About the Author

Sean Zeederberg

Field Guide

As a young boy growing up on an agricultural farm in Zimbabwe, Sean spent every opportunity entertaining himself outdoors, camping in the local nature reserve and learning about all facets of the natural world. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental ...

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31 Comments

on A Lion’s Roar: the Technicalities

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

This is such an interesting blog Sean. The most iconic sound of the African bush must be the roar of a lion.

Sean Zeederberg
Field Guide

You are welcome Marinda. It truly is the best sound

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Cleary remember the first night I heard a lion’s roar. It sounded nearby, but our ranger assured us it was quite distant.
Thanks for the lesson in anatomy, Sean!

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

Sean, loved the video🤗

Sean Zeederberg
Field Guide

It was an amazing experience

Awesome Post. The Science behind the Thrill of the Roar…always Goosebumps and a Huge Grin!!!!

Kara Taylor
Digital Tracker

Very interesting! Until I came to Africa I thought the roar was like the MGM Lion (which sounds like it has changed over the years to me), then coming and hearing one live it sounded much different to me. There’s nothing like being woken by a roar, or being right beside a male when he calls and you feel it in your bones.

Lisa Antell
Explorer

Lions roaring….one of the best, if not THE best sound in the African bush!

Elize Weeks
Digital Ranger

Interesting article. Did not know tigers call is the same as lion. Thanks for sharing.

Francesca Doria
Explorer

One of the greatest show by the natural world! A lion’s roar. When in Frankfurt I heard lions at dinner time roaring for food. It was almost impossible to bear for human ears… especially because they weren’t in their natural place I am sure that in their native area their roar sounds majestic and reaches far lions ears not only humans.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Loving the sound of lions’ calling to one another, I now know the scientific reason for this chilling, goosebump producing feeling one gets whilst on Safari. Seated but a meter away from a well-seasoned lion, he began to call his brother, causing the Land Rover to shimmer in the cold morning- an experience I’ll never forget! Thanx for this blog.

Johanna Browne
Explorer

I am loving these fascinating facts you all are sharing! The lion’s roar in particular as I am an avid cat fan of both wild and domestic cats. Another misnomer of that statement “King of the jungle “ is the “king” aspect which is blatantly untrue as you all yourselves stated in regard to elephants and rhinos. However I once found this intriguing statement as lions have been found in the rainforest and they could have been in the ‘jungle’ in the past but evidence would have deteriorated rapidly as matter breaks down so fast in rainforest or jungle climates. “ The world jungle comes from the Sanskrit ‘jangala’ which refers to a dense dry thicket, typically a seasonally dry monsoon forest, and one in which lion would certainly be one of the top predators. Popular literature took the term and applied it in ignorance to many vegetation types which are more structurally complex than the relatively simple forests which North Americans and Europeans are used to, generating confusion along the way? This has only been exacerbated by popular culture again promulgating the notion of the lion as the king of the jungle, which is patently ridiculous even in jangala, where lions would face competition from leopard and wild dogs, challenges from rhino and elephant, and at least young lion face a risk of predation from dogs, pythons and other predators.”

Tammy Hynes
Explorer

Gm movie was a lion, I seen how they did it on sixty minutes or something like that. Many years ofo

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Lion roar expertly stripped apart and decoded very simply for the benefit of us all.thank you so very much for enlightening us

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

I have also observed that darker maned males have deeper roars.does this mean that testosterone levels play a role in the volume levels of roars.

secondly do the timelines for roars have anything to do with dominance strengthening

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

With regards to roar vocalisation range , what factors aid this or act as catalyst to this

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Female roar is it purely sexually or authoritative to an extent?
is the female roar relevant in pride hierarchy?

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Are roars age based or condition oriented?

Ashely Ndebele
Senior Digital Ranger

Do hormones trigger behavioural traits like roaring in lion? at what age do lions develop roaring ability?

Christa Blessing
Senior Digital Ranger

Very impressive indeed, those roaring lions. Thanks for the interesting technicalities.

Carly M
Explorer

Nothing like the roar of a lion – so powerful!

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Really interesting! Any idea what was motivating these two males to sustain that calling???

Maxine Thomson
Explorer

I totally agree Sean! The Lions roar is very distinctive, and still brings out that Primal fear in humans from days when we were the prey…… but I do believe it has competition… namely the genus Annoyingnus Childrenus… research ( extremely dodgy and done under the influence of red wine) has shown that children under the age of 12 seem to have a suspensorium too… their ability to have their vocalisations travel great distances is quite astounding… and unlike the delight that a Full grown male lions roar stirs in Rangers and visitors … it in fact has the opposite reaction, making everyone within 3 kms run for cover 😆… I would take your version any day!

Moira McLachlan
Explorer

Once again great information, I will never forget the first time I heard and witnessed a Lion roar, truely awesome. thank you.

Nicole Bernhardt
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks for the intersting blog Sean, it’s truly one of my most favourite sounds

Paul Canales
Senior Digital Ranger

Wow, what a fascinating and informative account of the physiology of a lions roar Sean!! Thanks so much for the research and post!

Cally Staniland
Senior Digital Ranger

Super interesting Sean ! I can still recall a childhood visit to the a friends bush camp in the SabiSabi area where lion passed by our window ( which was actually below ground level) and roared while passing the window. One of those moments of sheer fear mixed with a weird sort of pleasure that has stuck with me forever. 🙏🏻 💕

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