African Lion Behavior’s of Hunting, Feeding and Mating

African Lion Behavior: Hunting, Feeding, and Mating


This essay examines the behavior of the African lion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lions are iconic animals that live in prides or groups. The said topic happens to be of interest given that the African lions are described as being top predators. For this reason, studying their behavior happens to be critical as their behavior impacts other animals in an ecosystem. Several studies have been done to explain the African lion behavior – such as hunting, feeding, and mating. This text explores those studies and other related resources with an aim of better understanding African lion behavior. One of the key objectives of this paper is to determine the feeding behavior of African lions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The write-up also aims at assessing how lions hunt to obtain food. Lion feeding habits is yet another key issue explored. A review of available literature indicates that lions a kill after every two days. In addition, most of the kills are made at night with more than twelve prey species (including livestock) on the menu. However, the male lion is often not actively involved in hunting. As has been pointed out elsewhere in this text, an assessment of the behavior of lions happens to be important in biology owing to the fact that lions are a crucial part of the entire ecosystem. Food happens to be a major factor in the general behavior of the African lion.


Lions have been described as the most successful of wild animals thriving in medium to low human densities (Dolrenry et al par 3). They are said to be distributed across the African continent specifically in most parts of the Sub-Saharan Africa and the savannas. One interesting fact about lions behavior is that they tend to mate, feed, and hunt regularly. It is important to note that African lions live and hunt in prides. Essentially, the pride comprises of several female lions, small breeding males, and cubs. The pride tends to define its territory where food is shared. It is important to note that the said territory happens to be small in that when the prey is not enough, some of the pride members may not eat. Females tend to be more active in hunting than males. In addition, they tend to be active during the night and inactive most of the time. As has been established via an exploration of various resources on lion behavior, feeding, hunting, and mating behaviors of the African lion are mostly carried out at night (San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library). The African lion can fast for up to 8 days after eating for two consecutive days. With lions being carnivorous in nature, they hunt a wide range of animals and may stray into human settlement areas in search of food. They tend to be both scavengers and hunters (African Wildlife Foundation). The success rate of lions hunt happens to be approximately 40%. Additionally, the African lions reproduce at any time of the year. In the subsequent sections of this text, the feeding behavior, mating behavior, and hunting behavior of the African lion will be explored. Certain unique aspects of the said behaviors will also be explored.

African Lion Feeding Behavior

According to Helmenstine (par 4), lions are hyper carnivores in nature – essentially meaning that their food happens to be more of meat. According to the author, the lion can feed on a prey that is two-times its size. Lionesses tend to eat around 4.5kgs of meat a day while the male lion eats about 7kgs a day. The feeding behavior of African lion largely depends on habitat structure and availability of prey. For instance, DeSantis and Patterson suggest that wild beasts and zebras tend to be the main prey for females, whereas male lions and larger groups tend to feed mainly on ungulates which are inclusive of, but they are not limited to; topi, kongoni, warthog, Thomsons gazelle, zebra, giraffe, wild beast, buffalo, and gemsbok (par 2). However, it is important to note that lions also sometimes depend on stolen prey from animals such as jackals, cheetahs, and hyenas – essentially meaning that they are sometimes scavengers in which case they tend to bully other carnivores to get their meals. Although African lions do not prefer carcasses, they sometimes eat decays of dead animals owing to lack of live prey for survival.

With regard to habitat, DeSantis and Patterson further suggest that habitats tend to affect prey vulnerability to predation and lion preferences (par 2). Naturally, lions do not feed on large animals such as elephants. However, during droughts, the number of elephant calves consumed by lions tends to be high. During droughts, lions tend to also feed on domestic stock. In addition, humans may also fall prey to lions whereby lions tend to feed on man when their routine prey is not available in sufficient numbers. Essentially, children and women are the most affected. Research shows that in December 1998, 135 people were killed and eaten by lions in Tsavo (DeSantis and Patterson). As a consequence, there were retaliatory efforts to locate and kill the lions involved with the said revenge effort being largely indiscriminate. Various studies have been conducted to establish the reason as to why lions feed on humans. Some of the reasons that have been well-documented in the said studies are inclusive of; dental disease, destruction of prey populations, and extended drought (DeSantis and Patterson, par 3).

Lions have various types of teeth which include, bunodont molar which are rounded, carnassial which are blade-like, elongated canines, and peg-like incisors (Valkenburgh, par 1). The said types of teeth are adapted for various functions such as consuming and killing prey. For instance, the molars are low-cusped and broad for grinding and cracking, the carnassial are blade-like for cutting prey, premolars are pointed for penetrating through the prey, while the canines are blade-like for piercing (Valkenburgh, 240). While feeding, the male adult lions tend to eat first, followed by the females and the sub adults. According to SanDiego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, lions do not leave kill sites that are large. They only leave the said sites after they locate larger prey. When the food is little, lions tend to eat grudgingly whereby the weakest and the smallest members of the pride lose to the bigger lions. Essentially, weaker and smaller lions may not get anything depending on the size of the kill (Alert, par 5). Moreover, offspring may not get a portion from their hungry mothers. Lions eat by opening up the preys abdomen whereby they eat the kidneys, liver, and the heart. It is important to note that lions do not feed on teeth, horns, and digestive organs. Such leftovers are often consumed by scavengers (SanDiego Zoo Wildlife Alliance).

African Lion Hunting Behavior

According to Davidokul (par 2), lions tend to hunt and kill various prey which are inclusive of, but they are not limited to; injured giraffes and elephants, and various animals ranging from buffaloes to rodents. Lions live in prides or pairs which gives them the ability to kill large preys at a significant rate of success. Lions often catch their prey via the staking and ambush approach. They could also access raised ground and jumping on unsuspicious prey. It is also important to note that lions tend to live near waterholes, streams, and rivers with the aim of catching their prey as they come to drink water. In some instances, African lions hunt even when they are not hungry. When feeding on certain kill, a lion can also forget about the said kill after another animal comes closer to it and focus on catching more food. African lions hunt early in the morning or during the night (Davidokul, par 2).

African lions do not also happen to be fast runners. In essence, their maximum speed per hour happens to be approximately 60km/h. To a large extent, lions tend to focus on individual preys whereby they target the prey through an upwind direction. Essentially, lions identify preys and pursue it for a short period of time owing to the fact that they havesmall lungs and hearts which effectively makes them slow runners as has been indicated above. In addition, they lack the stamina to run fast after a distance of approximately 200m (Alert, par 1). For this reason, it is important to note that African lions tend to compensate for these deficiencies by exhibiting clever hunting tactics. The African lion employs two key methods to hunt its prey. First, they stalk their prey to get closer to it before pursuing the said prey. They tend to do this stealthily to ensure that they are not heard or seen. Second, they can catch their prey by a straightforward method whereby the lionesses and the male lions hunt together without necessarily stalking or hiding. The said method involves bigger preys which are cornered in a strategic position. After getting the prey – typically by tripping the legs of the said prey lions hold unto the neck with their teeth to suffocate the prey (Davidokul, par 2). With regard to smaller animals, lions bring them down by typically jumping on their rear ends (Alert, par 3).

Lionesses are described as the main hunters. During a hunt, smaller females prevent the prey from escaping while the larger females pursue the prey. Additionally, female lions tend to be better stalkers than male lions (Alert, par 3). Females may hunt while still weaning their cubs for up to eight weeks. In rare cases, one female may be left to look after the cubs while the rest of the pride hunt. Alert (par 4) suggest that lions tend to forgo the chase after missing their target – essentially meaning that they do not change their track. In most cases, male lions may stay back and wait for the lionesses to make a kill. One of the factors that makes it harder for the male lion to be an effective hunter is its massive mane. The said mane in male lions makes it difficult for them to hide from prey (Alert, par 3). Further, this mane also elevates their body temperature which makes them expend a lot of energy while hunting. Thus, it would be accurate to point out that female lions are the more skilled hunters when compared to male lions. In most cases, lions rest for many hours or even weeks after a successful hunt.

African Lion Mating Behavior

The male and female lions exhibit different looks. The males happen to be larger than the females. Sexual maturity in lions is achieved at the age of three years. However, male lions are allowed to join a pride at the age of four to five years old. This is more so the case given that at a younger age, they lack breeding rights and rights to take over a pride (Alert, par 2). Davidokul (par 3) describes the African lion as polygamous in nature whereby they tend to mate all year. Nevertheless, female lions are confined to a maximum of two males during copulation. According to the author, lions may mate after every 20 minutes in a day. Helmenstine describes the female lion as polyestrous, essentially meaning that they breed throughout the year (par 8). For instance, the author suggests that they can mate during weaning of their cubs or when their cubs die. When the female is on heat, the said copulation may take up to four consecutive days. This is often the case given that paternity of the offspring has to be secured by excluding additional males.

During mating, Alert (par 6) suggests that there is often no competition for mates. The male lion tends to follow the female when she reveals the first signs of fertility. In addition, there is often a large number of female lions who are on heat at any given time. To initiate copulation, the male strokes the female at the back or neck with its tongue. However, the larger male may fight younger males for mating rights. During mating, female lionesses are stimulated to ovulate owing to the backward-pointing spines in the male lions penis (Helmestine, par 8). The gestation period for the female lions happens to be 110 days after mating whereby they produce an average of 1-4 cubs. During birth, the female lions exclude themselves from the pride into a secluded area where they give birth. Within a given pride, the cubs are protected by the females. It is important to note that the male lions do not defend the cubs. However, they tolerate the said cubs by playing with them.

Works Cited

Alert. Predatory Behavior. 2020.

African Wildlife Foundation. Lion. n. d.

Davidokul. Feeding, Breeding and Killing Habits of Lions (African Lion). 2020.

DeSantis, Larisa R. G. and Patterson, Bruce D. Dietary Behavior of Man-eating Lions as Revealed by Dental Microwear Textures. Sci Rep, 7, 2017, 904.

Helmestine, Anne M. African Lion Facts: Habitat, Diet, Behavior. 2019.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. How were helping to Save the African Lion. N. d.

Valkenburgh, Blaire V. Feeding Behavior in Free-Ranging Large African Carnivores. Journal of Mammalogy, 77(1), 1996, 240-254.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper