The African Lion and Pride Dynamics

Easily the most majestic mammal in the animal kingdom, the African lion has been regarded as the king of beasts since antiquity; the feline even holds a spot in the Holy Bible as a premier animal. Framed by a golden mane and harboring a ferocity and bravery unmatched by many other animals, the lion is the one social cat – in the sense that the entire life of its revolves around the pride.

The other big cats, for example the leopard, jaguar and tiger, are definitely only animals and meet up infrequently to mate. In the case of the tiger, for example, the self-established hunting boundaries of a male and female may overlap somewhat.

The boundaries of males NEVER overlap, because entering the territory of one male leads to a fight for dominance. The offending tiger isn’t merely encroaching on potential food; he’s also encroaching on potential female mates – that is a complete no-no in the animal kingdom. This is a constant theme among any of the animals – whether they are herbivores or carnivores.

The Lion Pride

On the plains of Africa, a lions pride is often made up of a bevy of female lions – known as lionesses – many cubs, along with many male lions. The females are generally related, as it’s rare for a pride to accept an alien as their very own – although it does happen. There are sisters, mothers, daughters and the occasional grandmother as the female contingent. The males are generally brothers, with one dominant lion which is the only woman who breeds with all the females.

The other male lions can be purchased for protection against outside threats, and while they’re relatively subordinate to the dominating male, they all eat first from the females’ kill. Usually, these males roam their established range, leaving droppings and marks to signal their territory to passing denizens of the plains. At times, the brothers eventually leave the pride of their dominant sibling in search of their own feline harems.

The Lion and lion Cubs Pride

While the pride of African lions is a lot a family, the beginnings of a new male’s rule is often as tough as anything ever witnessed by man. After defeating or even running off the former, usually aging king, a coalition (or single) male lion will then hunt down his offspring.
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Upon looking for them, an one sided bloodbath commences, as the African lion mauls them all so that the females will again come into estrus; the sole intent of his is to father the own exclusive line of his. The lionesses reluctantly watch this, unable to do anything about the familial carnage being wrought by the 500 lb. behemoth. Their dad wasn’t solid enough to prevent the danger, thus the circle of life have to first resume with a harbinger of death.

Shortly afterwards, the dominant male African lion will mate with all of the of-age females and really claim the pride as his own, by bringing forth new life that all carry his genes. The cubs will be born, so the father lion is playful and gruff with them; although the job of raising them and bringing them to teen age lies with the lionesses of the pride, all of whom perform as a collective motherhood.

One day, the male cub lions will come of age and go out of the pride to find their own personal stables – after all, the of age females are all his sisters. The lioness cubs will grow and usually remain within the pride, as their mothers age and one day pass on. The father of theirs and possibly uncles will pass on, too – although they’re usually killed by young upstarts, who then begin the cycle all over again.

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