Skip to main content

Lions Mating

Lions mating
photo by Mister-E (creative commons)

As expected there is a great similarity in the procedure used by Lions mating as is used by the domestic cat. After all, bottom line, the domestic cat is a tamed wild cat, although she has been domesticated for about 10,000 years so we can forget that she has a lot of wild cat in her, until she goes hunting in the garden.

A Lion pride is a very promiscuous group of animals. Each male in a pride mates with any female and each female with any male. It's a free for all. The procedure is typically kicked off by the female who is in heat (click on the link if you'd like to read about domestic cat heat behavior as it is very similar).

Lions Mating sequence:

Lions mating
1. photo by imolcho under creative commons license

Lions mating
2. photo by imolcho under creative commons license

Lions mating
3. photo by imolcho under creative commons license

Lions mating
4. photo by imolcho under creative commons license

Lions mating
5. photo by imolcho under creative commons license

Lions mating
6. photo by imolcho under creative commons license

The Lioness will encourage the male by head rubbing and gentle prodding. The male will sometimes ignore this until encouraged some more. The female will also engage in playful behavior rolling on her back, for example. Females will present themselves as ready for sex by getting into position for it by raising the hind quarters and flattening the back.

It seems that a male may have a choice of females at this stage and exercises that by mating with the first female he comes across. The actual act of sex is usually initiated by the male. The female beginning the whole process and the male taking charge of the sex act (copulation).

Copulation is short and rather uneventful. As for the domestic cat, the male gently bites the back of the female's neck. This is to make the female passive. It is using the natural hard wired instinct of the kitten (and when, adult the cat) to go limp when picked up by the mother by the scruff of the neck to be carried to safety. As mentioned, copulation is brief and lasts about 30-70 seconds. An audience of people (not infrequently the case it seems) does not distract Lions mating. Unless you're on your toes, you might miss it.

Lions mating in this manner will be repeated over a 4 day period every 25 minutes (I can see why the male needs some encouragement after a while). Although 90% of the time everything is done correctly and effectively, conception frequently does not occur. As is the case for the domestic cat Lions are "induced ovulators" which means the female will ovulate at any time when induced as opposed to a regular cycle for humans.

It is not clear why the success rate is poor for Lions but it may be due to the induced ovulation process resulting in ovulation at the wrong time. New males have a particularly high failure rate for conception. Apparently research indicates it takes 6-9 estrus cycles for the female to get used to the new sperm.

If they conceive, gestation is for 3.5 - 3.75 months and the average litter size is 2.5 cubs. Females in the pride tend to synchronize the procedure so that the mating and birthing process is acted out in unison amongst the pride members to maximize the communal advantages of a pride.

A male Lion's mane indicates to a female his virility. A dark mane of short or long length is preferred by females as it indicates a healthier male.


From Lions Mating to Cats Mating

Lions Mating - Sources:
  • About cat and cat breeds
  • www.bio.davidson.edu - primary source
  • www.african-safari-pictures.com
  • www.on-the-matrix.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti