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lions on the tree

Lions On The Tree

Interspecific predatory relationships
In areas where lions and spotted hyenas are sympatric, the two species occupy the same ecological niche, and are thus in direct competition with one another. In some cases, the extent of dietary overlap can be as high as 68.8%. Lions typically ignore spotted hyenas, unless they are on a kill or are being harassed by them. Spotted hyenas themselves tend to visibly react to the presence of lions, whether there is food or not. Lions will readily appropriate the kills of spotted hyenas: in the Ngorongoro crater, it is common for lions to subsist largely on kills stolen from hyenas, causing the hyenas to increase their kill rate. Lions are quick to follow the calls of hyenas feeding, a fact which was proven by Dr. Hans Kruuk, who found that lions repeatedly approached him whenever he played the tape-recorded calls of hyenas feeding. When confronted on a kill by lions, spotted hyenas will either leave or wait patiently at a distance of 30–100 metres until the lions have finished. In some cases, spotted hyenas are bold enough to feed alongside lions, and may occasionally force the lions off a kill. The two species may act aggressively toward one another even when there is no food involved. Lions may charge at hyenas and maul them for no apparent reason: one male lion was filmed killing two matriarch hyenas on separate occasions without eating them, and lion predation can account for up to 71% of hyena deaths in Etosha. Spotted hyenas have adapted to this pressure by frequently mobbing lions which enter their territories. Experiments on captive spotted hyenas revealed that specimens with no prior experience with lions act indifferently to the sight of them, but will react fearfully to the scent.
Lions tend to dominate smaller felines such as cheetahs and leopards in areas where they are sympatric. They will steal their kills and will kill their cubs and even adults when given the chance. The cheetah has a 50 percent chance of losing its kill to lions or other predators. Lions are major killers of cheetah cubs, up to 90 percent of which are lost in their first weeks of life due to attacks by other predators. Cheetahs avoid competition by hunting at different times of the day and hide their cubs in thick brush. Leopards also use such tactics, but have the advantage of being able to subsist much better on small prey than either lions or cheetahs. Also, unlike cheetahs, leopards can climb trees and use them to keep their cubs and kills away from lions. However, lionesses will occasionally be successful in climbing to retrieve leopard kills. Similarly, lions dominate African wild dogs, not only taking their kills but also preying on both young and adult dogs (although the latter are rarely caught).
The Nile crocodile is the only sympatric predator (besides humans) that can singly threaten the lion. Depending on the size of the crocodile and the lion, either can lose kills or carrion to the other. Lions have been known to kill crocodiles venturing onto land, while the reverse is true for lions entering waterways, as evidenced by the occasional lion claws found in crocodile stomachs.

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Date added:Jul 08, 2015
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