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Lions and Tigers Unit

LIONS AND TIGERS

Lionsand Tigers

Unit

Although it is often said thatthe lion is the king of the jungle, the tiger also has a claim tothis throne. These two cats are different and unique and dominatetheir respective jungles. Like cats, they possess athletic skillsused in hunting and protecting their territories. What makes each ofthese species unique is their behaviors, hunting styles, habitat, andactivity levels. Looking at their differences, it is clear that eachof these two cats is a king in their respective jungles worlds apart.

To start with lions and tigerslive in very different habitats. While lions are dominant insub-Sahara Africa, tigers are found in East and Southern Asia. Thehot tropical savannas climate in Africa provides the open grasslandsthat are the ideal habitat for the lions where prey is abundant. Onthe other hand, tigers prefer the forested areas in Asia. Denserainforests in countries such as Nepal, India, Pakistan, andIndonesia have thick-forested jungles that provide the ideal habitatfor tigers. As nocturnal hunters, the forest cover is a perfectcamouflage for their striped furred skin.

Hunting styles largely informthe choice of the habitat for both lions and tigers. As for lions,they are ambush hunters that rely on tall savannah grass for cover asit matches their color. They usually creep towards animals in thetall grass up to a short striking distance. They also tend to hunt ingroups drawn from a pride. Each pride is made up of one or two males,several females, cubs, and young lions. The females are the primaryhunters though the males, who are tasked with mating and protectingterritories, may join when large prey is involved. As for tigers,they are solitary, nocturnal hunters. They tend to stalk and ambushtheir prey that includes gazelles and buffaloes.

In term of behaviors, lionsand tigers have significant differences. Lions are highly social andlive in prides comprising of 10-30 animals that occupy a well-markedterritory. They mark their territories with scent markings thatprimarily involve spraying urine or rubbing bodies on bushes andtrees. When male cubs attain a certain age, they are kicked out of apride to avoid in-breeding. On the contrary, tigers are solitaryanimals that form temporary mating partnerships. Male tigers willseek females by roaming territories and part ways as soon as themating season is over. By being high on the food chain, tigers, likelions, have no predator except man.

As discussed above, tigers andlions are unique and dominant in their particular ways. Lions controlthe African savannah grasslands where prey is abundant while tigersdominate the thick jungle forests of East and South Asia. Only humanbeings can predate on these animals. Thus, within their respectivejungles, they are both kings and dictate matters on top of the foodchain. Nonetheless, the two species of animals are unique in theirlifestyles, habitats, and behaviors in hunting and socializing.