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Lions of Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro and others)

Italy Spalea Offline
Wildanimal Lover

Daniel Rosengren: " Ever wondered why lion males have manes?

A friend and a colleague of mine, Peyton West, went to find this out . She had four stuffed toy lions made. One with a long dark mane, one with a short dark mane, one with a long blonde mane and, finally, one with a short blonde mane. She placed them in Serengeti and saw how the wild lions reacted to them. Long story short, females were more attracted to darker maned males. There was also a tendency to being more attracted to longer manes. Male lions on the other hand were more intimidated by the darker manes and, by the longer manes. So, it seems like if you are a male lion and have a long dark mane, you are as cool as can be.
But technically, you are not cool at all with a long dark mane. Peyton pointed a thermal camera on different males and found that the ones with a long dark mane also, quite logically, had higher body temperature. This can of course be a problem in hot places like Africa. But that is also the explanation, by showing that you can wear this warm mane in the hot climate, you also show that you are pretty fit, strong and healthy. That makes
you more intimidating to other males, and that fact in turn makes you more attractive to females. If  you are more scary to other males, you can protect your cubs better against infanticide. Data indeed shows that cubs fathered by dark maned males have higher survival rates.
It gets really interesting when we add the fact that mane darkness and length is not genetical. Any male can grow a long dark mane if the conditions are right. In cooler areas of Africa all males tend to have longer darker manes while in really hot areas they tend to have very short blond manes. If a male with a long dark mane gets a long term injury or don't feel so well, the mane will fall out and get blonder. So the bottom line is, the length and colour of the mane is an honest sign of your current fitness. On other words: Blondes have less fun.
The male in this image is one of the darkest maned males I ever saw in Serengeti, his name was SUH. "

4 users Like Spalea's post

Messages In This Thread
RE: Lions of Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro and others) - Spalea - 04-04-2020, 12:21 PM
RE: Lion pictures and videos - Geert - 09-24-2017, 05:22 PM
RE: Lion pictures and videos - chaos - 09-24-2017, 07:46 PM
RE: Lion pictures and videos - Geert - 09-24-2017, 09:15 PM

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