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"Male Lion Mating - Burrard-Lucas Photography." BurrardLucas RSS.
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"Physiology - ALERT | African Lion & Environmental Research Trust."
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20 May 2014.

Lions are one of the most well known predators of the world. With seven
centimeter long teeth and thirty eight mm long claws, lions are a force to
be reckoned with (Unknown, 2014).These characteristics are adaptations
which has allowed the lions to survive and thrive in their habitat. Lions
have multiple adaptations that have evolved through the modes of sexual
and natural selection.

The manes of male lions play a big role in sexual selection. They increase
males' reproductive success. A recent study found that females nd
males with darker manes much more attractive than those with lighter
ones. (Image 1). Darker maned males also had higher testosterone levels,
had better injury recoveries, had o"spring that were more likely to survive,
and spent more time as pride residents. The mane is similar to a sexually
selected status symbol that males use to advertise themselves (Unknown,
2014). However, this is not the only form of sexual selection that a"ects

Another form of sexual selection is infanticide. This usually occurs with
lions when a male who is not the father of a cub kills it. A typical lion pride
has one or sometimes two adult males, and multiple females. If another
male takes over the pride, they will usually immediately kill any small
cubs. The pride females will quickly become fertile once again, and mate
with the new male. This gives the male many more chances to pass on his
genes and reproduce. The males have no reason to keep the cubs alive.
Image 1. A dark maned male mating with a female.
The male lion in the image has a considerably dark
mane. That helped him attract the lioness to mate
with her. He now has a much higher chance of
passing on his genes and having more o"spring
They are dispensable and there is no point in wasting their time or energy
on the o"spring of another male. Keeping these cubs does nothing to
help them (Morell, 2014). Lions are not the only animals that do this.
Female meerkats will kill each other's young to secure the survival of their
own because there are limited resources that the group can provide.
Sexual selection is just one way of evolution though.

Natural selection has also played a huge role in the evolution of lions. One
example of this is there teeth. They have canines which are seven
centimeters long, and jaws which can apply 690 pounds of pressure and
can open up to eleven inches. Their teeth and their jaw are structural
adaptations. They help them slice meat and rip it away from the bone.
This can be helpful to eating fast before scavengers come to feed on their
kill. The coloring of their fur di"ers depending on the region that they live
in. Cooler and more humid areas tend to have lions with darker fur. They
also have black fur on their tails and the back of their ears to be able to
spot each other through long grass (Unknown,2014). Natural selection
has been a big factor in the adaptations of lions.

Sexual selection and natural selection have caused many evolutionary
adaptations in lions. Through time, they have evolved into a strong and
feared predator. Their many adaptations are what distinguishes them from
all other life forms on Earth. Lions are just one example of the millions of
species on earth, and the unique adaptations of every life form. Through
evolution, all of these species are unique and special.