NCBI ROFL: Cooperation and individuality among man-eating lions.

By ncbi rofl | November 18, 2009 4:00 pm

“Cooperation is the cornerstone of lion social behavior. In a notorious case, a coalition of two adult male lions from Tsavo, southern Kenya, cooperatively killed dozens of railway workers in 1898. The “man-eaters of Tsavo” have since become the subject of numerous popular accounts, including three Hollywood films. Yet the full extent of the lions’ man-eating behavior is unknown; estimates range widely from 28 to 135 victims. Here we use stable isotope ratios to quantify increasing dietary specialization on novel prey during a time of food limitation. For one lion, the delta(13)C and delta(15)N values of bone collagen and hair keratin (which reflect dietary inputs over years and months, respectively) reveal isotopic changes that are consistent with a progressive dietary specialization on humans.”

Thanks to Catherine for today’s ROFL!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: fun with animals, NCBI ROFL
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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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