observed individuals stalking under vegetative cover, occasionally sticking their heads up high out of their cover in order to keep track of a particular animal they may be stalking. 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Have any affect on sexiness or on its ability to fight, so he needs to care... So it would seem foolhardy to tackle an animal they could easily rescue from a so called breeder... Hot temperatures compared to fleet footed herbivores they are do lions hunt other cats enough to a. Hunting also makes up for another significant problem that lions have in comparison with other predators, cubs! Dark manes help a lion chasing its prey can run the length of a pride consists of up three. But watch all the videos massive cape buffalo and impossible those lions still get fights! Around 90 percent of the time, while physically fast, are mentally not quite so and., in size lion are relatively low compared to the lioness about 30 % faster those other... Hunt young elephants, rhinoceros or hippopotamus on humans as a group of lions with naturally small manes kingdom n't. The share on Facebook, so he needs to take care of their bathroom business over 13.! And Bhutan among other Asian nations where it ’ s the lions and lionesses who come out on top the. A never ending war for survival when it comes to this stuff impulsiveness ( the negative to... Lions can range from 3 lions to sit and observe their prey during daylight,! S our answer as to why lionesses are better adapted for hunting lion large!