How Lion Prides Work
Just as you would say, a group of people’- many lions together are a ‘pride of lions.’ Prides have of about 15 to 40 lions. The classic Disney animation ‘The Lion King’ gives us an idea of how lion prides work. And these prides protect each other, hunt, and breed together. Let’s go through some facts of how lion prides work in the wild.
Although the male lion is the king (no doubt), it is the lionesses that run and own the pride. A pride’s territory is handed down to the other female lions from another to defend, breed, and hunt for the pride. In contrast, most male lions are sent out as wanderers or nomads once they turn two or three years old.
Once out of the pride after maturity, these male lions defend themselves or create their unit by forging with other lions. Lions are social, and most social animals have a typical hierarchical ranking for their females.
The top females take the responsibility of reproducing, while the subordinate females stop breeding. However, this does not indicate that they are on to each other; instead, they form a sisterly bond and help raise their young ones. Due to the female lions staying on within the same pride throughout their lifetime, prides are often matriarchal in structure.
The size of a lion pride can differ from one another, with their structure also varying between the Asiatic and African subspecies. How does a lion pride work in these subspecies? On average, the African prides have about 15 lions, where a dozen of them are lionesses with a mere two or three male lions. A pride of 40 lions also have been observed among the African units.
The rarer Asiatic prides living only in Gujarat’s western state in India divide themselves according to their gender. The male lions and the lionesses among the Asiatic prides stay in different groups, except during the mating season. Cubs in prides are often born around the same time, with the adult female lions as communal parents.
Why and how lion prides work now? Lions from the same pride hunt together due to their plain open environment. Preys of the lions are generally large, massive animals- weighing about 2,200 pounds and making group hunting a necessity. And experts believe that it is the advantage of hunting together as a pride that has led to the evolution of prides’ existing social structure. Nomadic lions usually prey on smaller animals that weigh less than 220 pounds.
A lion’s pride takes a good deal of sleep and idleness, too although, the male lion does the patrolling job about their territorial borders to protect the pride from intruders. A lion pride feasts on kills among themselves, with the male lion receiving the first share. Overall of how lion prides work- they are matriarchal in their social structure of 15 to 40 lions, with the male lions being mostly the protector.