Lions Female pride with cub

- Image ID: EECB28
Lions Female pride with cub
TomsPhotos / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: EECB28
Lions live in matriarchal prides with up to 40 individuals, most of which are related females and their offspring. A single male or sometimes two or three males will join the pride and stay for an indefinite amount of time (up to three years) until another male or group of males takes over. When a new male does take over a pride, they will kill any cubs in that pride. This will cause the females to go into estrus and breed within a few days to weeks (as opposed to breeding only once every two years if the cubs were allowed to survive). This way the new male can propagate his genes. Females tend to do the hunting in a pride. They are social hunters and will work together to take down large prey. Lions become sexually mature between 3 and 4 years of age. A female lion’s estrus cycle is approximately every 30 days, year-round. Lions have induced ovulation, which means the act of mating induces the female to ovulate. Dominant males father all cubs in a pride. When a lioness is in estrus, the male will stay with her constantly. Mating may only last less than a minute, but will occur every 15-30 minutes for several days until the cycle is over. Gestation is approximately 110 days long. Litter size ranges from two to four cubs. Cubs stay with the mother for approximately two years. Mothers nurse cubs until they are 7-9 months old, and cubs begin to hunt at about 11 months. Females often stay with the pride and help hunt for food or raise the new cubs. Males normally disperse once they grow large enough to compete with dominant males. These male lions will leave in search of a new pride to join. In order to become the dominant male of that pride, they will have to run off the existing dominant male and will kill the cubs and start their own bloodlines
Location: Kenya