I have recently really gotten into the African Lion, and I would love to learn more! I would love to read any cool facts you all know about the African Lion.
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen one but one of the things I learned when I lived in Botswana and Namibia is that lions are kind of lazy and steal kills from other predators, including hyenas which is kind of the opposite of the standard version of the story. I also know that African wild dog packs will attack lions that they find on their own, which is a pretty cats and dogs thing, I guess. What got you interested in lions?
You may already know all this, but can provide a little info on lions. A group of male Lions is called a Coalition. they are not members of a pride as most would believe. The Coalition can dominate and most often do dominate more than one pride. They will move from pride to pride. When a male lion is about 3yrs old they will be forced out of the pride. It is often said that Lionesses will synchronize their breeding so they will have cubs around the same time. Lionesses will allo-suckle other cubs within the pride. If a coalition of lions take over a new pride and they have cubs and sub adult cubs not yet old enough to breed, the male lions will often kill the cubs in order to bring lionesses into estrus so they can breed and pass on their genes. Hope that gives you a little new info.
The Asiatic Lion is the same subspecies as the north African lion (including the Barbary population). Both fall under Panthera leo leo.
Lions were found historically in Europe - the Balkans (Albania, Bulgaria, etc), Greece, etc. This means they would have preyed on red deer, fallow deer, horses, wisent (=European bison), and wild boar, and competed with wolves for prey.
Lionesses get the hots for dark manes. They prefer to mate with black-maned lions over blonde ones. For good reason too - male lions with higher testosterone levels tend to have fuller, darker manes. So why don’t all male lions have black manes? There’s a hypothesis that the reason may be due to heat stress from temperature and climate which affects the development of the mane.
These are all such interesting facts!
I’m not exactly sure, but parents were both born and raised in South Africa, so I guess that played a part in my being interested in African animals in general. They got married and moved to America just before I was born, but we have visited Africa multiple to times to see our family. My family has Dutch descent, and we also speak Afrikaans, which is like the South African version of Dutch. So that made me want to learn more about the wildlife of Africa, and, well, I got hooked on the African Lion. Cats have always been my favorite animal, both wild and domestic, but originally I was more interested in leapords. Eventually I just started learning about lions instead.
Welcome to the forum! Yes, I find it very interesting how lionesses synchronize their breeding, lions are a lot smarter than most people think! I recently read a book that talked a lot about what you were saying, called Prides. I used to always think each pride had only one male, and that multiple males are rare. Boy, was I wrong! I really find the structure of prides very interesting, and I’m always eager to learn more about it!
I knew about the dark manes making them more attractive, but not why, that’s very interesting, thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! Also, I just want to add for our international readers that Afrikaans isn’t really a “version” of Dutch as such. It evolved from 17th-century Dutch, for sure; it has also gained words and terms from other languages including Malay, the Khoisan language, etc.
The history of the language is an interesting one, where the development of it was driven in large part by people of colour - ironic, given the sordid recent history of apartheid. In fact, one of the earliest written documents in Afrikaans was written in Arabic script by Muslims in the 1800s.
Leeu means lion in Afrikaans (which I’m sure you may know already), and there are several places in South Africa where places have been named after lions - Lion’s Head in Cape Town, a town called Leeu-Gamka, etc.
and Gamka also means lion. Was magic to see lions returned to the Karoo National Park
Your parents come from a beautiful country. I started to learn Afrikaans when I worked in Namibia where it was the lingua franca in many areas at the time (immediately post-independence early 90s). I don’t remember a lot. The phrase I remember saying the most was “Baie lekker!” which I guess is revealing.
I saw lots of impressive lions when I lived there and heard more. I saw a fair number of leopards, a few cheetahs and the occasional wildcat. My favourite cat sighting was a serval that I saw for about ten seconds. They are strange beautiful creatures.
My favourite predator sighting in Botswana was a pair of bat-eared foxes. It was about 2 a.m. on the road between Nata and Kazangula with a full or nearly full moon in a clear sky and they were courting, I think. They were tumbling each other over and bouncing at each other as they worked their way up the highway that ran flat and straight for about 50 km through pans and semi-arid grassland. I turned my headlights off and followed them for over half an hour before they skittered off into grass.
Edited for spelling: That would be serval, not cerval (Iberian lynx). My excuse is that they’re pronounced the same way and I’m sticking to it.
That’s very cool! Yes, I love cervals! Such beautiful creatures!
I have had the opportunity to visit Zimbabwe and South Africa twice. Had another trip planned to South Africa this year, but think we are planning to postpone until 2022. Currently South Africa is not the best place to visit according to the CDC. Are you aware of the Live Virtual Safari’s that are shown twice daily on Youtube? you can also watch on their website www.wildearth.tv pretty amazing. I have been watching for over 6years and have seen some incredible sightings live on this link. the website will give you the times you can view it live or can watch at a later time if you go to youtube and search wildearth safarilive. caution it is very addicting if you love wildlife, lol
Right out of “The Lion King.” Except that Scar would have killed Nala, too, not just Simba.
White lions – not albinos – have been seen in the Timbavati region for hundreds of years. They reappear periodically in normally colored lion prides, due to a recessive gene.
Oh I LOVE Wildearth!!! I am so glad to know that some one else here is just as addicted as I am!
White Lions are gorgeous!
yes, there are actually 2 in the Timbavati now. A young Male and Female.