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Hello! My name is Mike Coppola and I work with Lions at the Dallas Zoo! Before moving I looked at found a great place to live and started my transition from the San Deigo Zoo to Dallas Zoo.
The lion ( Panthera leo ) is a mammalian carnivore of the family of cats of genus Panthera (cats). He is nicknamed “the king of beasts” because its mane makes it look like the Sun , which appears as the “king of the stars.” The adult male, easily recognizable by its large mane , can reach a mass of 250 kg , the power of its bite can reach up to 330 kg a while the adult female, smaller, usually reaches 120 to 140 kg , which it the second largest cat after the wild Siberian Tiger . An adult male eats 7 kg of meat every day against 5 kg in females. He lives in large family groups, unlike other cats . His life expectancy in the wild is between 7 and 12 years for males and 14 to 20 years for females, but it frequently exceeds 30 years in captivity.
The female lion is a lioness , she will hunt, is his little cub . The male lion does not hunt but he is charged with combat intrusions into the territory and threats against the troops. The lion roars . There is currently in the wild more than 16 500 to 30 000 specimens in savannah Africa , divided into ten sub-species 2 and about 300 in Gir Forest National Park northwest of India 3 .
Adult male lion
The lion is the second largest feline after the tiger , and thus the largest carnivore in Africa. A male is 136 to 198 centimeters in length from tip of nose to base of tail and has a tail of 90 centimeters on average 4 . Males reach a mass between 140 and 215 kg in adulthood 4 . The lioness adult is 150 to 210 cm without the tail and has a tail measuring about 85 centimeters. They weigh between 110 and 170 kg 4 and have an average size from 20 to 50% less than that of a male 5 . On average, the lions have a shoulder height greater than that of tigers, but are shorter. The largest lions live in southern Africa , the smallest in Asia . The world record is held by a lion of the Transvaal of 313 kg 6 .
The Lions have amber or yellow eyes and a black nose. Their ears, houses for rent in raleigh nc black on the reverse, are rounded and are a white spot. They have retractable claws that are protected by sheaths of flesh. Their canines can reach six inches long 5 . Their tongue is covered with horny papillae curved allowing them to grab food, but also get rid of parasites.
Males have a long mane , usually dark brown, but in some cases, black, light brown or tan. Lions National Park Tsavo , are for their lack of manes. The mane appears around the age of three years and extends to the cheeks above the shoulders, sometimes also on the belly and chest. The shape and color of males can vary not only between individuals but also in the same individual during his life according to its physical constitution.
A long, dark mane is an indicator of a good constitution and a large fighting force, because the hormonal status and nutrition have an effect on the thickness and the length of the mane 7 . Experimental tests with manes stuffed showed that females respond positively to models with a long, dark mane, and that males avoid models with pronounced manes. The explanation is that dark and thick mane is a handicap, because it captures and retains heat. Males and disabled , but nevertheless “survivors”, was revealed to be the carriers of better genes. This is proved by the fact that an animal weakened in one way or another has a mane clearer and less important (changes in appearance of the manes were observed in the same individual over time) 8 .
In practice, the mane may be a protection against claws in combat against rival males.
Thermographic image of a lion
Moreover, recent research also showed that temperature also has an important effect on the length of the mane, and males of colder regions, even regardless of subspecies, forms mane more important than those living in hot areas. Thus, males of zoos more continental climates are most often a mane much larger than their congeners remained in warmer countries 8 , 9 .
Among Asian lions, and some specimens of West Africa (at Park Pendjari Benin , for example), the mane is clearly less pronounced than their African cousins, the hairs are unique also be thinner.
Related article: vibrissa .
Like other felines, the lion has many thick mustache, also known as the vibrissae . These long hairs sensitive to vibrations help the lion to move in the dark, or when the visual field is obstructed. Most of his hunting run at night, they help to almost “feel” his way in the dark, the nose toward the sky, and feeling the ground in total darkness. The longest mustache on his upper lip are, what are the vibrissae mystaciales. The whiskers above the eyes are called vibrissae superciliaires. There are also whiskers on either cheek, called genial whiskers. The whiskers can grow not only on the face, but as well on the back of the legs: these are called carpel hairs and are used to feel vibrations land 10 .
It is possible to identify the lions by counting the black dots that speckle their skin over their lips, the base of the hairs of their mustaches.
The lions have a large and well developed muscles. Their body is elongated and squat on thick muscular legs. They can take down prey up to several times their own size. Their jaw is powerful to be able to rip the thick skin of prey (such as wildebeest ), and to stay hooked on prey that seek to bring down the predator’s back. The leg muscles are also capable of inflicting serious damage. A big swipe of a lion is powerful enough to rupture internal organs and even bones to break 10 .
Related: White Lion and leucistic .
Their coat is short sandy colored, yellow-gold or dark tan. The inside of the legs is always clear, as the belly, buff males, almost white in the female. The cubs have dark spots on the entire body, but disappear already during the first year. In very rare cases, these spots are still visible in adulthood, but remain insignificant, being visible only close 5 .
As with tigers , lions exist in occasional cases of leucistic , less than a hundred specimens of 11 in the world possess this genetic uniqueness due to a gene recessive, which gives a blonde color, cream or white peel. The leucistic is different from the albinism , and poses no direct problem on the physiology of the animal Note 1 . The eyes retain their pigments and usually stay normal color (hazel or gold), but can also be blue-gray or gray-green. The lips and pads are also normally pigmented.
In the male leucistique, the mane and the tail tip, usually dark or black, are very pale. The best-known specimens are probably the white lions of Timbavati in South Africa , where two white lions were born of a lioness and a lion tawny in a private nature reserve 12 . Chris McBride was the first to observe them in October 1975 and has written two books on the subject 13 , 14 . In 2005 , two young lions with white fur and blue eyes are born in a zoo near Agen 11 and four Jurques Zoo , near Caen , 20 May 2007 , two white parents also 15 . The Beauval Zoo in the Loir-et-Cher was the first French fleet to present a couple of white lions to the public 16 .
There is no tangible evidence of the existence of lions melanistic (black) 17 .
The most amazing thing in lions is their tail ending in a brush of black hairs, not only the latter is vital against flies, but the end is a vertebra undeveloped, discovered by Didymus of Alexandria . The latter found at the end of the tail, hidden among the hairs, a horny black stud, and he supposed that this was the body that, when the lion, in time of danger, violently shook its tail, it stung to the sides like a spur and excited to jump on his enemies. This observation went almost unnoticed, and that is not modern naturalists had no knowledge, either because they doubt the révoquassent, none of them spoke to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach , who confirmed the accuracy of the fact anatomical reported by Didymus, but without endorsing the view of it on the uses of this part.
All the tip of the tail of the lion, black ergot consistency cornea, 8 to 11 mm in length, is surrounded at its base by an annular fold of the skin and firmly adheres to a follicle unique appearance glandular ; color is that of the horn, also becoming increasingly obscure, until the end that is almost black. It is laterally compressed in its whole extent from the tip to the right third of its length, it bends slightly at this point, which is marked by a low depression from this curvature, it expands rapidly until at its base. These parts, however small, cornea and the tip are literally buried in the middle of the terminal tuft of the tail. Gerard Paul Deshayes , in 1829 , describes this part as a sort of nail or production cornea in the shape of a cone slightly curved towards the point, adhering by its base to the skin only, and not at the last vertebra , which it is separated from 4 to 6 mm . This pin can be easily detached, the adhesion is not very strong and it remains soft at its base throughout the game which adhered to the skin. It often fails on the specimens, the presence of this body seems independent of age and sex 18 .
It is commonly believed that the lions are faster than males and can reach speeds near 60 km / h 19 , 20 , but this speed can be maintained only over short distances.
Distribution and habitat
Current geographical distribution of the lion in Africa
Formerly, the lion must have had geographical distribution over the spread of all land mammals. The American lion ( Panthera leo atrox ) was present from Peru to Alaska throughout the Pleistocene upper, while cousins occupied Siberia and Central Europe, and others were divided between India and South Africa. The extent of the distribution, however, loses its importance at the end of the ice age.
The distribution of the lion in historical times, more limited, however, was important. It covered large parts of Africa , but also the Southern Europe and the Middle East and India . Until the antiquity , lions were still living in the Balkans , the southern Europe ( Panthera leo europaea ) and in Anatolia and the Middle East, and many authors who were contemporaries make their report ( Herodotus , Aristotle and the Bible 21 , among others). It is assumed that in Europe, the lion has disappeared because of the man i st century AD. JC .
Today, its distribution is largely limited to the SSA . Nevertheless, the extreme south of Africa has over the Lions since 1860 , when the extinction of the Cape lion ( Panthera leo melanochaita ). In North Africa , the Atlas lion ( Panthera leo leo ) died in the year 1920 . And in the same way, the populations of Asian lions ( Panthera leo persica ) have almost fully disappeared xx th century . A last group of survivors, however, has taken refuge in the National Park Gir Forest in the state of Gujarat in India where there remain some 300 specimens. Significant populations of African lions are located in national parks of Kenya , to Tanzania and South Africa and are rare outside protected areas. Classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the lion is at risk of extinction.
The lions have a great capacity to adapt and many different habitats. The preferred habitat of the lion is the savanna , but it is also found in dry forests and semi-deserts. We do, however, never found in the dense rainforests and arid deserts. Therefore, the species lack naturally in rainforests Central and driest deserts of North Africa and the Middle East.
A lioness in search of game.
Unlike other big cats, rather solitary, lions live in troops, who are permanent social units, composed of related females with one another, unrelated males to females and their offspring. The size of the territory and the number of prey determine the size of the group varies from 3 to 30 individuals. There is usually in the group one to seven adult males and one to eighteen females. The company covers an area of 20 to 500 km 2 . In the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania , lion density can reach a person per square kilometer. In the Ngorongoro crater , the maximum number of individuals is 1.6 to 2.4 sq km. Borders of their territories are defined by their feces and urine , indicating that there defense entering the area. They also scrape the ground with their fore and hind legs, depositing a substance secreted by glands in their pads 22 .
Young males are about two to three years in the group, until they reached sexual maturity. They are then driven by the dominant lion. Against by females usually spend their entire lives in the group of birth and breed. This prevents inbreeding.
When the young males of the group were driven by their fathers, they become nomads and together form a “coalition”, sometimes joined by other young males. The link between the male is very strong. Young males move together very long distances, do not respect territorial boundaries, but do not base their own territory. Since males have very little success in hunting, compared to females, young nomads mostly eat carrion .
Such coalitions of young males will try to lead a troop in ousting the resident males. However, this is not always successful. Such struggles are usually bloody, and it is not uncommon for them to come to an end fatally. If the old males of the group lose the fight, they are hunted and then lead a solitary life. They often die as a result of their injuries. If the newcomers win, they frequently come to infanticide , that is to say they kill the young of their predecessors. This behavior allows females to quickly find an estrus and thus be capable of breeding again. Males can mate and earlier and ensure their own offspring. This behavior is adaptive: in fact, competition is fierce between coalitions of males and young males will soon try to dethrone to take their turn leading the group. Males have not time to waste and they must hold at the top of the group until the cubs are old enough to be spared. Males are rarely more than three or four years as head of the group, and therefore do not have time to wait that made the predecessors have become adults to spawn. Often the females attacked the male assassin 23 .
In general, the lions do not practice full mutual toilets with only the back of the nose is clean, but when coarse dirt, for example by the blood of prey, there may be a member to make fur care.
Two young lions roaring
Lions communicate by many means. They are social animals and therefore communication is more developed than other cats. Their voice communication consists of grunts, growls, hisses, moans, meows, and the famous roar. Their hyoid bone is only partially ossified, it is this provision which allows them to roar, but thus they are not able to purr, strictly speaking, but they do, like other beasts , by expiration. It is heard when two lions interact each other on a friendly basis. The hum does not sound like a kitten, but as a grunt or a serious snoring. The roar has various meanings, depending on the situation in which it is used. Roar is used to divide the territory, call the other group members, intimidate rivals and strengthen the “family” ties between group members. The roars of the male are stronger and deeper than those of the female. By a strong expiration, the lions roar, returning their flanks and chest swelling, often in a low growl starting with a few low grunts and groans, which tell other lions that group lives in the area, and stay outside the territory. On a clear night, it can be heard up to five miles away 24 . Females use a low grunt to call their young.
Body language is of equal importance. The lions have a complex ceremonial greeting in which they moan gently one and the other, swinging his head sideways and keep the tail lifted up, or resting on the back of the other lion. Like some other cats, lions are hitting their heads and bowing. Licking the head, shoulders and neck is also a sign of affection. The lions, like other wild cats have black ears with big white circles on their backs. These large white circles are used to indicate mood: when they are angry, lions and other carnivores are expanding their ears flat against their heads. It is unclear whether a cat is angry at a distance, but if you see flashing white circles, you can remotely know that he is furious and he better not come close. This avoids a lot of fighting 10 .
Mating of a lion and a lioness.
Lions reach sexual maturity and social at the age of three or four years 25 , their physiological maturity at 30 months for males and 24 months for females 26 . There is no breeding season defined. To check the fertility of a female, the male uses the Jacobson’s organ , located on the palate, with the inner surface of the nose. To do so, the lion is the upper lip and opens its mouth. This process is called Flehmen .
Even if a male gets to the top of the hierarchy, it can not reproduce with a female with her consent. It’s turning around, as they rolled to his feet, rubbing his head against her neck, the female produces the dominant male. She gets on his stomach and raises the rump ; this position, called lordosis , allows the male better penetration. During mating, lions guard the female’s neck in his mouth and bites her neck. This guard instinctively calm the penis of the male is covered with spiny protuberances and when it withdraws, it is assumed that the lioness is in pain. Thus she protested with a roar and turns frequently against him in an aggressive posture. It is the penetration triggers the spawning of eggs to be fertilized by the sperm 10 . , 27 If a lioness agrees to reproduce, they will mate every fifteen minutes, until fifty times a day, in which case Each report takes about thirty seconds, until the estrus of the female, which lasts only four days 26 or over 28 .
After a gestation of about four months 29 , the lioness, hidden away from the group gives birth to one to four 26 cubs, blind, from 1.1 to 1.37 kg 26 . During their first six weeks of life about 30 , they will qu’allaités by the mother in the cache by its four mammary glands. If the latter is quite remote from the group, only the mother goes out hunting. Sometimes the young remain until 48 hours alone in the cache which can be dangerous, particularly because of hyenas and many other predators. After three to four weeks 26 , the lioness brings its young in the group and they mingle with other cubs. Acceptance issues are rare.
From that moment, the young lions suck not only their mother, but also other lionesses, so that education is for all the females in the group. Around the age of six months 31 , the cubs are weaned , they are still about two years with their mother 26 .
The lifespan of a lion rises from twelve to fourteen years in the wild, rarely more than twenty years 26 . However, only the females reach a certain age. The males are usually killed by a younger competitor or, after a long wandering, no longer find a group and starving. However, some lions lived in the zoo until age 29 years 26 .
Some observers reported that two lions or lionesses could also interact with each other and show signs of homosexuality . In nature, about 8% of intercourse takes place between lions, while lions homosexual activity, however, are observable in captivity 32 . , 33
Reproduction and infanticide
Only males at the top of the hierarchy can be repeated, because the dominant has full authority over the harem . But this period lasts on average two to four years 28 . However, each female is raising only one litter at a time, a dominant male newcomer at the top of the hierarchy can not afford to wait up to two years before they can mate. To make fertilizable females, he will not hesitate to kill small 31 .
Food and hunting
Young elephant who was the prey of lions in Savuti
A lion and a cub eating a buffalo
The lion hunting generally in the dark or the cool hours of the morning darkness and milder temperatures are an advantage. Moreover, the lion is idle 20 to 21 hours per day, from 10 to 15 hours of nap 34 . It consumes an average of 7 kg of meat per day 28 . However, if hunting was good and if she missed a few meals, the lioness can swallow up to 30 kg of meat at once, while the male can swallow up to 40 kg 35 . The lions hunt only when their food supply is exhausted.
The main prey are the cattle of large, medium and small size:
large antelopes ( Kobus , of waterbuck Lechwe , large kudu , nyala , black roan , oryx , eland , hartebeest , hartebeest , wildebeest );
dwarf antelopes ( oribi , dik-dik , steenboks ).
He also hunts for buffalo , young elephants, warthogs , zebras , giraffes , rabbits , birds and sometimes fish. In some areas, lions specialize even for a specific type of prey. And large groups of lions, about 30 individuals, regularly attack the elephants adults. In the wetlands of the Savuti and Linyanti , they may even prey on hippos . But generally most of hippos , rhinos , elephants are too large because of their stature, because lions usually flee the angry elephants and rhinos.
The gazelle , the hartebeest , the springbok and impala antelopes are very fast runner and are generally excluded from their prey, lions are forced to hunt animals slower.
Around the age of two years, the cubs learn the art of hunting and go to three years with their mother chasing a first time.
In the savanna, open environment, the lions are easily spotted by their prey. In addition, a vigorous animal can overcome a Lonely Hunter. A young Cape buffalo was seen fighting with a lion for 90 minutes to finally lose not only its tail. The hunt for two or more thus offers a better chance of success and allows you to take impressive. Lionesses provide 80 to 90% of the catch when hunting. Males, heavier, slower and more easily detectable by their corpulence and their manes, are less effective.
The lions and lionesses use different techniques depending on terrain, their preferences and methods of human prey. The lioness hunting usually at dawn or dusk, or at the cover of darkness. On the lookout, hidden behind the tall grass, waiting for an animal has fallen head to graze, showing signs of inattention or is in isolated position. This may lead a quiet approach up to 30 meters, then load and projected violently prey on land. Weighing all his weight on her, she seized her by the throat. Trachea and esophagus severed, the victim dies within minutes. The lionesses often keep their prey by the muzzle until it suffocates.
When they hunt in packs, the lionesses encircle the prey or the herd, and come close together, they crawl on his belly often several hundred meters to their prey, in which case the environment is used most intelligently as possible to camouflage themselves. A distance of about 30 meters is reached, then the prey is loaded. Each jump is about 6 meters long and can be double in length and four meters in height 36 . The prey is then killed by a sharp bite to the neck or neck so as to reach the jugular vein or carotid artery .
Because lionesses hunt in open spaces, common hunting increases the chance of successfully hitting a prey. They also refer the prey between them. In addition, the prey in the group can be more easily defended against thieves like wild dogs and spotted hyenas .
The percentage of successful attempts also varies depending on the species hunted: about 14% in the case of antelopes (hartebeest, waterbuck, kudu, eland, hartebeest, oryx), 38% for zebra and wildebeest and 47% for warthogs. Night hunting results in 33% success rate, against 21% for the day-fighter, and attacks in the bushes (41%) were 3.5 times more likely to succeed than attacks on open ground (12%) – according to studies 37 . In times of drought, lions will even eat dead animals from disease or remains of other predators. In the Serengeti Park in Tanzania, where most ungulates have migrated in search of tender grass and water, lions prey on animals sedentary : giraffes, warthogs, small mammals (dwarf antelopes, rabbits), birds , young snakes or crocodiles. The nights of dry seasons, the lionesses hunt sometimes impala at dusk, antelopes sedentary fast and vigilant during the day, living in a wooded area.
Males of the group participate in hunting rarely, for example if very large prey are attacked like buffaloes, giraffes and elephants Preadult; their main role is to protect the company of other lions. After a success, the group hierarchy comes into effect: the male may eat first, then follow the females in high places and finally small. There is rarely, with the corpse, the struggles of rank where group members inflict significant injury.
Often, the lions are brought to eating carrion . Male lions who were driven out of a clan are forced to feed exclusively on this diet. This leads them to hunt their loot other scavengers such as leopards . Often, the lion should also drive the spotted hyenas to their prey.
Interspecific interactions between predators
The relationship between lions and spotted hyenas in areas where they coexist is unique in its complexities and intensities. Lions and hyenas are on top of the food chain , feeding on the same prey, and are therefore in direct competition. As such, they often struggle to steal and occasionally kill himself. Although hyenas have a reputation for being opportunistic scavengers profiting from hunting the lion, the opposite situation is very common. At Ngorongoro Crater , the population of hyenas far exceeds that of resident lions, as they obtain much of their food by stealing hyena prey. The quarrel between the two species, however, does not exceed a single battle for food, it’s actually the boundary between the respective sets the limits of these conflicts because unlike other species, the territories do not overlap, as if groups of hyenas and lions belong to the same species. However, males are very aggressive toward hyenas, they kill them when they can, sometimes without eating. Conversely, hyenas are major predators of lion cubs (with leopard), harassing the lions 38 .
Lions dominate smaller felines they like cheetahs . They steal their prey and kill their young, sometimes adults. Cheetah has a 50% chance of losing his prey vis-à-vis other predators 39 and lions are the main predators of its small, with an estimated nine small even ten killed by a lion in their first weeks of life . Can survive on small prey and climb trees, leopards suffer less from this predation 40 .
Lions are also in competition with the Nile crocodile , and sometimes, depending on the respective sizes that either eat. Lions were seen crocodiles killing 41 and pieces of lion were found in the stomachs of crocodile 42 .
Relationship with the man
The man and the lion hunt
Mosaic of a lion hunt in Pella .
Lion chased by the Tswana , illustration of the xix th century .
“Until the lions have their historians, tales of hunting will turn always to the glory of the hunter. ”
- African proverb
Since ancient man hunting a lion. This is also when the animal is adult, the only predator (the cubs left alone can be preyed upon by leopards , and hyenas and even lions outside the group). Man hunt the lion to ensure the safety of its herd, to protect themselves, but also as evidence of an outward sign of valor 43 or even for shows that were the Roman games . Therefore, the hunts and battered have eliminated many subspecies. The invention of the firearm and the “sport hunting”, will accelerate at the rate of disappearance of other large mammals, the Big 5 .
In East Africa, from the year 1900 , protective measures, which consisted in the creation of game reserve as the Kilimanjaro National Park and a ban on hunting in these areas were taken. Time to Kill is buying, the cost limit catches by a sort of auction calculated on past requests. The ritual hunts also continue and it is not uncommon to see lions mutilated. Performed the ritual hunts end with the sale of trophies, linking this to practical economic interests. The Kenya Wildlife Service reports that between 1999 and 2003, 49 lions were killed by Maasai . Lion populations have continued to fall so that in the year 2000 , this method of wildlife management has been questioned. Indeed, the total population of African lions increased from 50,000 to 15,000 specimens (at worst) during the 1990s 44 . Hunting, poaching and decline of wilderness make the species vulnerable so he had to take further protective measures. Circus lions, those for taming and zoos are no longer taken from the wild. Traditional hunting and poaching are fought. Sport hunting in Botswana is banned in February 2001 by the management department of the local wildlife as well, with 53 trophies recorded in 2000, hunting has reported five million dollars to the hunting industry and 100,000 dollars to fund state 44 , the “stumpage fee” of around 80 000 euros for 3000 against a cheetah 45 . The Office of wildlife management in Zambia itself has taken a measure prohibiting the same year 44 . In South Africa , nearly 300 farmers raise about 5000 lions for hunting, 480 lions, including 444 bred in captivity, were hunted in the country, for a price between 6000 to 8 000 USD and the female 20 000 to 30 000 USD the male 46 . A legislation would prohibit this practice.
In Asia, the lion has disappeared since the mid- xix th century in the wild, as by hunting than by reducing its habitat.
Effect of reduction of habitat
Diseases are another problem, especially in the Kruger National Park in South Africa . Ever since 1995 , a first fatal case of tuberculosis occurred among lions, extensive studies have been conducted in the park. According to the report, the infection rate of animals in the southern sector of the park by the deadly bacteria was more than 90%. The infection came from the buffalo hunted by lions, in contact with domestic cattle, have introduced the disease into the park and infected lions. About 70% of cattle suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis ( phthisis ), while among the lions, the disease occurs mainly in the digestive system. The animals become weaker, lose weight much and die within a few years. Besides tuberculosis, there is a second very common disease. Approximately 60-70% of the Kruger Park lions are infected with feline immunodeficiency virus , which “paralyze” the immune system of the animal and opens the way for tuberculosis. Exterminators against both viruses, there is no vaccination.
In 1994 , one third of the lions of the Serengeti National Park have died from the contraction of canine distemper 47 , 48 against which they are very vulnerable.
Currently, lion populations are highly concentrated as contained in parks or reserves, other areas become unfit to survive by becoming farmland. The loss of genetic diversity leads to the appearance of disease as has been observed in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, where lions present 120 in the 2000s down to three lions of the 1960s 49 . But some biologists estimate that 500 to 1000 adult individuals genetic diversity necessary for a population of them to be considered viable, that is to say having the minimum of genetic diversity necessary for survival 50 , 51 , 52 . Few of these people fit this criterion. In 2007, these lion populations are not yet considered at-risk populations, although no study on this issue is undertaken. Unlike other species, no large-scale preventive transfer is made to reduce the risk of loss of genetic inheritance. However, to solve specific problems of the reserve of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, attempts at artificial insemination were performed with difficulty to avoid problems of social integration associated with introductions 49 .
Predation of humans
Lion of Tsavo naturalized in Field Museum of Chicago
Normally, lions do not attack humans. Sometimes these days that some lions attacking humans in Africa, invariably, those carrying out reprisals. The causes of human predation are systematically examined by scientists. Between 1990 and 2005, 563 villagers were attacked by lions in Tanzania, which corresponds to a significant increase 53 . It seems they only attack because their prey become rare. In Tanzania, these attacks took place in the Selous Game Reserve , the Rufiji and Lindi region where man expands its presence and where the lion population increases thanks to protection measures 53 . Some lions can also be forced to attack humans because of a physical problem, can not attack other prey. In 2006, a lion suspected of killing 35 people 54 had defective teeth.
There existed some lions who seemed human prey. The stories of the dead and hounding of those rare specimens called man-eaters were written by their hunters. John Henry Patterson in 1907 wrote The Man-eaters of Tsavo which was shot several films such as Bwana Devil in 1952 and L ‘Ghost and the Darkness in 1996 . The specimen is also known to Mfuwe.
Approximately 16 500 to 30 000 lions still roam freely 2 . The IUCN is a party in 2004 assumed that the number of lions has declined worldwide over the past two decades from 30 to 50%. The reasons for this decline are not fully known. It is assumed that the reduction of game hunted by the lion, the conflict between man and the lion and habitat degradation are the main reasons for the decline of lion populations. Across Africa, the lion has disappeared over 80% of its former territory. The African lion is considered “vulnerable” on the Red List of Threatened Species IUCN, due to the steady decline in the size of this species. In West Africa , the number of lions is less than 1500. This species meets the criterion of “regionally endangered.” There are more than 200 to 300 individuals in Asia, threatened by the loss of their genetic heritage.
New strategies to protect the lion aimed at improving opportunities for peaceful coexistence in the future between lions and men: an integrated land use with wildlife, reduce conflicts between man and the lion and the prevention of illegal trade of the lion and its derivatives. The future of these “fat cats” already appears on a better path in a few large reserves of South Africa and East while very precarious in Asia to offset the latter, the Indian government has place in the year 2000 a lion reintroduction project in Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary : the Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project 55 .
The lion in captivity
The lions live in captivity since ancient times, on-off periods. The Romans used them in their games eg. There are lions permanently in the West since the creation of menageries , ancestors of zoos , the xviii th century . In America, the first lion was also exhibited in Boston in 1716 . In addition, the entertainment, like taming in the circus or even the lion fights , require the establishment of farms. Lions reproduce very well in captivity and can live twenty years, the record is currently held by a lion of Honolulu Zoo born in 1986 56 .
Monarchs Assyrian stood in the ix th century BC. AD 57 and Alexander the Great , according to legend, lived with tame lions by the Malhi northwest of India 58 . Later, the Romans kept organizers of games. As well as famous Roman Sulla , Pompey , Julius Caesar , ordered the capture of hundreds of lions at a time 59 . Marco Polo reported that the Indian princes continued in taming and Kublai Khan kept lions even within its housing 60 .
William of Malmesbury reported him as lions were kept in England , to Woodstock by the will of Henry I st 61 , the lion being present on English heraldry.
Flehmen Lion at Melbourne Zoo
The species is considered, such as tigers and sharks, as the public attractor 62 , so they are very present in zoos. 2000 also zoos currently holding about 1,000 existing African lions and 100 Asiatic lions in the year 2000 . They help raise awareness about the environment and conservation of these species 62 .
Exchange programs have long existed to diversify the gene pool of lions in captivity, though they did not include subspecies, creating a genetic pollution in populations of different origins. Current programs are beginning to consider 63 and try not to reproduce all the lions of different subspecies. The Species Survival Plan is a coordinated effort in this direction by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums . In 1982, procedures were put in place in North America to preserve the genetic heritage of the Asiatic lion. The component for African lions started him in 1993, especially for the subspecies of South Africa. Most individuals detained are of uncertain origin, however, making their reintroduction possible 64 .
The subspecies of the lion of the Atlas , the most spectacular because most, not only through existing animals kept by zoos. One can see twelve at Port Lympne Zoo in Kent, UK . They all descended from animals that belonged to King of Morocco . Eleven specimens, considered Atlas lions, are also held by the zoo in Addis Ababa , a specimen is identified in Neuwied Zoo 65 , some specimens at Zoo Amnéville 66 . The WildLink International , in collaboration with the University of Oxford , has launched an ambitious international program of breeding conservatory called Barbary Lion Project , which aims to identify and replicate these lions to reintroduce them in a national park of Morocco 65 , 66 .
The performances of lions
Tamer of lithography in 1873.
Animal fights were common paris generating the xviii th century . Fights between lions and dogs in general were held in Vienna in Austria from 1800 and in England from 1825 67 , 68 .
Taming of the pioneers are Henri Martin , a French, and Isaac Van Amburgh , an American. They started in the middle of the xix th century and their techniques were quickly copied 69 . Martin will create in the third Cirque Olympique in Paris in 1831, a pantomime extravaganza, sheltered behind a screen, called “The Lions of Mysore” with his lion Nero and Cobourg, his tiger Atyr. Isaac Van Amburgh toured England, before Queen Victoria . He quickly copied the spectacle of the French. More than the traditional horse-taming, taming the beast would mark the superiority of human raw natural forces 69 . Jean-Baptiste Pezon is another famous lion tamer. Clyde Beatty is probably the first trainer to be used on the overhead support where the deer come and sit 70 .
This tradition is still alive, some trainers today, as the duo of magicians Siegfried & Roy and their white lions are still famous.
The detention of lions
Some individuals or private companies are raising lions, their detention is subject to many countries with specific permissions. Often these animals are kept under conditions not allowing their well-being among others because of lack of space 71 . In France, regular input actions were conducted by administering 72 although some associations are the low virulence 73 . India banned the possession of the same lion since 1998 72 . Also many animals escape, resulting in battered often result in the slaughter of the animal 74 .
In Africa, the couple George and Joy Adamson is best known for the high and tamed lioness Elsa , Elsa has been the source of several books and documentaries.
The lion, like the leopard , the tiger , the jaguar and the ounce or snow leopard, is part of the genus Panthera of the family Felidae .
Diagram of the skeleton of a cave lion
The phylogeny is the study of the emergence and formation of a species with fossils. The oldest fossil of a lion was discovered at Laetoli in Tanzania , according to dating, he would probably 3.5 Ma .
Panthera leo is identified for the first time in Europe, on the site Italian of Isernia , the fossil of a primitive cave lion ( Panthera leo fossilis ) older than 700,000 years. A lower jaw of a lion of Olduvai Gorge in Kenya , older than 1.75 Ma, shows striking similarities with the primitive cave lion. These are considered the largest in Europe and lions hunted during the interglacial Cromerian , there are over 500 000 years, near Wiesbaden in Hesse and near Heidelberg in Baden-Wuerttemberg . Some specimens were nearly as long as the greatest lions of Earth history , the American lion ( Panthera leo atrox ) of California reached a record length: up to 3.60 meters long with the tail ( overall length of tail, about 2.40 meters).
Most discoveries of lions in Europe are cave lions ( Panthera leo spelaea ) emerged during the Mindel glacial period , they represent an evolution of primitive cave lions. Although it is specifically related with any of the subspecies present, studies on the DNA confirmed that the cave lion was a real lion 75 . Another subspecies lived, for its part, North East Asia, in Beringia (at the current Bering Strait ), called Lion of eastern Siberia and Beringia ( Panthera leo vereshchagini ). In Central Europe, Asia and North America, the lions were, until the end of the Pleistocene , a common species of local wildlife, but disappeared at the end of the last glaciation .
Asiatic lion at Bristol .
Twelve subspecies are traditionally recognized, the largest being the Atlas lion disappeared during the XX th century. The major differences between its various subdivisions of the species were the location and size of the mane and body: most of these previously described forms are now considered invalid because not taking into account the natural variability between individuals. Also, some descriptions of subspecies were based on specimens held by zoos, whose origin was not always certain 64 . In 2004 , only eight subspecies are recognized 76 , 77 , Note 2 ; among seven African subspecies proposed, the Cape lion ( Panthera leo melanochaita ) is probably invalid 76 .
However, recent genetic analysis conducted on different subspecies of lion led to reduce the number of subspecies in two: in 2008 , the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) does not recognize and the Lion Africa ( Panthera leo leo ) and the Asiatic lion ( Panthera leo persica ) 78 .
The African lion ( Panthera leo leo ): formerly widespread throughout Africa , there is now only from the southern Sahara to northern South Africa ;
The Asiatic lion ( Panthera leo persica ) is very similar to the African lion. According to research biomolecular he parted there are 50 000-100 000 years of its African cousin. It has a mane and a fold lower in the middle of the belly. To this must be added a much larger hairs at the elbow. The Asiatic lion is generally smaller than the African. An adult male has a body mass between 160 and 190 kg, one female between 110 and 120 kg. It once extended throughout the Indian subcontinent . Group size is on average smaller than its African counterpart. At the beginning of xx th century , the subspecies seemed destined to disappear: there was then more than twenty individuals. Gir Forest and its surroundings were then declared “protected” and in 1965 was created the National Park Gir Forest , the population could rise again up to 300 animals, which, however, are threatened by a land far too small ( 250 km 2 ) and by a strong beam of related animals , which led to the loss of genetic diversity of these lions.
The cave lions are now all extinct. They lived in Eurasia and America . Presumably they had a tuft of black hairs at the end of their tails, like modern lions. It is believed that, unlike the current lions, they hunted alone or in pairs. This was proven by the lions of Rancho La Brea in California , where young people had more worn teeth than young modern lions. They have lived in caves or holes in the winter.
The primitive cave lion ( Panthera leo fossilis ) is the lion of Pleistocene Lower and Middle. It was once present throughout much of the Old World .
Painting of a cave lion by Heinrich Harder
The cave lion ( Panthera leo spelaea ) is the lion of the Upper Pleistocene. He was present throughout Europe. The extinction of these animals associated with open areas of temperate or cold is probably linked to climate change (and possibly loss of prey on which they lived) rather than intensive hunting by human groups. Discovered in the xix th century , it has first been closer to the modern species of similar size, namely tigers and lions. In describing the type of skull Gailenreuth , Georg August Goldfuss felt it was distinct from modern taxa. It is now considered a separate subspecies, but with enough character to justify his one-sided attachment to the species Leo . This is the direct ancestor of modern lion 75 . It is possible that the males did not have a mane, or they have had a very small and primitive. Indeed, performances of lion in the Paleolithic art show no mane as bushy as that of the lions today. We do not know if they had any kind of scattered spots on their fur or if their color was uniform. The cave lion is distinguished by lions present a shorter muzzle, smaller ears and a much larger and it is believed that males could be as large and as heavy as tigers, that is to say a , 50 meter high at the shoulder, 4 feet long and weighing 400 to 500 kg.
The lion in Eastern Siberia and Beringia ( Panthera leo vereshchagini ) existed only in the province of Yakutia in Russia , in Alaska and in the territory of Yukon in Canada . An analysis of the skulls and fossil mandibles shows that this lion is indeed a new subspecies, different from other prehistoric lions namely, the American lion by a larger cave lion and a smaller 79 , 75 .
The American lion ( Panthera leo atrox ) was present from Alaska to Peru throughout the late Pleistocene. These lions were very similar to modern lions, but were much greater. According to some representations in the caves, the American lion would have owned a few scratches, but much smaller than the tiger. Assume they hunted animals then slower but more robust, as the buffalo , but their strength and weight allowed them to fell prey to the ground. They also attacked the horses , to deer , and even to young mammoths . Many lions were found in the remains of human camps dated Paleolithic , this suggests that lions were hunted by men. In Idaho , the remains of American lion was spotted in the debris of a cave called ” Jaguar Cave “, they are dated to 10,300 years. Several other fossils show that these lions were hunted by early American Indians 80 .
The lion of Europe ( Panthera leo europaea ) extended during the ancient times to the south of Western Europe as the Middle and Near East . It is often equated (wrongly) to Asian lion.
Main article: Panthera Hybrid .
The cryptozoology has long been interested in Marozis 81 , allegedly spotted lions, short manes who lived in the highlands of Kenya . The skin of a lion of this kind is still kept at the Natural History Museum of London . Since the late 1930s , there has been any more appearances. Today, some suppose that they were hybrids, produced from a cross between a lion and another cat.
The names of hybrids are composed of the first syllable of the father, followed by a syllable of mother:
behalf of the Hybrid
Ligre Lion tigress
tigon tiger lioness
liguar lion female jaguar
jaglion jaguar lioness
liard lion female leopard
léopon leopard lioness
Males are usually sterile, because of the fragility of the sperm , but females can be fertile Note 3 .
Image of the lion in humans
Main articles: Symbolic Lion and Lion in the art .
Lion in the mythologies and religions
Sphinx of Giza .
In many cultures ancient , lion played an important symbolic role. In Egypt , the pharaohs were represented by sphinxes , lions with human heads 82 . The most famous of these representations is the Great Sphinx of Giza . Sekhmet was worshiped as a goddess in human body and lion’s head, sent by Ra against the Egyptians who were plotting against him 5 . Minor deities, such as engineering Nebneryou that welcomes the dead realm of the dead 83 or Mihos , the son of Bastet lion-headed 84 existed as of many deities hybrid with a body part of the lion : Pachet , Aker , Dédoun or Tefnut example 85 .
In Greek mythology , the lions appear in various positions: the Nemean lion , represented as a man-eating beast in the impenetrable skin, was killed by Heracles during his twelve labors 5 . In the story of Androcles , one of the fables of Aesop , the hero, an escaped slave, removes a thorn from the paw of a lion, when later, as punishment for his escape, he was thrown by his master lion to be devoured, the animal recognized him and refused to kill the man.
Religions in the Judeo-Christian , the lion is an animal polysemic , especially through portrayed positive images of St. Jerome and his lion, the Evangelists (lion of St. Mark ) and Daniel saved from the lions 86 , but a negative connotation is associated with a passage from Peter referring to Satan who walks “like a lion seeking to devour its prey 87 . ” Thus, the lion comes up very often in Catholic churches because it represents the strength of the believer fighting sin , and objects: bracelets in lion’s paw, carved episcopal see in the image of the lion, on the base of the candlesticks , the church gates 83 … In Roman times, during the persecutions, Christians were thrown to the lions; this the negative connotations and was also at the origin of expressions like “being thrown to the lions.”
Main article: Lion in the art .
First performances of lion in the Paleolithic
Hunters of the Upper Palaeolithic ( Aurignacian ) already accounted for the lion there are over 30,000 years . The cave lion can be easily identified because of the presence of a topknot to tail tip in representations of the Paleolithic 88 . The lion represented the side facing the observer and not in the profile of African prehistoric art because of legends that ascribe magical powers associated with her look 86 . Man lion , sculpture of ivory from mammoth closely than 30 inches high, representing the body of a man’s head surmounted by a cave lion, is among the works of art the most impressive of the time, but also among the oldest in the history of humanity. She played perhaps a deity 89 .
Representations in the West
Lion riddled with arrows
Bas-relief in the palace north of Nineveh .
The lion is often represented in the figurative arts. The lion is the image of the monarchy and the sun and grows throughout the Middle East . In Babylon , for example, the Processional Way is decorated with bas-relief tile ceramic lion-shaped time of Nebuchadnezzar II 83 . The Assyrian art , which influenced the art of the steppes and the art of many tribes conquered by the nomadic warriors, also depicts many hunts of lions, very realistic. This type of representation was intended to glorify the king, Beastmaster, and also represent the defeat of the enemy. The theme of the Wild, often a cat or a bear, jumping on its prey is very common. Assyrian art has brought a taste for realism and naturalism to his tribes, which is then transmitted throughout Eurasia, including the Germanic peoples and Asian 86 .
Among the Greeks and Romans, the lion guardian figure, so the doors of lionesses protecting the palace of Agamemnon against the enemies and demons 86 . In Greek art, the motive hunting scenes of the Nemean lion , whose skin is the attribute of Hercules is very present. Among the Romans, it is also represented as the animal circus , fighting against gladiators 83 . In Christian art, the lion sometimes accompanies St. Jerome , or strength , it is the symbol of Mark the Evangelist , of royalty. King of the animals in the bestiary medieval, it is very present in monumental art.
From the Renaissance , the animal representations are becoming more and more anatomically accurate: the artists perform to the representation of real subjects in zoos 86 . The Rousseau is famous for his paintings of the jungle, and especially The gypsy asleep when a lion approaches a solitary bohemian sleeping in the desert. The xix th century , many zoological illustrations made by naturalists show specifically the Lion 83 .
Lions guarding the Forbidden City .
The lion is now in Asia than in the Indian peninsula, it is nevertheless very present in the statuary of all Asian countries. Lions, represented with a curly mane, stand guard in front of the pagodas , like Kuthodaw or in Buddhist temples 5 . From India 90 , the lion dance is a traditional dance performed at Chinese New Year to scare away demons and bring luck 5 .
A heraldic device
Coat of arms of Norway .
Related articles: Lion (heraldry) and Armorial lion .
The fascination of men for this animal is visible in the multiplicity of crests on which it is shown to the extent that proverb said, “who has no arms, wearing a lion 91 , Note 4 . ” Thus, we find, among others, on the crests of Scotland 92 , of Norway 93 , of Belgium 83 or cities like Lyon 94 . The lion is represented most often rampant, that is to say, standing on its hind legs, but many other forms exist: passant langued, picked, morné, etc.. The lion in heraldry is called a lion with the head in profile and leopard with the head in front, and the lions of the English coat of arms are leopards. A token based on the figure of the lion has been created, for example, a silver lion on a field vert symbolize temperance 95 and according to Marcel Brion , various heraldic lions are from distant prehistoric beliefs 86 . Although it is considered the “king of beasts”, the lion is no authority on birds. It is this antagonism between the eagle, lord of heaven and symbol of imperial power, and the lion will motivate the choice to include the animal on the coat of arms. He became known to Europeans, from the times when it spread around the Mediterranean .
The lion is the national symbol of India , and appear on such arms as lions of the Indian emperor Ashoka 5 .
The figure of the lion is used by many brands, not only for the symbol considered positive, but also recovery. For example, the car maker Peugeot used as a symbol of the arms Sochaux since 1847. The heraldic lion is filed as a logo since 1858 . Several banks also use the positive symbolic linked to the lion. The banking group ING also uses a logo that contains a lion, this time, orange.
Literature and Film
The Roman de Renart and Yvain, the Knight of the Lion are great works of the Middle Ages depicting the lion 96 . The ancient literary work has most influenced the western Middle Ages remains the Physiologus , bestiary written in ancient Greek ii e or iii th century in Alexandria and later translated into Latin in the iv th century . This base gave the ancient image of the lion king of beasts and its assimilation to Christ , and is also the Physiologus that come from the characteristics attributed to the lion in the Middle Ages 97 : he stands high in the mountains, his eyes are open even when sleeping Note 5 and revives its cubs born dead after three days. These themes are well illustrated in the illuminations of bestiaries medieval 83 .
Jean de La Fontaine , in imitation of Aesop in many of his fables , the lion is one of the main characters (including The Lion and the Rat where the cat, impetuous, is opposed to rodent, small, weak but patient). Joseph Kessel in 1958 , made a novel: The Lion , the story of the daughter of a superintendent who is natural in Africa befriended King, a lion reserve and is asked in marriage by a warrior Maasai, the latter, to win his heart, wants to show his worth by killing a lion who happens to be King 5 . CS Lewis in his saga of Narnia uses the symbol of the lion, “king of beasts”, through Aslan note 6 , living god fighting evil, sacrificing himself for the salvation of his people and rising shortly after. In heptalogie Harry Potter of JK Rowling , Gryffindor , one of the houses of the school of witchcraft Hogwarts , is represented by a lion. The lion symbolizes courage, boldness, strength and generosity, character traits that students are supposed to have owned this house 98 .
In the cinema, among others, the animated hit from Walt Disney Pictures The Lion King . The lion is a recurring character in many films, Tarzan the Wizard of Oz , and television series with such Daktari 5 . The lion is also described as a threat to humans such as in The Man-eaters of Tsavo by John Henry Patterson in 1907 and which was shot several movies such as Bwana Devil in 1952 and The Ghost and the Prey in 1996 .
The lion and proper names
The lion is the origin of surnames Leon and Lionel , a diminutive 99 . In Hebrew , we find the names Arie ( ‘aryeh , the name in zoology Note 7 ) and Ariel , “lion of God” 100 and Lavi (לביא).
In Arabic , nearly three hundred names designate the lion. A partial consultation of the great Arabic-French dictionary of Kazimirski confirms this number. They include Assad ( ‘asad , the zoological name Note 8 ), Abbas ( Abbas ‘severe frown “) and Hamza 101 . Turkish knows forms Aslan (zoological name) and Arslan , the latter being also the form Mongolian . This name was given in Russian Ruslan 102 . Persian shir is known by the general Shirkuh (“mountain lion”), uncle of Saladin , the Shir-Dor Madrasah (or Cher-Dor) (“Lions’ Gate”) to Samarkand and, with a broadening of the meaning tiger in Hindi 103 , by Shere Khan , the tiger’s Jungle Book .
The lion is the image of a strong and courageous animal 104 is explained by the fact that until recently, men of war were called by name. Among the more recent, the warlord of Afghanistan , Ahmed Shah Massoud was called by his followers the “Lion of Panjshir”, Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie called himself the ” conquering lion of the tribe of Judah . ” Conversely , for Richard I st of England it is neither strength nor courage, but his mood swings that earned him, in France , the nickname “Lion Heart”, in reference to the unpredictability of the animal .
The qualifier is now glowing lion, the football player Cameroonian team of the Indomitable Lions , Roger Milla was called “the old lion” by his countrymen because he was the oldest outfield player and the oldest scorer of World Cup football .
In order to test out our new HD camera and to fulfill our love of prehistoric animal documentaries, we created this little story about a fictional Sabertoothed House-cat. We noticed on Discovery Channel that hurling planet busting asteroids into earth seemed to be a birthright for post-production companies in this genre, so we began at the very end- its extinction. Hopefully, we can produce more shorts and give additional life to this prehistoric beast… yes… the credits are almost as long as the short… but that’s my favorite part of Mozart’s Requiem so I had to play it through…
This was filmed in Rhode Island wilderness with the Canon T2i, animated in Flash, composited in After Effects, and edited in Premiere and Soundbooth. The 3d asteroid was created in Amorphium Pro. The whole production team, from shooting to post, consists of just two people- Damon Wong and Dee Boyd