Along with the tiger, the Lion ? is one of the most famous felines in the world. The male Lion is distinguished from the female by its powerful roar, incredible thick and long mane, which is darker in color than the rest of the coat. The more it possesses these assertive characteristics, the healthier the animal is. It is then in full possession of its means such as its strength and muscular power ⚡ allowing it to go to the fight. Its body is long, muscular and stocky.
It rests on extremely powerful and thick legs. The sable or Ochre colored coat is short. Its head is massive and broad. Its fangs are prominent. The Lion has ears with black tips. The Lion’s tail ends in a rather long black tuft. As in tigers, the Lion can be affected by leukism and have a coat almost white. The Lion is found on the African continent from the Atlas Mountains to Cape Town, in Southern Europe, India and the Near and Middle East. Currently, the largest concentration of Lions is in sub-Saharan Africa ? as in Kenya or Tanzania.
1) the Roar of the Lion
Since the dawn of time, the lion is the wild mammal considered by man as the ? king of animals. The lion roars and its cry can be heard within a radius of 8 km ? under certain favorable conditions. The roar of the lion has always fascinated man because it is both frightening and impressive. It is even quoted in the Bible where St. Peter compares it to a satanic cry.
The lion usually roars to show his strength to his opponent and to mark his territory. The most important roars of the males can be heard especially in the African Savannah. The lion is a social animal and it communicates more with its fellow cats than other felines. Besides roaring, the lion can also purr like a cat ? depending on its mood and body attitudes.
A. The Various Reasons for the Lion’s Roar
In addition to the fact that the lion roars to preserve its territory from its rivals, its so special cry is also a way to strengthen certain bonds in cat groups. Thus, a dominant lion is recognized by females and rivals by the power of its roar. The females are also attracted ? by these majestic powerful and very male cries during the breeding period. The lion intimidates ? its rivals with its roar and also strengthens the family bond in its group.
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B. How Can the Roar of the Lion Be So Loud?
In order to better understand the power of the lion’s roar, a study was conducted on several males and showed that the vocal cords of the male lion resist stretching but also shearing ? that air causes when it makes them vibrate. In the larynx, it was also found that the connective tissues are very flexible and contain elastin, lubricant, collagen and fat. In this animal, these vocal cords are triangular in shape when in action. Thanks to the fat they contain, the vocal cords remain flat and square. These various elements facilitate the passage of air and the animal can exercise its art of roaring louder than other felines while needing less pulmonary pressure. It is important to know that the roar of the lion can reach up to 114 decibels ?. This noise is about 25 times louder than that of a lawnmower engine action❗ Lions have approximately the same vocal possibilities as tigers because they have similar vocal organs. However, they can modulate the power if they wish.
The lion’s roar is also possible thanks to a small hyoid bone above the larynx. This bone is also present in birds and many other mammals, including humans. In the lion, the hyoid is shaped like a horseshoe. It is connected to the jaw and many peripheral muscles. This bone also plays important functions in tone of voice, shouting and swallowing. It is not completely rigid and can therefore vibrate, unlike small felines that have a completely rigid hyoid bone. For other species, the shape of this bone changes and this is how we can differentiate the vocal capacities of each individual.
In the panther, for example, the hyoid vibrates when air passes through. This small bone allows it to roar only from adulthood. When felines are still small, the hyoid is still too rigid and cannot vibrate. This is why the ? cubs only emit meows far away from the roar of the lion once it is adult. Moreover, it is the degree of ossification of the hyoid that first differentiates small felines from large felines, i.e. the roaring and non-roaring ones. Among the big felines, only five species have a hyoid bone that is not fully ossified and thus allows them to roar. These species are lions, leopards ?, tigers ?, jaguars and snow leopards.
C. Other Structures Involved in the Roar of the Lion and Many Felines
To roar, a lion ? or a feline does not only use the hyoid bone because it is not the only structure to act. Indeed, in the roar of the lion, there are several morphological structures that intervene like the larynx. The lion must still emit a powerful exhalation ?, inflate its chest and tuck in its flanks to roar like this. Modulation is exercised when it opens its mouth more or less depending on the noise it wants to make.
D. The Power of the Roar of the Lion and the Lioness
The lion can roar powerfully but the lioness is not outdone. On the other hand, the male’s cry is much more powerful ? than that of the female because the lion simply makes a single exhalation. It can thus communicate with other males of its breed, intimidate them, scare them away, etc. Depending on the intensity he puts into it. The lion also roars to frighten ? other predators who would like to attack its group or come to count the females. The roar of the lionesses is much lower than that of the lion. In general, they usually make growls to communicate with their cubs. In addition to the roar, the body language of the lions also plays an important role within the group. In the Savannah ?️ the loudest roars of lions can be heard on clear nights.
E. Another Study Shows That the Lion Roars Like a Human Baby
The lion’s voice is much more powerful ? and, above all, deeper than the cries of a human baby ? and yet, a study shows that the two cries are similar with the same objective: that of attracting attention ?. “Plos One” has published a study on the lion’s roar and the physical characteristics of its vocal cords in action. It states that the roar of a lion would be similar to the cry of a human baby in order to attract the attention of others. Thus, lions would roar to indicate, to warn that they are in a place of their own and that this is their territory. The human baby emits a tone similar to the lion’s non-regular vibration. The frequency is not the same because it is high-pitched and weaker, but the gait would be the same, to attract attention.
This very serious study was conducted on three lions ? and three tigers ? who were euthanized at Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska because they were seriously ill. The researchers were able to examine and determine the phonic frequencies of each animal thanks to the viscoelastic properties of the vocal cords and not to the nervous influx of the brain. However, they were not able to examine how air is expelled from the lungs or how sound resonates in the vocal tract. They were also unable to see the movement and displacement of the tongue and jaw through the muscles and cartilage of the larynx.
2) When Does the Lion Roar?
At first glance, one might think that the lion roars to stalk its prey, but this is totally false. When hunting, the lion does not roar. First of all, it is important to know that the lion uses most of its time doing nothing. It is the females that hunt in groups to catch prey in order to eat. When it happens to hunt, the lion catches its prey in the dark or early in the morning at dawn. The lion uses the roar if it tries to catch pets trapped in a pen. It emits a dreadful cry ? to panic its prey into panicking, trying to escape and damaging the fence. From that moment on, the lion starts chasing it until it catches it but no longer gives off a roar. The lion is still the only feline living in a group and from one group to another, these felines communicate with each other. Thus, when a lion from one group roars in the distance it is proclaiming its rights on its territory and warns another lion from another group not to get too close ?.
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