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Social behaviour of lions

2 February 2016

 

Patrol range

Most large cats largely live solitary lives in which a dominant male moves through the ranges of several prides of females. Contact between the genders only occurs when the females are in oestrus and pheromone scents transmit this information. In most cats, each individual hunts and cares for itself, although in some cats adult individuals may meet each other occasionally at large kills, or as they patrol their ranges. However, the social systems of the African and Asiatic lions are exceptions.

 
 




 
 

Asiatic and African lion

In the Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica the males and females lead separate lives and rarely associate except during mating and at a large kill. The prides are composed of related females, their cubs and subadult males. As in the African lion Panthera leo leo, the females form the core of a pride, and prides usually contain four to five adult females. Nevertheless, some prides contain as few as one and others as many as 11 adult females. The adult males form coalitions of two to six animals which patrol a fiercely defended territory, and they make their own kills without the assistance of any females. One or more females... (Become a subscriber for more)

References:

Skinner, J D & C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 390 - 396.

Sunquist, M and F Sunquist 2002. Wild cats of the world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp 285 - 304.

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

 

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