The Ultimate African Buffalo Defense Quiz
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Image: iStockphoto.com/BlueOrange Studio
About This Quiz
In the natural order of things there are predators and there are prey, with an interchange of roles down the food chain. In one of these struggles for survival is african buffalo try to defend themselves from lions. Take this quiz and learn more about the buffalo's defenses.
How do lions hunt?
Lions hunt in groups, working together to take down their prey.
Who usually does the hunting?
The female of the species usually hunts
How long does it take for a lion to cover 100 yards (91.4 meters)
It takes about 6 seconds which is a speed of about 60 miles per hour (96 km/h). The world record for a human sprint over the 100 yard distance is about 9 seconds.
What does a buffalo weigh?
1,000 pounds (455 kilograms)
1,500 pounds (680 kilograms)
The buffalo weighs about 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms).
1,800 pounds (818 kilograms)
What do the buffalo's horns measure, tip to tip?
The horns of the buffalo are one of their main defensive weapons and can measure 4 feet (1.22 meters) tip to tip.
At what age do male buffalo peak physically?
They peak at about 10 years of age and then are usually replaced and must leave the herd, when they can become easy prey for lions
Can buffalo discover the presence of lions?
They have an excellent sense of smell and the slightest whiff of lion will alert the herd.
They usually only discover them when it's too late and then have to fight.
Are buffalo always the prey when it come to lions?
Buffalo prefer to escape attack and will defend themselves only when necessary.
That is the natural order of nature.
They sometimes attack sleeping lions.
Given the opportunity, buffalo will often sneak up on sleeping lions, trampling them and then hunting down the cubs.
What is the defense strategy when fleeing from attack?
They will turn suddenly trying to gore the attacker.
The fleeing buffalo will often turn suddenly in mid-flight and try to gore the attacker before continuing to retreat.
They run as fast as they can.
They stay as close as possible to present a solid defense since a straggler becomes an easy target.
What other defense mechanisms do the buffalo have?
They are alert for sudden silence that usually precedes an attack
Birds roosting on the buffalo warn them of danger.
White birds called oxpeckers roost on the buffalo feeding on fleas and ticks. These birds warn the buffalo of danger by hissing.
The birds in the area usually take off in alarm when lions begin stalking a prey and this alerts the buffalo.
How much does a buffalo sleep a day?
Buffalo sleep for minutes at a time (for a total of about two hours a day), remaining on constant alert for predators.
What other factor can help the buffalo escape from being brought down?
Their size enables them often to shrug off an attacker.
The sheer size and weight of the buffalo make it difficult to bring down. It can often shrug off an attacker.
They kick up a dust storm when fleeing and this blinds the pursuers.
The extremely thick hide protects the buffalo unless it is blinded or tripped.
Can the herd help a fallen member?
Once a buffalo is down he has to fend for himself.
The herd often returns in full force to help a fallen comrade.
The buffalo herd often returns in force to assist a fallen comrade.
If the attacker is alone and the attacked buffalo is fighting, sometimes the male of the herd will intervene.
For how long does this group stick together?
together until the young leave the pride
together for the mating season
The group stays together for life; unrelated lone females are rarely accepted.
How many adult male lions are there in an average pride?
A pride can have one or two unrelated males, who are under constant challenges from other males trying for a hostile takeover.
five to seven depending on the size of the pride
Who babysits the lion cubs during the hunt?
The male looks after the cubs while the females hunt. Females do almost all the hunting.
whoever happens to be free
On the average, which animal is responsible for killing more humans every year?
Although it is not a hunter, the African buffalo is not a friendly creature and as such accounts for most killings of humans.
What is the similarity between buffalo and lions?
full grown males must leave the group
In both cases, the groups are mainly female and the males must leave the group once they are fully grown.
females of both species are the hunters
How do buffalo defend their young?
The young stay on the far side of danger.
The young stay in the middle of the herd.
The younger, weaker buffalo stay in the middle of the herd while the stronger males form a protective ring.
The young are sent on alone while the adults face the attackers.
How does a buffalo use the terrain for protection?
They kick up a dust screen blinding the lions.
They escape to rocky slopes which lions prefer to avoid.
They travel in water where lions are reluctant to go.
Lions are usually reluctant to get into the water and so buffalo will, when possible, travel in water.
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