The Social Cat: The Lion

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The Social Cat Most wild cats are known to be solitary mammals, but there is one exception—the lion. Lions have captured the attention of many because of their exciting sociality. Lions are group hunters; other cats are solitary hunters. Lions live in groups; other cats live alone. In their article “The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion”, Quammen, David, and Michael Nichols explain that these cats are “the only feline that’s truly social” (60). One common movie in today’s society, “The Lion King”, portrays the lion as the “King of the Jungle.” Many humans view lions as vicious, roaring animals that are the top of the food chain. Lions actually will “rarely attack a being human without provocation”(Lions). What we don’t realize is that lions are seen as the “King of the Jungle” because they are protecting their pride, or group they are a part of. A pride generally consists of three to thirty lions. According to a magazine article, “African Lion”, from the National Geographic, “ Prides are family units that may include up to three males, a dozen or so females, and their young. All of a pride’s lionesses are related, and female cubs typically stay with the group as they age” (“African Lion”). Female lions, or lionesses, will typically stay with one pride their entire life. When a young male lion ages, he will eventually leave his pride and go establish his own pride(s). Young males will sometimes wander for years until they are strong enough to lead their own pride. Generally the adult males of a pride aren’t related to the other lions in their pride. A pride’s territory is typically around eighty square miles, but can also be more. Normally lions will choose their territory based on water and prey. Once they find a pla... ... middle of paper ... ... lions and lionesses are continuously interacting with each other within their own prides and when trying to find a new pride or “king [male to be the head of the pride]”. Sociality is probably the single most exciting aspect of lion life considering most other cats are nowhere near as social as the lion. Works Cited “African Lion.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 1996-2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. “King of the jungle, forest, and savanna.” San Diego Zoo Animals. San Diego Zoo Global, 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013. “Lion.” Animal Planet. Discovery Communications, 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. “Lion- Social Behavior.” The Big Cats. N.p. 2007. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. Quammen, David, and Michael Nichols. "The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion." National Geographic Magazine Aug. 2013.National Geographic Virtual Library. Web. 22 Nov. 2013.
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