A lion is a large, fearsome cat of the genus Panthera, typical of Africa and India. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, a short, round head with rounded ears, and a tuft of hair at the end of its tail. Lions are social species that live in groups, fascinatingly they are most active at night and live in a variety of natural environments. Although they live comfortably in different habitats, they choose grasslands, savannas, dense scrub and open forests most of the time.
It’s only fair when we say that the physique of a lion to many people symbolizes both strength and courage, so by default no other phrase describes it better than “king of the jungle” up. The power, fearlessness and ferocity of lions are second to none when compared to other animals in the jungle, making them a dire existential threat to humans and small animals alike. However, even though lions are the most dominant predators in the wilderness, some animals surprisingly eat lions.
What eats lions?
Humans, hyenas, crocodiles, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs compete with lions for their prey, and for their cubs. Unfortunately for these feral cats, the African habitats they make their home in breed a variety of dangerous creatures in their path. Some of their predators are often willing to confront them, either in self-defense or by marking their territory. See the list of animals that killed lions below:
- african wild dog
Surprisingly, no animal has successfully hunted and eaten a lion other than a lion cub. They are the kings of the jungle after all! The constant battle between lions and other predators is mostly about survival. In other words, food and territory marking are essentially the main causes of conflict in the wild for these animals. However, this fierce conflict did not make these carnivores invulnerable to lions; they only went after their young.
Lion Predator: hyena
Hyenas are the most common large carnivore in Africa. They come in spotted and non-spotted colors and are usually scavengers. They have a relatively short torso and are quite large, with a low back and a slanted back.
Hyenas are one of the lion’s worst enemies. Although hyenas eat dead lions, they often hunt down lion cubs because it is harder for them to kill adult lions.
In fact, it takes about 10 hyenas to easily take down a lioness, and double the number of males.
Lion Predator: Buffalo
Buffaloes are large animals that have been documented to trample and kill several victims. The African buffalo is considered the most dangerous of other species on the African continent. They often defend themselves and kill lions and other animals that pose a threat.
The buffalo is extremely powerful, and one-on-one with an adult lion, the possibility of winning or losing is 100%. This is because of the difference in body weight of the two animals. The average weight of an adult lion is 400-500 pounds, while the average weight of a buffalo is 1800-2500 pounds. While a lion can outmaneuver an adult buffalo with a firm grip on its throat/trachea, it can only do so by knocking it to the ground. The buffalo is so massive that only the pride of a lion can overwhelm it. Still, the buffalo can get away with a few lions.
Lion Predator: Leopard
Leopards are lonely. Interestingly, they are not picky eaters, but ambush predators. Leopards are the smallest stealthy predators. They are prominent climbing cats compared to other big jungle cats. They are quiet, opportunistic hunters who only hunt other animals to survive. When they hunt, they do so in secret. Leopards are well-camouflaged hunters, sneaking up to within yards of unprotected prey and using their powerful jaw muscles to provide a deadly grip. Leopards don’t hunt lions lightly, but they can bite lion cubs in extreme cases.
Lion Predator: Crocodile
Crocodiles are giant aquatic ambush reptiles of Africa, Asia, America, and Australia. Their most successful attacks on lions have occurred underwater, where crocodiles can guide them very quickly. Crocodiles are strong swimmers, and a single bite from their powerful jaws can pull an unsuspecting lion underwater. They unexpectedly overwhelm their prey and kill them until they drown. A quick way for them to catch lion prey is in the cool of the evening, when the lions are exhausted and ready for a lap in shallow water. Alligators watch carefully and wait for the right moment to strike. After capturing its prey, it drags its victim into the deep ocean, drowning the animal and doing its job. Although all animals can swim (including lions), lions are no match for crocodiles underwater.
Lion Predator: Rhino
The rhino is an ancient animal with a large body structure and interestingly it poses a potential threat to the lion. Lions have been known to prey on black rhinos, but rarely attempt to capture adult rhinos unless there is a pride of team.
Lion Predator: Porcupine
Porcupines may seem harmless, but they have historically killed lions, leopards, and hyenas. They successfully kill their prey when the spikes penetrate the heart or aorta. These characteristic spikes are unleashed as a defense mechanism, inflicting severe wounds on predators and ultimately fatal infections.
Lion Predator: Hippopotamus
Hippos are dangerous due to their large size, large mouths, strong jaws and strong canines. It has the most muscular jaw of any herbivore, and can open its mouth 180 degrees. Hippos can be very aggressive when defending themselves from predators. However, when they are attacked by a pack of lions, they may end up as lion prey rather than predators.
Lion Predator: Human
While hunting and eating lions is not a crime in the United States, only a certain percentage of humans have successfully eaten them. As we all know, hunting lions can be a tedious task as most of them are acquired for zoo breeding and game. However, some people eat lions.
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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