Lions are often found in the Sub Saharan Africa. Unlike some people thing, lions do not live in the jungle or rainforest. Lion's live wherever there are medium and large sized herbivores. Lions feed on zebras, gazelles and other animals. The Lion is still the most abundant large predator after the spotted hyena in the savanna plains ecosystems.
ACTIVITIES: Lions spend 20 hours out of 24 conserving energy, becoming active in late afternoon when mothers retrieve, suckle, and socialize with young cubs and one anothe. The Lion hunts early and late nights, carrying over for a couple hours after daybreak. Lions can become active any time, day or night, hungry or gorged, if prey are an easy catch.
THE FEMALE PRIDE: The family units of lion society are prides of related females, each pride residing in a traditional home range/territory. Male offspring have to leave by 2.5 years. Adult males must compete with other males to gain custody of a pride. The number of adult females in a pride is adjusted to seasons of minimum prey availability and tends to be consistent over time. Surplus females have to disperse; if the membership falls below capacity, subadult nomads are accepted in the absence of recruits from within the pride.
Large prides, which can include up to 40 lions, may never assemble in one place. Members come and go unpredictably, alone and in groups, typically numbering 3 to 5 lions. There is no rank hierarchy among females and no 2 are likely to be found together more than half the time. But all residents are acquainted and whenever they meet, the lion greeting ceremony reaffirms their social ties. A lion without the self assurance to meet and greet sends a signal that it doesn't belong and is treated as an intruder. Each sex defends the part of the pride range in current use against intruders of the same gender.
The reproduction monopoly lions have over a whole group of females is the only one of it's kind in the animal kingdom. Where lions are plentiful, a single lion has little chance of winning or holding a pride's territory. Once begun, the advantage of competing cooperatively should theoretically lead to bigger and bigger coalitions, ending up in gang warfare; yet coalitions of over 4 males are rare. Large groups have problems, starting with assembling and coordinating all the members.
More important, a big coalition destabilizes lion society by taking over different prides then failing to defend them all, with fewer surviving offspring the end result. Coalition partners are usually related males that left their pride as adolescents and stayed together as nomads until mature and ready to compete. Lone nomads also join forces and can form coalitions as cohesive as sibling teams.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE NEXT PAGE