Lions are known to be imposing, majestic animals. There is a reason they are referred to as the “King of the Jungle!” In this clip, we can see three large male lions crossing the Mlambane River in South Africa. One of them slips due to the strong current. Keep reading to learn more about lions and what makes them magnificent!
Pride of Lions
As shown in the video below, lions are not solitary animals. They tend to live and travel together with a pride. Typically, a pride consists of between 3 and 12 adult females and their cubs, along with one or a few male lions.
Male lions defend females of their pride from other males. Every few years, a new group of males will take over the pride, eject other males from the group, and kill cubs.
Surprisingly, large groups of lions do not hunt more efficiently together. They hunt at maximum efficiency when only about two lions work together. Cooperative hunting does help to minimize the risk of injury, and it allows small groups of lions to defend their carcasses from other prides.
If a single lion can capture prey by himself or herself, very often the rest of the pride will simply watch rather than help. They tend to collaborate more often when the prey is relatively difficult to capture, such as a zebra.
Typically, lions go after large animals, such as wildebeest, warthogs, cheetahs, antelopes, and zebras. However, when these animals are not available, they will eat the smaller prey, such as reptiles and rodents. They also have been known to steal carcasses from other predators, such as leopards and hyenas.
Additionally, male lions are better able to hold territories and remain in charge of prides when they work together rather than by themselves. They are also better able to defend their territories from intruding male lions.
Ultimately, this means that they have more offspring, as they are part of the territory for a longer period and can mate more often with female lions.
Lions Walking Through Water
As you can see in the video, lions are somewhat uneasy when it comes to walking in water. They are not the best swimmers, as they do not swim very often. Generally, lions do not pursue aquatic prey, as tigers and jaguars do.
Lions are terrestrial animals, and they heavily prefer land over water. They typically only go into bodies of water to cool off or get to the land on the other side.
Lions carry the majority of their weight on their paw pads. These pads are located on their toes, which they walk on. The pads function to help them move quietly, which enables them to easily sneak up on and capture prey. Their heels do not touch the ground when they walk.
Lions possess extra bones within their paws that allow them to achieve a wide range of movement. Their claws are retractable and have no impact on their walking movements.
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