Do ousted male lions lose their manes?
September 27, 2011 6:25 AM Subscribe
I was reading a book to my son (Face to face with Lions
from National Geographic) and found a very interesting statement about male lions that our ousted from their Pride.
According to this book, a male lion averages only 3-4 years as a leader of a pride, before a younger lion comes in and kicks out the old guard. The book says that the old pride leader then tends to lose his mane, making him look more feminine, which helps him be able to stick around with his pride, without confusing anyone as to who the real leader is now.
posted by toekneebullard to science & nature (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
So my wife and I found this very interesting. A week or so later we go to the zoo, and while looking at the lion, my wife mentions this to the zoo guide. She looks at us very strangely and says she's never heard this before. I assumed the guide was just some retiree that learned some animal facts and walks around the zoo and didn't really know anything.
So we go home, and start looking around the internet for more info. And we can't find it. So now we're wondering, is this National Geographic book wrong? We're both a little saddened by the idea that this intriguing detail of pride life may me made up. But why would National Geographic make that up? It seems like, to make that claim, it would need to be pretty well documented...
So we've written the publisher, but not heard back, and I figured I'd use the power of the Filter to see if anyone else had ever heard of this, or if you knew of info on it.
Thanks for your help!