Ms. L. Reese, Instructor
01 November 2014
Eagles and Lions The majestic bald eagle with a wingspan of 6 feet spends most of its life near rivers, lakes, and marshes. This monogamous bird build massive nest a top large trees and lays one to three eggs a year. Bald eagles may live 15 to 25 years. African male lions weight from 265 and 420 lbs. and boast impressive long manes. Dominant male lions protect and guard their territory from intruders. This beautiful animal once roamed most of Africa but today they are only found in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Eagles and lions are superior predators known for their relentless pursuit of prey. They rely on keen hunting instincts and physical traits in order to survive. These traits include vision, powerful claws and grip, cutlery like teeth and beak. The eagle and lion have differences, but great similarities; prey has no chance against nature’s weaponry given to both fearless animals. The study of their eyes shows similarities but benefit them in different ways. They both have large eyes in proportion to their heads. Eagles utilize it to view long distances and the lions to see in the dark. Eagle’s pupils are extremely large with every square millimeter of retina containing a million light sensitive cells five times more than a human. This allows eagles to spot prey up to two miles away. Lions hunt in the cover of night and use their amazing night vision to guide them. This ability is possible because of a reflective layer of cells positioned behind the retina called Tapitum Lucidum. The moment when light passes through the retina the Tapitum Lucidum reflects it back. This provides the light sensitive cells a second chance to absorb all light waves.
Lion claws and an eagle’s talons is a shared feature used to subdue their meal. The claws for both the lion and eagle are made of a hard protein called keratin. These razor sharp claws impale and wound their prey. Lion’s claws are protractible, meaning at rest they’re sheathed but when the foot is flexed they are forced out. A lion will paw or knead a tree trunk to maintain sharp and strong claws. Eagle’s talons are strong and deadly. They can measure up to 2 inches long and clamp with a vice-like grip.
Last, eagles and lions do not chew their food instead they rip off chunks and swallow. The beak of an eagle is strong and powerful with a hooked sharp end. The hooked end is used to rip apart the prey similar to a lions molar. The carnassial molar of a lion acts like a pair of scissors to shear off sizable chunks of meat. Both the eagle and lion are carnivores and prefer to hunt for their food, but are also known to scavenge. The lion will