The land-based counterpart to the ocean-going sea lions and mountain-based lion , the land lion (Panthera liono) is a fearsome predator found in Africa, parts of Asia, and in small numbers of zoos around the world. Easily recognized by its fluffy mane and characteristic strut, the land lion is the most famous of the Big Cats and is often referred to as the King of the Jungle.
Because of this celebrity status, the land lion is easily the most narcissistic of Africa's mammals. Like Andy Warhol, each male gathers around himself a crowd of females and effeminate males. This pack of fawning admirers is referred to as a "pride" for obvious reasons. When two of these prides happen to meet, a fierce battle known as a "Rumble in the Jungle" often ensues. Such fights can last for hours, leaving vast swaths of terrain torn up and befouled. The losing land lion will slink away in defeat, while his pride gloms on to the victor. These prideless lions, lacking support for their enormous egos, usually die within weeks, although some have been saved by brave adventurers who brought them to America and gave them self-esteem-boosting careers in places like Hollywood and Las Vegas.
While it is commonly believed that female land lions lack manes, lionologists have recently discovered that the female's mane is actually nibbled away by jealous males shortly after puberty. Clumps of chewed mane are highly prized as aphrodisiacs by certain African tribes who really should know better.
The land lion lives on a diet consisting almost entirely of meat-based animals, including but not limited to:
- Misplaced opossums
- Careless lionologists
- Sea Lions
- Nambian tree otters
- Small hugging humans
- and especially rabbits
- also snickers
While no encounters between land lions and bears have been recorded, it is generally believed that a pride of land lions would easily dispatch up to 4 bears, and absorb their powers by eating their brains.
Ritual of SuccessionEdit
Land lions have an elaborate ritual to determine who will replace the current leader of a pride. A trusted adviser to the "Alpha Male" (named after Swedish lionologist Josephus Alpha, who first documented the phenomenon) climbs a high rock to display the cub who has been selected as the potential successor for inspection by a crowd of local animals gathered from miles around. If they approve, he will be specially protected and groomed to one day take charge of the pride. If he fails to receive acceptance, he is immediately tossed into the crowd to be moshed to death and eaten.
Famous Land LionsEdit
- Leo - Leo has been seen in the opening credits of every MGM movie since 1895. He is believed to be the oldest living land lion.
- Kimba - This albino land lion achieved great success in Japan after stowing away aboard a freighter bound for Tokyo.
- Whatever Those Ones in Born Free Were Named
- The Detroit Land Lions
- Richard the Lion-Hearted - While not himself a lion, this British king received the first-ever successful cross-species heart transplant, though the technology was subsequently lost in a suspicious fire.
- Limbo- The first Land Lion that ever achieved interdimensional space travel.