Lions have famously acquired the title of ‘King of the Jungle’. And who haven’t watched The Lion King? This famous Disney movie have portrait that lions are most afraid by the rest of the other animals. Lions are known to be the King of the Jungle.
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Thanks to their impressive mane, fearlessness, power, and strength. Imagine when the lions roar, it scares off all the intruders and it’s also a warning to potential danger! It will be interesting to know why their roars are frightening to the other animals. But before that, let’s take a look on certain facts about lion.
• Why Are Lions King of The Jungle?
Lions have famously acquired the title of ‘King of the Jungle’. However, the title is a little misleading because lions don’t actually live in jungles! Their habits include scrubland, grasslands, savannahs and rocky hills, but not jungles.
Lions live in Africa that lies at the south of Sahara and in Northwest India. Their real habitat is the open savanna where they hunt mammals such as gazelles, antelope, and zebra. They may also work together to catch larger mammals such as buffalo, giraffes and even crocodiles.
Lionesses, or female lions, usually do most of the hunting. Sometimes they work together to flush out prey. One lion will scare out prey towards the others making it difficult to escape.
Lions live in groups called prides. These prides usually consist of as many as 15 lionesses and their young, and 3 adult males. An average lion’s body is 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet long. They can also grow up to 3 1/2 feet high and can weigh up to 500 pounds.
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So why are lions the kings of the jungle? Lions are the kings of the jungle because of the power of their roar and strength. Lions fear no other animals. But however, the king lions do have enemies. The lion’s worst enemy are the hyenas.
Hyenas eat the same food as lions, so lions and hyenas often have conflict over food. The only other enemy the lions have is people. Unfortunately, the beautiful fur of a lion is very valuable on black markets. Because of this, the lion is always in great danger of poachers.
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Apart from that, as human development increases, more wild savanna habitat is being destroyed or used for farming or ranching livestock. When a lion kills or threatens a farmer or rancher’s livelihood, that individual is likely to poach or poison the lion in retribution.
Farmers and ranchers have a greater economic incentive to kill the lion and eliminate further loss of crops and livestock. Conservation groups work with people living in lion territory, educating them about the lion’s ecological importance and developing inexpensive ways to protect their livelihood while allowing them to coexist with the big cats.
Besides being the King of Beasts, the African Lion plays a crucial role in their environment. Without them, entire ecosystems can falter. Lions play a key role in the food chain by helping to control the herbivore population.
If the herbivore population is not regulated, the increase of competition among them would cause some to go extinct and thus reduce biodiversity. The lions have a reputation of being the ‘chief’ predator of their habitat as they are known to even kill large herbivores such as elephants and giraffes.
Lions also coincidentally designed a disease control program among the other animals. Lions prey mainly on herd animals. Nature comes to play as lions take down the weakest of the herd. This keeps the herd population resilient and healthy.
If lions did not exist, there would be a symbiotic relationship between parasites and herd animals. This way, parasites could increase and spread throughout the herd, resulting in fewer healthy animals.
• What causes a lion to roar?
Just like humans, who use words in lots of different ways, lions use their roaring talents to communicate many different things. Another reason why lions roar are often to let the other animals know that it is his territory.
Lions are very protective of their home, and a male lion, whose main job is to defend his pride, uses his loud roar to warn off anything that might threaten his family. They also use roars to communicate with one another. Lionesses use a very gentle roar when calling for their cubs, and even the big males use a softer roar when playing with their young.
• Why lions’ roar is frightening to other animals?
There a science behind the roar. When lions roar loudly and deeply, it’s terrifying for every creature. They are somewhat like human babies crying for attention, although their voices are much deeper.
A new study shows that lions’ loud, low-frequency roars are predetermined by physical properties of their vocal fold tissue. Their vocal folds are in square shape, which can withstand extreme stretching and shearing.
According to a scientist name Ingo Titze, the lion is a large replica of a crying baby. Its loud and noisy, but at very low pitch. Ingo Titze is an executive director of the National Centre for Voice and Speech at University of Utah.
While the comparison was not part of the study, Titze says a baby cries when they need people come to help. The lion uses similar attention-getting sound, but mainly to say, “I am here, this is my territory, get out of here”.
When lions roar, their vocal folds. This is call vocal cords, and they are very loose and gel-like and vibrate irregularly to make roars sound tough. Lions roar also have a low-frequency.
The new study’s key finding is that lions can roar loudly and deeply because their vocal folds have a flat, square shape and can withstand strong stretching and shearing. That contradicts a theory that lions roar deeply because the vocal folds are heavy with fat.
Instead, the fat helps give the vocal folds their square shape where they protrude into the airway, unlike triangular vocal folds in most species. The fat also may cushion the vocal folds and provide repair material when they are damaged.
Besides of they are having large vocal folds, but the shape and the viscoelastic properties, which is tension and shearing strength, also make the roars so loud and deep. This is stated by Tobies Riede, the study co-author and a research assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah.
They also have found out the relationship between structure of the vocal folds and how they work to produce the roar in lions. Measurements of vocal fold resistance to stretching and shearing let researchers accurately predict the ‘fundamental frequency’.
It ranges at which lions are known to roar. This is when the lung pressures needed to produce those roars. The new study analyzed vocal folds from within the larynx, commonly known as the voice box.
Vocalization is complex, and involves factors not included in the new study of vocal folds. The study of vocal folds shows how air is pushed from the lungs, how sound resonates in the vocal tract, the tongue and jaw move, and movement of muscles and cartilage of the larynx.
The study included examinations of vocal fold tissue, which is soft connective tissue in the form of elastin, collagen, a lubricant known as hyaluronan, and fat. Lions have large vocal folds. It’s about 1 inch high from bottom to top.
Then, 1 inch thick side to side and 1.5 inches long front to back. They protrude from the larynx into the airway just above the trachea, forming a triangular shape on each side of the airway in most species but a squared shape in lions and tigers.
Scientists already knew lions and tigers have significant fat within their vocal folds. The new study showed that in big cats, this fat is located deep within the vocal fold ligament, and helps give the folds their flattened, square shape.
That shape makes it easier for the tissue to respond to the passing airflow. This is to allow louder roars at less lung pressure. When air moves past the vocal folds to make sound, the folds vibrate side to side and up and down. Stretching and shearing the folds.
In agreement with Titze, a lion’s or tiger’s roar can reach 114 decibels to someone standing a few feet away, which is about 25 times as loud as a gas lawn mower. And roars aren’t delivered one at a time. Instead, lions roar about 50 times in 90-second bouts. This study patterns of lion roars’ vocal could be an entry point into better understanding the vocalizations of a range of animals.
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So as has been discovered by the expert, lions roar with a sound that is frightening to other animals because it has this rough and raw quality. Lions are deemed the kings of the jungle, partly because of their roars. This is why lion got the name as king of the jungle eventhough they are not really live in the jungle.