You probably think am about to share a whole bucket of facts about lions, as sort of a Dutch action to have you sold on Tourism and conservation.
Well… I cannot say that you’re not right. Cause you are. At least on the part for having you sold on supporting Conservation.
The reason we have this initiative is to do exactly that.
As you read through this, I hope to make you see how a world without lions would the biggest drag… and I can at least promise to have you sold by the end of this article. And while you’re at it… take a stroll around Kenya and see the Magic.
I spend a considerably large amount of my free time on animal programs, Nat Geo Wild being one of them. At first, it was because I had to. For one reason or the other. But after some time… There was just something about nature and animals that was so fascinating and capturing. And as I have continued to watch these different documentaries, I have come to the conclusion that if we all knew how amazing nature is, we’d be more careful to nurture the earth.
We are the superior beings after all…
A roar, not a mewl
What I found most fascinating about lions, is its roar.
The fact that a roar can be heard 5 to 6 kilometres away seemed even more unpractical to me until Nat geo wild’s Program ‘Ultimate Animals.’ They had a particularly catchy analogy about a Lion’s Roar.
A lion’s adaptable voice gives it the ability to deepen and increase the frequency of its roar. Unlike humans, Lions can raise and lower their voice box similar to a trombone slide. For better insight, find out how a trombone works.
Then visualise a lion’s larynges.
The lower the larynges the deeper the roar. This explains the resonance, the length and the distance it reaches.
From the same program, I also got to know that a roar comes out in a three-dimensional surround sound. If this does not mean anything to you, visualise the roar as a dome, surrounding and reaching the 6 kilometres all around. hope its clearer…
See why its cool to watch animal channels?
The same roar can tell other lions, of how strong the lion is. This is what sometimes determines whether the other lions are ready to overtake this lions pride through a fight.
The adaptation of the voice box gives them this ability.
And for me, that’s nothing short of magnificent. It blew my mind.
Sort of how apple technologies blow some of your minds. The ability from a roar, of whether a lion can be challenged, would have been a great tactic for war.
Lions are the only cats with facial hair. The older the lion, the thicker and the darker the mane. A male lion grows this facial hair at the age of a year to a year and a half.
The main use for the mane is to attract the Ladies (Lionesses).
Lionesses are attracted to Lions with the thickest and darkest manes. These dark manes make lions appear healthier than those with Lighter manes.
This I see as maybe one of the motivation for the Ladies.
I presume that Lionesses are also in search of healthy genes.
The sense of sight, smell and hearing
Cubs are born blind but begin to open their eyes at 3 days to a week’s time. Making them all the more Vulnerable. And this may be one of the reasons lionesses give birth in Isolation.
Lion’s eyes are 2 times bigger than human’s eyes and have a Nictitating membrane that protects the eyes.
The eyes have a reflective coat that reflects light at night which makes their sight eight times better than humans
Lions have scent glands around the chin, lips and whiskers and between toes.
The licking action in lions which is often seen on documentaries is not only for purposes of cleaning up.
Lions have a small area on the mouth roof that allows lions to Taste the smell in the air.
This explains why most of the cats stick their teeth and tongue out
Lions have good hearing.
They are able to turn their ears in different directions to listen in.
They can also hear prey from a mile away.
How they eat.
Lions hunt together in a pride. With lionesses in charge of hunting. They make use of claws, teeth, and the tongue to hunt and eat.
I am almost sure, that you are aware of the teeth ability and the retractable sharp claws and how they are relevant to the success of a hunt.
The tongue caught me off guard.
The tongue is as rough as sandpaper. It’s covered in papillae, tiny sharp protrusions facing backwards.
These tiny spines, make it such that, if a lion licked your skin, they’d peel it off. The tongue, allows lions to scrape meat from bones and dirt off fur.
Lion populations continue reducing. And when there existed lions in parts of Asia and Europe and all over Africa, only a few remain in Asia, in Gir forest, and sub-Saharan Africa.
The loss of lion lives is attributed to the loss of habitat due to human encroachment, trophy hunting, climate change and their own self-inflicted deaths.
The only way to make it better is to stop influencing their lives directly. Being sustainable in practice. Donating to relevant lion funds and creating awareness about conservation.
There is need to make the environment better. Maintain a minimal to zero impact on these creature’s lives as a way to ensure that they are able to exist in their space.
On a lighter note; If by any chance you knew at least one out of these facts, great. It means we share a liking and regard for nature. Let’s be the change. Do not disregard or take lightly the significance of an ecosystem and the importance of Biodiversity. We’ve lost too much already. We can’t afford any-more.
Versatile Adventures is a Versatile Photographers initiative to create awareness for Wildlife, Conservation, Tourism and Culture through content development