Our lions in National Geographic Magazine

The August edition of National Geographic Magazine has a cover story on the Serengeti lions that Craig has been studying for decades. And because Ali set out the camera trap grid in the same place as Craig’s lion study area, you see the same lions (plus more) on Snapshot Serengeti as those featured in the article. In fact, photographer Michael Nichols was out in the Serengeti during Season 5, so his pictures are contemporaneous with the ones up on Snapshot Serengeti right now.

So if you have a moment, go check out “The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion,” which is entertaining and gives a nice history of the foundational research on which the Snapshot Serengeti science rests. And take a gander at the editor’s note, which accompanies this picture.



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About Margaret Kosmala

I am an ecologist exploring the complex dynamics of plant and animal systems. I am especially interested in understanding how species communities change over time and how humans impact them.

7 responses to “Our lions in National Geographic Magazine”

  1. lucy says :

    Fantastic coverage and a great article

  2. Aradia Farmer says :

    So cool to see my favorite project (well, the subject matter thereof) in National-freaking-Geographic! I hope someday to see a NatGeo article devoted to how Zooniverse has added to science projects, terrestrial and otherwise.

  3. Lifesart says :

    Fantastic article and the most amazing lion pictures I have ever seen – including what we see on Snapshot Serengeti. Michael Nichols is to be congratulated. And a fun picture of all of our ‘Lion People’!

  4. Mark Johnson says :

    Your lion article in August National Geographic aroused my curiosity….. Hildar has a remarkable adaptation to survive and leave his genes for the African lions in the Serangeti. As opposed to C-Boy, his fighting companion, Hildar avoids confrontation with other Alpha males in the neighboring lion population. Even more remarkable, there are no photos of Hildar documenting his existance. Hildar seems very intelligent. His obviously is not anti social…he gets along quite well with his fighting companion, C-Boy. Hildar has adopted behavior that helps his survival to breed with lionesses and further his lineage..

    C-Boy got most of the atttention by the writers who contributed to this article while curiously, Hildar and his survival behavior advantages appear minimized..

    • Margaret Kosmala says :

      I suspect that C-Boy makes for a more dramatic story and so was the focus of the article. But yes, there are different strategies for successfully passing on your genes and Hildar’s is working okay for now. If he lost C-Boy as a partner however, his chances of being able to associate with females without being driven off by other males would decrease substantially. So it’s in his interest for C-Boy to stay alive, and one might wonder about the value of avoiding confrontation if that leaves C-Boy takes the whole brunt of it.

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