Lions are distinct from other wild carnivorous cats around the world in many ways. Its social behavior is one of the main differences. While some lions roam freely and choose to travel and forage alone or in pairs, most live in social groups called prides. This trait is extremely rare among big cats found around the world, most of which adults hunt alone.
The most basic form of lion social structure is typified by resident prides, which inhabit hunting areas large enough to support the pride during periods of food and water scarcity. Depending on the suitability of the environment and the availability of prey, lion numbers, habitat size and social group size will vary.
They are usually higher in moist grasslands where game is abundant and lower in dry bushes where prey is less abundant. While prides can have up to 40 members, in the Serengeti and Kruger National Parks a typical pride has 13 members.
A Youtube clip shows that even a pride of ferocious lions can be spooked. In the clip, we see the big cats relaxing in the sun when suddenly out of nowhere a crocodile appears! One of the lionesses and the dominant male try to attack the top predator.
The most basic form of a Lion’s social structure is pride.
Imagine it’s a fun fight: pay-per-view lion vs crocodile! The comments on the video bring up a great point. Viewers say: “They (lions) are smart enough not to be hurt unnecessarily, and their health is the key to survival. They don’t seem to be starving either. Lions are pleasing to the eye.”
While it’s technically possible for an extremely hungry lion to hunt a crocodile, it’s unlikely. They are at a disadvantage because crocodiles are hard-bodied and capable of rolling to death any animal they can catch in a body of water.
The crocodiles in this video don’t go down without a fight either! He opened his jaws wide and told every lion in the area to back off. Surprisingly, big cats listen. Lions are wary of crocodiles and usually stay out of the water to avoid them.
However, what happens when these animals enter lion territory? Because their diets overlap, African lions and Nile crocodiles are fierce competitors. This rivalry is sure to lead to a huge rivalry. There have been instances in the past when lions would drink from the water’s edge and alligators would attack, dragging the big cats under the surface.
It was mesmerizing to watch such incredible animals come face to face with each other. Check out the interaction in the video below!
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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