Male and female lions live in a large group named a pride with their cubs. With every pride we know that there are a king or kings of the pride, but where would the pride be without resident queens – the female lion – the lioness. The number of lionesses in a pride can be from two to twenty. This number can vary on the availibility of food in the territory. If food is scarse then some females will have to disperse and find another pride. All females within a pride are usually but mostly related, e.g. sisters, aunts, nieces etc. There is no rank hierachy among females and no two are likely to be found together more than half the time. All female residents know one another and when they meet, the lion greeting ceremony (rubbing and low purring) reaffirms their social ties. If a female shows no self assurance to meet and greet, this sends a signal that it doesn’t belong in the pride and is treated as an intruder.
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