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Parentage and Geography:

Lulu The Lion – A Heroine’s Story

Lions as a highly social animal present a number of issues when it comes to knowing parentage:  there can be multiple males in a group mating with many of the females, females raise the young of other pride members, and fringe males can engage in sneak matings with females that are not part of their pride.  With all of this gene flow, it is difficult to know who really is mom and dad!  In this activity, you will be presented with several data sets in order to determine paternity and maternity for a set of cubs who were observed over a period of time.


A note about this species…

African lions, Panthera leo, live in groups called prides that consists of a male or males who control the territory and a group of females who provide food for the pride and raise the cubs.  When a pride is taken over by a new pride master, this new male will often eliminate the cubs so that he can replace them with cubs he himself has produced.  As a top predator, this carnivore typically hunts in groups to take down larger prey like the many ungulate herbivores that call the savanna home. 



Zoo Genetics Section 5 Lions

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