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Old 10-20-2018, 08:26 AM
 
Location: God's Country
4,651 posts, read 3,019,005 times
Reputation: 7546

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An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator, is a predator residing at the top of a food chain upon which no other creatures prey. I guess lions of the savanna meet that definition.

But "King of Beasts"?????

In a one-on-one throw down, I'd put my money on a croc, certain snakes, and Bengal Tiger to win the majority of fights, not to mention non-predators like elephant, rhino, hippo, and cape buffalo. Even giraffes and zebras have killed lions with back kicks.

And as for success as hunters, the pride isn't in the same class as the lowly African wild dog who scores 80-90%.

Anecdotes. A clan of hyenas came across a freshly-deceased cape buffalo and sat down to dinner, when three lionesses suddenly appeared. The cats were successful in chasing the clan, who went away to discuss strategy. Instead of fighting the three cats, they attacked just one cat, in the belief that the other two would continue to eat.

They were right. The clan drove cat #1 away with serious wounds while the other two continued to eat. Then they repeated the process with #2 and then #3..

Pretty smart for lesser predators

In another observation, the pride killed a gnu. A hyena nearby starting yapping and pretty soon, not only her clan, but also others appeared. The pride seeing the overwhelming numbers, slunk away.

And there you have the "King of Beasts."
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:54 PM
 
Location: on the wind
4,137 posts, read 1,540,807 times
Reputation: 14734
As if it matters one bit to a lion how a human "ranks" it. It means nothing. King of Beasts? A useless construct.

Lions do what lions do. Some things better than others.
Gnus do what gnus do. Some things better than others.
Hyenas do what hyenas do. Some things better than others.
Leopards do...oh forget it.

If lions weren't skillful, intriguing, or successful in some manner the species wouldn't have persisted long enough for humans to dream up this question.

Last edited by Parnassia; 10-21-2018 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
2,319 posts, read 2,099,514 times
Reputation: 3764
Someone somewhere called it that and it took off I reckon. Sorta like.. Bud is the king of beers.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Happyville, North Carolina
2,367 posts, read 2,021,184 times
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Its good to be the king. More than one person has poked the lion, then found out, that was a mistake. A regular house cat can be scary sometimes. Imagine that at 300 pounds.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:35 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
13,340 posts, read 10,902,291 times
Reputation: 12285
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvert Hall '62 View Post
An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator, is a predator residing at the top of a food chain upon which no other creatures prey. I guess lions of the savanna meet that definition.

But "King of Beasts"?????

In a one-on-one throw down, I'd put my money on a croc, certain snakes, and Bengal Tiger to win the majority of fights, not to mention non-predators like elephant, rhino, hippo, and cape buffalo. Even giraffes and zebras have killed lions with back kicks.

And as for success as hunters, the pride isn't in the same class as the lowly African wild dog who scores 80-90%.

Anecdotes. A clan of hyenas came across a freshly-deceased cape buffalo and sat down to dinner, when three lionesses suddenly appeared. The cats were successful in chasing the clan, who went away to discuss strategy. Instead of fighting the three cats, they attacked just one cat, in the belief that the other two would continue to eat.

They were right. The clan drove cat #1 away with serious wounds while the other two continued to eat. Then they repeated the process with #2 and then #3..

Pretty smart for lesser predators

In another observation, the pride killed a gnu. A hyena nearby starting yapping and pretty soon, not only her clan, but also others appeared. The pride seeing the overwhelming numbers, slunk away.

And there you have the "King of Beasts."

Yea, I would say that calling the lion "king of beasts" is a tad generous. Lions are actually pretty nasty critters. Not a whole lot classier than hyenas in the big pic. Hyenas are in actuality quite effective predators. They are strong, vicious and smart. They do what it takes to survive and are consummate in the skills needed to do so. Coyotes are much the same way. Lions just have a more "noble" appearance.
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Old Today, 10:24 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
1,653 posts, read 629,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post

If lions weren't skillful, intriguing, or successful in some manner the species wouldn't have persisted long enough for humans to dream up this question.

"Survival of the Fittest" doesn't refer to an individual's strength, speed, cunning, etc but to reproductive fitness- the ability to pass one's genes on to the next generation.


Lions are, if nothing else, very prolific.
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Old Today, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,185 posts, read 10,131,783 times
Reputation: 18268
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
"Survival of the Fittest" doesn't refer to an individual's strength, speed, cunning, etc but to reproductive fitness- the ability to pass one's genes on to the next generation.

Lions are, if nothing else, very prolific.
The gestation period is 110 days. Litter size ranges from one to four. In one of Aesop's Fables a fox is ridiculing a lioness because she has only one kitten. The lioness looks at the fox and says: "One, but a lion."
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Old Today, 01:50 PM
 
Location: on the wind
4,137 posts, read 1,540,807 times
Reputation: 14734
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
"Survival of the Fittest" doesn't refer to an individual's strength, speed, cunning, etc but to reproductive fitness- the ability to pass one's genes on to the next generation.


Lions are, if nothing else, very prolific.
I understand this thanks. A fit individual has a better chance to survive long enough to produce young however.
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