South Africa’s Kruger National Park is home to many top predators. They are all highly skilled, possessing many adaptations that allow them to efficiently capture other animals so they can eat them. So what happens when two top predators both think a certain prey belongs to them?
antelope tug of war
The poor antelope was at the end of his life, there was no doubt about it. But they could end up as a meal for a crocodile or a lioness. Of course, we don’t know who caught the antelope. For lionesses, antelope is their main diet, but they also eat wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo. They usually hunt in packs, and it is the females who catch the prey, rather than the less speedy or agile males. However, lions are more than happy to pinch food caught by other animals, maybe that’s what’s going on here?
Crocodiles are also ferocious predators. For them, the most important strategy is to lurk in shallow water where they are difficult to detect. They can then pounce on unsuspecting animals that are near water to drink. Besides deer, they also eat fish, crustaceans, and buffalo.
crocodile death character
At one point in the video, we see the crocodile wriggling the antelope to perform what’s called a death roll, while the lion looks a bit confused. In fact, when alligators remain in the water with their prey, lionesses keep their distance. It is when the crocodile is dragging its prey onto land that the lion is more determined to grab it. This is when the situation escalates into a tug of war.
Alligators do death rolls for a number of reasons. First, it disorients captured animals, making them less likely to try to escape. The tumbling was very fast and made the animal very dizzy. It was then an effective method of breaking the necks of animals and holding them underwater, allowing them to drown. Once the prey are dead, it helps to dismember them and break them down into smaller pieces, making them easier for the crocodile to swallow. This is important because alligators don’t chew their food until they swallow it!
- Watch a cornered crocodile fight five grown lions
- Watch a baby giraffe miraculously survive an attack by an adult lion
- Watch two male lions play hide and seek over dinner
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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