The lions are social felines and live in packs composed of one or more dominant males and a group of females related to one another.
The society of the lions is polygamous and a male lion mates with more females of the herd; but the opposite also happens: a female in oestrus mates with all the males of the herd and does it for a very simple reason, the salvation of its puppies.
In fact, a male lion kills the puppies of other lions, to induce the lioness to enter into oestrus and then to mate and carry on the progeny; therefore, if the females mate with all the lions of the herd, each of them will be convinced that the puppies are its own, it will not kill them but rather protect them.
For the lions the courtship and the mating phase lasts about a week, the lovers leave the herd and remain on the sidelines; in this period the male lions are particularly aggressive with the competitors and are jealous of their female.
During the mating period the lions do not feed and sometimes do not drink, for fear that, by going away, a rival may interfere.
The courtship occurs with cuddles characterized by licking, rubbing of the faces and by sinuous movements of the lionesses aimed at stimulating the partner.
The actual relationship lasts a few seconds, in our eyes it might seem rather disappointing, but the mating ritual is repeated every 15-20 minutes for over 40 times a day and, in the four or five days of "love", the lions arrive to have over 250 acts.
But the sexual performance of the lion is helped by a trick, the male lion in fact has the baculum, or penic bone, that helps the animal to maintain the erection.
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