• Therefore, female lions in an area are more closely related to each other than male lions in the same area.

  • [88] In Chobe National Park, large prides have been observed hunting African bush elephants up to around 15 years old in exceptional cases, with the victims being calves,
    juveniles, and even subadults.

  • [103] Young lions first display stalking behaviour at around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are almost a year old and begin to
    hunt effectively when nearing the age of two.

  • Mane length apparently signals fighting success in male–male relationships; darker-maned individuals may have longer reproductive lives and higher offspring survival, although
    they suffer in the hottest months of the year.

  • [120] Predator competition Lion attacked by spotted hyenas in Sabi Sand Game Reserve Lioness stealing a kill from a leopard in Kruger National Park Lions and spotted hyenas
    occupy a similar ecological niche and where they coexist they compete for prey and carrion; a review of data across several studies indicates a dietary overlap of 58.6%.

  • Genetic evidence revealed numerous mutations in lion samples from East and Southern Africa, which indicates that this group has a longer evolutionary history than genetically
    less diverse lion samples from Asia and West and Central Africa.

  • The two species attack one another even when there is no food involved for no apparent reason.

  • Male lions reach maturity at about three years of age and at four to five years are capable of challenging and displacing adult males associated with another pride.

  • [144] The average gestation period is around 110 days;[140] the female gives birth to a litter of between one and four cubs in a secluded den, which may be a thicket, a reed-bed,
    a cave, or some other sheltered area, usually away from the pride.

  • When a pride becomes too large, however, the youngest generation of female cubs may be forced to leave to find their own territory.

  • [146] To avoid a buildup of scent attracting the attention of predators, the lioness moves her cubs to a new den site several times a month, carrying them one-by-one by the
    nape of the neck.

  • [149] When one or more new males oust the previous males associated with a pride, the victors often kill any existing young cubs, perhaps because females do not become fertile
    and receptive until their cubs mature or die.

  • Females often fiercely defend their cubs from a usurping male but are rarely successful unless a group of three or four mothers within a pride join forces against the male.

  • Lions also hunt common warthog depending on availability, although the species is below the preferred weight range.

  • [151] Both male and female lions may be ousted from prides to become nomads, although most females usually remain with their birth pride.

  • [63] Almost all male lions in Pendjari National Park are either maneless or have very short manes.

  • Some females, however, take a role raising cubs that may be left alone for extended periods.

  • [33] Estimates for the divergence time of the modern and cave lion lineages range from 529,000 to 392,000 years ago based on mutation rate per generation time of the modern

  • Males in coalitions of three or four individuals exhibit a pronounced hierarchy, in which one male dominates the others and mates more frequently.

  • [85] Some lions are “nomads” that range widely and move around sporadically, either in pairs or alone.

  • [96] Coalitions of males hold territory for a longer time than single lions.

  • [135][136] Lions also charge at Nile crocodiles; depending on the size of the crocodile and the lion, either animal can lose their kills to the other.

  • [145] Sometimes the introduction to pride life occurs earlier, particularly if other lionesses have given birth at about the same time.

  • [19] Due to the expansion of the Sahara between 83,100 and 26,600 years ago, lion populations in West and North Africa became separated.

  • [65] The original male white lion from Timbavati in South Africa was also maneless.

  • [87] Male cubs are excluded from their maternal pride when they reach maturity at around two or three years of age.

  • [85] The average pride consists of around 15 lions, including several adult females and up to four males and their cubs of both sexes.

  • [134] However, there are a few reported cases of old and wounded lions falling prey to wild dogs.

  • A new-born lion has dark spots, which fade as the cub reaches adulthood, although faint spots often may still be seen on the legs and underparts.

  • [133] Lions similarly dominate African wild dogs, taking their kills and preying on young and rarely adult dogs.

  • The health of the hunters is the primary need for the survival of the pride; hunters are the first to consume the prey at the site it is taken.

  • [152] Lions of both sexes may be involved in group homosexual and courtship activities; males will also head-rub and roll around with each other before simulating sex together.

  • [40][41] The liger is bigger than a lion and a tiger, whereas most tigons are relatively small compared to their parents because of reciprocal gene effects.

  • They were removed from the wild in the 1970s, thus decreasing the white lion gene pool.

  • [32] Evolution red Panthera spelaea blue Panthera atrox green Panthera leo Maximal range of the modern lion and its prehistoric relatives in the late Pleistocene The Panthera
    lineage is estimated to have genetically diverged from the common ancestor of the Felidae around 9.32 to 4.47 million years ago to 11.75 to 0.97 million years ago,[6][33][34] and the geographic origin of the genus is most likely northern Central

  • [86] The sole exception to this pattern is the Tsavo lion pride that always has just one adult male.

  • [107] Some evidence suggests, however, that males are just as successful as females; they are typically solo hunters who ambush prey in small bushland.

  • Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates.

  • [2][12][13] In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group revised lion taxonomy, and recognises two subspecies based on results of several phylogeographic
    studies on lion evolution, namely:[14] • P. l. leo (Linnaeus, 1758) − the nominate lion subspecies includes the Asiatic lion, the regionally extinct Barbary lion, and lion populations in West and northern parts of Central Africa.

  • As the rainforest decreased and thus gave rise to more open habitats, lions moved from West to Central Africa.

  • [11] It may have evolved around 320,000–190,000 years ago.

  • The lion is an apex and keystone predator; although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, the species typically does not actively
    seek out and prey on humans.

  • It is thought to have become extinct around 39,000 years ago.

  • [139] Lions do not mate at a specific time of year and the females are polyestrous.

  • [56] Carrion is thought to provide a large part of lion diet.

  • [88][147] When first introduced to the rest of the pride, lion cubs lack confidence when confronted with adults other than their mother.

  • On hot days, the pride retreats to shade with one or two males standing guard.

  • [145] Lion cubs are born blind; their eyes open around seven days after birth.

  • [93] Lions tend to assume specific roles in the pride; slower-moving individuals may provide other valuable services to the group.

  • [111] They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility; many kills take place near some form of cover or at night.

  • [19] The Eurasian and American cave lions became extinct at the end of the last glacial period without mitochondrial descendants on other continents.

  • Male tolerance of the cubs varies—one male could patiently let the cubs play with his tail or his mane, while another may snarl and bat the cubs away.

  • [79] Behaviour and ecology Lions spend much of their time resting; they are inactive for about twenty hours per day.

  • [38] They shared a common ancestor probably between 98,000 and 52,000 years ago.

  • [19] Fossil records Skull of an American lion on display at the National Museum of Natural History Other lion subspecies or sister species to the modern lion existed in prehistoric
    times:[20] • P. l. sinhaleyus was a fossil carnassial excavated in Sri Lanka, which was attributed to a lion.

  • It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in African countries have declined by about 43% since the early 1990s.

  • [16] However, there seems to be some degree of overlap between both groups in northern Central Africa.

  • White lions have occasionally been encountered in and around Kruger National Park and the adjacent Timbavati Private Game Reserve in eastern South Africa.

  • [114][115] Lions typically consume prey at the location of the hunt but sometimes drag large prey into cover.

  • Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoological gardens across the world since the late
    18th century.

  • [109] Thus, lions run quickly only in short bursts at about 48–59 km/h (30–37 mph) and need to be close to their prey before starting the attack.

  • [57] Both males and females defend the pride against intruders, but the male lion is better-suited for this purpose due to its stockier, more powerful build.

  • [95] The male or males associated with the pride must defend their relationship with the pride from outside males who may attempt to usurp them.

  • [88] Large kills are shared more widely among pride members.

  • Due to the amount of skull variation in the two species, usually only the structure of the lower jaw can be used as a reliable indicator of species.

  • [97] Hunting and diet Four lionesses catching a buffalo in the Serengeti A skeletal mount of a lion attacking a common eland, on display at The Museum of Osteology The lion
    is a generalist hypercarnivore and is considered to be both an apex and keystone predator due to its wide prey spectrum.

  • The reasons for the development of sociality in lionesses—the most pronounced in any cat species—are the subject of much debate.

  • [29] It arose when a cave lion population in Beringia became isolated south of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet about 370,000 years ago.

  • Male Asiatic lions are solitary or associate with up to three males, forming a loose pride while females associate with up to 12 other females, forming a stronger pride together
    with their cubs.

  • [82] Pairs are more frequent among related males who have been excluded from their birth pride.

  • [105][106] In typical hunts, each lioness has a favoured position in the group, either stalking prey on the “wing”, then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the centre
    of the group and capturing prey fleeing from other lionesses.

  • [153][154] Health Lions in a tree near Lake Nakuru Although adult lions have n

  • They weigh 1.2–2.1 kg (2.6–4.6 lb) at birth and are almost helpless, beginning to crawl a day or two after birth and walking around three weeks of age.


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