wildlife pictures online header

Lion Notes 4

Welcome to Lion Notes page 4 - a collection of pictures and notes in brief about lions, lion sightings and lion behaviour based on visits and photo safaris to southern and East African game reserves and national parks. All images © Scotch Macaskill - for more, see Terms of Use.

Lion's Front Paw, Close-up

Lion paw, close-up

Photo Details: Close-up of the front paw of a female lion, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel; Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS zoom; Focal Length: 400mm; Shutter Speed: 1/500; Aperture: f8; ISO: 400

Additional Info: Lions have five toes on the front foot and four on the back foot. The fifth digit on the front foot is on the inside of the leg much higher up (as in pic above) and is known as the dewclaw. This is used for extra grip when holding on to prey.

Those massive pawas also hide a deadly weapon - the strong, razor-sharp claws used for grabbing and holding prey, climbing and traction.

While the claws are often described as rectractable (implying they're normally out or unsheathed), they are actually protractible. This means that at rest the claws are sheathed and only when the animal flexes certain muscles in the foot are the claws forced out.

Here's how the lioness and her fellow pride-member were lying when the photograph was taken:

Lions lying in shade

Swimming Lion

Lion swimming in Zambezi River

Photo Details: Adult male lion (Panthera Leo), swimming in the Zambezi River, Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia.

Camera: Canon EOS 350D; Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS zoom; Focal Length: 400mm; Shutter Speed: 1/2000; Aperture: F5.6; ISO: 800

Additional Info: We were staying at Mwambashi River Lodge in the Lower Zambezi National Park when we spotted this lion swimming in the vast, crocodile-infested Zambezi River, the fourth largest in Africa. To find out more about this very unusual sighting - and what prompted the big cat to take to the water (fear? hunger? lust?) - please see our detailed account Lion Swims Zambezi

Lioness with an Itch

lioness with itch

Photo Details: Lioness (Panthera leo) uses her back paw to relieve an irritating itch behind her ear, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.

Lioness looking contented after good scratch

After a good scratch - relief, contentment, and a hint of a smile!

Camera: Canon EOS 350D; Lens: Canon 100-400 F5.6 IS zoom; Focal Length: 400mm; Shutter Speed: 1/200; Aperture: f5.6; ISO: 800

Lion Cubs at Play

Lion cubs at play

Photo Details: Lion cubs at play, testing their hunting and attack skills, Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana.

Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Canon Rebel XS 10.1MP); Lens: Canon 70-300 F4-5.6 IS USM; Focal Length: 300mm; Shutter speed: 1/500; Aperture: f5.6; ISO: 400.

Additional Info: When you come accross two or more lion cubs within a pride, it's fascinating watching them at play as they'll often be mimicking adult attack behaviour, stalking and grappling with each other as they instinctively learn and practise how to attack and bring down prey.

Jump to Lion Notes 5 or return to Wildlife Notes Home


Lion Notes 1

Lion Notes 2

Lion Notes 3

Lion Notes 5

Lion Notes 6

Home /  About /  Contact

Contact Details: Scotch Macaskill, Dirt Road Traders, Currys Post Road, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)82 578 2329. Privacy: Your privacy is guaranteed. See our Privacy Policy for more. This site accepts advertising and other forms of compensation - see Disclosure and Advertising for details. Site updated: 2022. Copyright © 2002 - 2022 Scotch Macaskill