Skip

Lions are cool.
August 25, 2007 8:11 AM   Subscribe


 
many mammals, including humans, have regular estrus cycles, but lions have a different system.

Nope, humans have a Menstrual cycle. Good post though. Interesting to learn that all those documentary shots of cooperative hunting are really just rare events.
posted by afu at 8:35 AM on August 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Two lions have a success of 29%, which is 3% LESS successful than if the two lions with 15% individual success hunted by themselves (32.2%). Three lions get 27%, or 2% less than two lions. Four, five and six lions get 32% - meaning that they are (finally) as successful as sending two lions out by themselves.

This hurt my brain.
posted by gomichild at 8:37 AM on August 25, 2007


I'm not sure what's better lion sex (short, but many, many repetitions) or human sex (slightly longer, not so many reps) Of course, it's not like I have a choice.
posted by tommasz at 8:44 AM on August 25, 2007


Pretty aweseome post! Though learning about the choicest part of the buffalo and what lions do to get to it was a bit much.

And those cute lion cubs? Sometimes they crawl inside the carcass and eat their way out. Awwwwww.....
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 AM on August 25, 2007


I suspect we humans manage more variety between reps than most other species, and that leaves me pretty content with what I've got.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:09 AM on August 25, 2007


Of course, it's not like I have a choice

I hear you, buddy. It's political correctness gone MAD.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:14 AM on August 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Two lions have a success of 29%, which is 3% LESS successful than if the two lions with 15% individual success hunted by themselves (32.2%). Three lions get 27%, or 2% less than two lions. Four, five and six lions get 32% - meaning that they are (finally) as successful as sending two lions out by themselves.

It is more efficient to hunt individually only if the number of possible hunts is unlimited so each individual can devote maximum effort. If the number of possible hunts is limited then hunting in pairs is a more efficient strategy for the two lions participating. Pretending to help is the most efficient strategy since you get a share yet avoid most of the effort and risk involved in actually doing the hunting.
posted by sfred at 9:15 AM on August 25, 2007


How did he get 32.2%, though? He doesn't explain that bit of magic. Perhaps the distributions aren't independent if the lions know they're being watched?
posted by jewzilla at 9:40 AM on August 25, 2007


Wow, far out dude. I read this right before clicking my way into this.
posted by mss at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2007


Ok sfred. But what if they start hunting when a train leaves Cincinnati, going East at 50 mph at 11am and another train leaves from 150 miles away going 40 mph....
posted by gomichild at 9:55 AM on August 25, 2007


Nathan Myhrvold is one of those scary smart guys Microsoft used to attract in the early days. Brilliant fellow. Thanks for the link to the article.
posted by maxwelton at 9:56 AM on August 25, 2007


Whenever I tear into one of those raw roast beef sandwiches, I think of those lions, but I've got the horseradish.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:42 AM on August 25, 2007


Great post! These pictures are fantastic!
posted by painquale at 11:07 AM on August 25, 2007


By requiring the male to copulate with her 200-300 times over a couple of days before deigning to ovulate, the female does a great deal to ensure being impregnated by a truly dominant male rather than a feeble but sneaky and agile interloper.

If she always ovulates right at the end, that would open her up to a strategy on the part of an interloper to hang around and wait for the resident male to be exhausted and dehydrated before making his move for ownership of the pride, so I guess she ovulates sometime around the late middle of things.

That business about the dominant male licking the rectum of the prey is weird. I've read in a number of places that the bite of a lion is uncommonly dirty and prone to infection, and I suppose this could account for that, at least. I have thought in the past that their teeth don't look terribly clean.

Maybe it's also part of his arsenal, though. If some non-dominant male is hanging around trying to take his pride, I can imagine several testing battles over a period of time before the decisive conflict, and a bite which became infected could be a big advantage.
posted by jamjam at 11:08 AM on August 25, 2007


LOLBigCats
posted by illiad at 11:10 AM on August 25, 2007


lions and crocs and buffalo, oh my!
posted by LordSludge at 12:00 PM on August 25, 2007


And, of course, you can see them only in Kenya.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:15 PM on August 25, 2007


Lions don't have capes, and as a result they cannot approach a buffalo from the front

Hah! There were at least a dozen gems like this buried in the article. Some of the pictures were fantastic, but the text read like it was being written for a precocious eight year old.
posted by The God Complex at 12:18 PM on August 25, 2007


Wonderful photos and the narrative was even better!
Thanks Nixerman
posted by Rancid Badger at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2007


Really dramatic photos, nixerman. And for those in a leonine state of mind after seeing these pics, the amazing documentary Walking with Lions is now on Google video. It's well worth the 54 minutes to view it. It's about film makers who staked out a watering hole and filmed on foot. It takes a lot of guts to stand your ground when you have a lion charging you full on.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:42 PM on August 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


GET IN THE CAR
posted by nasreddin at 1:06 PM on August 25, 2007


"And if you'll look to your left, you'll see what's left of our previous tour group..."
posted by blue_beetle at 1:25 PM on August 25, 2007


Brandon Blatcher : And those cute lion cubs? Sometimes they crawl inside the carcass and eat their way out.

You know who else crawled in a carcass to eat their way out?

Basenjis, that's who.
posted by quin at 1:46 PM on August 25, 2007


nice post!
posted by vronsky at 1:47 PM on August 25, 2007


Quin? My sides hurt now and they're gonna hurt the rest of the day. OMG funny.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:24 PM on August 25, 2007


Neat, madamjujujive. I don't have time to watch the whole thing now, but I'll definitely give it a look later.
posted by The God Complex at 3:07 PM on August 25, 2007


This immediately reminded me of a previous MeFi thread with an hilarious comment by Stunt.
posted by neuron at 10:39 PM on August 25, 2007


« Older Concentration Camp Tarot Cards   |   You blocks, you stones, you... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post