Why do lions roar

Roaring is the natural sound that a lion makes to communicate with other lions and lionesses within the pride but that is not the only reason why a lion roars. A pride of lions consist of one alpha male along with a few other males, almost up to a dozen lionesses and the cubs. Lions are territorial animals and they maintain their perimeter by patrolling the borders of their land to keep intruders out. While patrolling, especially during the night, male lions often roar to assure the females of the safety within the pride’s land. As the area of a pride stretches over many miles, the hunters and the guards must communicate with each other through their loud roars which can be heard by even the less sensitive human ears from over a distance of five miles. Such communication would be vital especially if a patrolling lion of the pride finds intruding male lions on their territory because that leads to violent and bloody fights. Without roaring, neither can the guard lion warn the lionesses and cubs, nor can the other males in the pride come to fight off the intruders.

To the human ear, it may seem like all roars are more or less the same, but lions are able to clearly distinguish between instructions from the higher ranking lion to fight, escape or to relax. Warnings and calls for help from a fellow lion in the pride are also differentiated from the roars of lions that do not belong to the pride. Contrary to what many uninformed people believe, a lion which is planning to kill, will never roar as that would scare away the prey and thus the purpose will be lost. They may roar to call for help once they have the prey surrounded, but never before that. Although male lions roar much louder, females roar as well. The main objective of the lioness’s roar is to call their cubs that are beyond her visual range, but even the lioness calls for help while hunting a strong prey or engaged in a fight with an adversary.