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Author Topic: Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?  (Read 13462 times)

Offline Yair Doza

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Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?
« on: 27/03/2010 15:37:00 »
A topic I teach to KS3 students (12 to 13 years old) on food chains has a presentation where lions are predators that consume zebras but also other predators such as cheetahs and leopards. Are there any evidence of cheetahs or leopards being part of lion diet? Perhaps cubs are eaten? Thanks Yair


 

Offline LeeE

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Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?
« Reply #1 on: 28/03/2010 13:04:24 »
Not really my area, but I believe that in general, carnivore mammals don't eat other carnivore mammals for a combination of reasons.

Being at, or near the top of the food chain, there are many less carnivores than there are herbivores, so there are far fewer opportunities for a carnivore to predate upon other carnivores.  In addition to that, carnivore flesh is a lot different to herbivore flesh and will tend to have much less fat in it, which may lead to dietary deficiencies and which may simply not taste very good to lions.  Finally, there wouldn't actually be very much meat on a single cheetah or leopard for a pride of lions, let alone their much smaller cubs.

Having said that though, if other food is scarce and the opportunity arises, then needs must..
 

Offline Geezer

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Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?
« Reply #2 on: 28/03/2010 17:09:12 »
I'm not sure they actually eat them, but I'm pretty sure lions kill cheetahs whenever they can. I think lions go after leopards too.

I learned this from a highly reputable source of information - a nature program on the TV  :D

Presumably the lions do this because the other cats are hunting the same food source. Oh, and male lions will also bump off the cubs of another male so they can take over the female - who does not seem to mind too much. You might not want to tell the school kids about that though.
 

Offline LeeE

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Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?
« Reply #3 on: 29/03/2010 09:25:40 »
Quote
I'm not sure they actually eat them, but I'm pretty sure lions kill cheetahs whenever they can.  I think lions go after leopards too...

Presumably the lions do this because the other cats are hunting the same food source

Sounds reasonable.

And yes, if a new male defeats the existing male in a pride he will kill any cubs of the defeated male.  However, I as I understand it, it isn't so that he can take over the females, because they'll stay with the pride and breed with the new male anyway, but it's because the new male won't tolerate anyone else's offspring.
 

Offline Geezer

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Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?
« Reply #4 on: 29/03/2010 16:25:28 »
However, I as I understand it, it isn't so that he can take over the females, because they'll stay with the pride and breed with the new male anyway, but it's because the new male won't tolerate anyone else's offspring.

Ah, right! It's all about his genes over the competion's.
 

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Do lions eat cheetahs or leopards?
« Reply #4 on: 29/03/2010 16:25:28 »

 

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