Lions are always considered as the ferocious category of animals. No doubt that lions are called the king of the jungle; they have a dominating social nature that makes them the rulers. When it comes to lions’ dominance, male lions are the strongest and largest in the group, thereby donning the tag of the de facto leaders.
There are plenty of things that you can learn about lions and their dominance. Whether it is male or female lions, each has distinctive features that make them identical. When you see a group of lions, you might not guess who is the leader or who is more dominating. However, by learning a few character details of lions, you can actually distinguish between the dominant and submissive lions.
In this article, we are going to dissect the social nature of lions and learn how to tell who the leader is. So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is their basic behavior and biology?
Before moving ahead with their social characteristics, let’s learn a little bit about their biology and general behavior. Lions are basically large cats who can reach up to 15 feet, which are specifically found in Saharan Africa.
The Asiatic lions are still protected in the Indian forests. They were once spread across Greece, but today, they are only found in the Indian protected forest regions. Lions are also depicted as pack hunters because they prey on large animals and other mammals. Irrespective of the absence of bulky mane like the male lions, lionesses make the best hunters.
Each lion is a part of the pride. As a member, they have to protect their territory and pride. When a male lion is not a part of the pride anymore, he is forced to hunt. In terms of the roar, males have deeper and louder roars that can be intimidating. Lionesses have much sharp and alerting roars.
Through these basic details, you can easily understand the nature of the lion and how they are molded into hunters.
A little about the male dominace
Since their birth, lions are taught the art of hunting. The parent lions focus on teaching their kids the basics of hunting. They do this by leaving them alone and throwing them out of pride. The young males are pushed out along with their brothers when they reach or near maturity. It is a method to increase the diversity in their genes and prevent the depression of inbreeding.
The pressure of inbreeding comes from the blood relatives. However, the invading males can also kill or push all the cubs away from the pride when they rule. When females refuse male breeding, they are either banished or killed. It is the way pride showcases its dominance. In the pride of males consisting of brothers, the largest and the strongest male will become more dominant. The largest males would have a bulkier mane that would scare other males.
What is equivalence in female lions?
The pride of females is always cheerful and doesn’t showcase dominance over one another. They seem to enjoy each other’s company and lead a harmonious social life. Hence, there are no female leaders in their pride. Lionesses work differently than the matriarchal pack of grey wolves. Unlike among gray wolves, female lions do not have an alpha female. Most of the lionesses will give birth at the same time that allows them to protect the cubs during the vulnerable time. Female lions are also seen to cross-nurse the offsprings that strengthen their social connection. They will ensure that the young ones are well-pampered and receive all the nutrition and essentials they require.
How members dominate squatters?
Pride can not always be together. So when the pride becomes larger, they are divided into small groups. During the encounters of these groups, they exchange greetings that reinforce the social bonds. It is also important to note that not all lions living in a territory are part of the pride. These lions are called the squatters who just live in the same area. Squatters lack confidence and dominance that makes them inferior to the pride members. They don’t exchange any greetings with pride. It is often seen that pride members chase the squatters off or eventually kill them.
The Bottom Line
When you compare both male and female lions, you will see a lot of differences. Irrespective of their differences and strong bites, both males and females manage to strengthen their pride by fulfilling their individual duties.
Male lions are assigned to protect the pride and conduct their orderly duties of hunting and feeding the family. Female lions will stay closer to their pride and nurture the young ones to make them leaders of tomorrow. Both male and female lions’ responsibilities go hand in hand that maintains the pride’s harmonious balance.