The lion is not so lazy, he hunts as well as lioness !
of reading - words
Contrary to popular belief, the king of the animals is a hunter ! If he takes a nap for 15 hours a day, he still spends a little time hunting. So he doesn't depend on lionesses for food... The lion 🦁is a solitary hunter. He sets up ambushes at night in areas of dense vegetation. This makes its prey more vulnerable, as its line of sight is restricted.
The Male Lion do Hunt !
The lion (Panthera leo) has long been seen as a lazy bum. The king of animals does not hunt, he leaves it to his lionesses. He fights off predators who dare to threaten the troop. This vision of the felid is completely wrong. The lion wouldn't depend on the lionesses to hunt for him. In fact, he would be a rather good hunter 🏹. At least that is what a research team suggests in an article in Animal Behaviour magazine
Conducted in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, the study is astonishing. The African lion is a good hunter: it's just that it's difficult for humans to observe him in action. The maned cat hunts at night, especially in dense vegetation. Previous studies have already mentioned this possibility of a nocturnal hunter in abundant vegetation, but it is almost impossible to observe him under these conditions.
The lion is reputed never to hunt. Its main activity during the day is napping. He sleeps between 10 and 15 hours a day. Its role within the tribe is to protect the group from predators. However, according to a new study, it seems that he is as good a hunter as the lioness.
Lion and cub with their prey.
Lion and Lionness : different way to hunt ?
Lionesses have a very special hunting technique : they work in groups, it's a cooperative strategy. The lion, on the other hand, hides in areas of dense vegetation and ambushes. They hunt alone, and therefore do not have as sophisticated a technique as lionesses. Since it is far too dangerous for humans to follow the king of the animals through the dense savannah at night, scientists have put different technologies to work.
Lidar and GPS to track lion hunting.
Three researchers, Scott Loarie, Craig Tambling and Gregory Asner, first created relief maps of savannah vegetation 🌿. They used a lidar attached to a small aircraft, the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO). They combined this 3D data with GPS locations of prey-predator interactions of seven lions in the park. The idea was to determine the animal's lines of sight to assess where the lions are attacking their prey from, and the type of vegetation.
Their results show that during the day, lions and lionesses prefer to rest in shady areas, and therefore in areas with dense vegetation. It is at night that the difference in behaviour between males and females can be observed. Lionesses hunt in areas with a clear horizon. They are more visible to prey, which forces them to develop a strategy. Males, on the other hand, hunt in dense vegetation. The prey is much more vulnerable because the line of sight is restricted. This is precisely what makes lion hunting so successful.
African lion eating.
If these results need to be supplemented by further studies, they may well have important implications for park management. Park management often affects vegetation. "By linking lion hunting behaviour to dense vegetation, this study suggests that changes in vegetation structure, particularly through fire management, could significantly alter the balance between predators and prey," says Loarie.
Axelle - Lion Republic writer.