"Rather than a king or queen, lions live in a egalitarian society without ranking," reports BBC Earth.
Typically, the female lions hunt while the male lions guard the territory. However, the male lions have been known to hunt as well. The males and females have roughly equal success rates in hunting.
Insofar as there's a hierarchy within a lion pride, it refers to how some males tend to breed more than females. However, the females are highly egalitarian in this area as well. A 36-year study of 560 lionesses, published in 2001 in Science found that lionesses do not establish a hierarchy that lets some breed more than others. The lionesses have about equal reproductive success and help care for each others' cubs. "The major finding is that the females in the lion pride really form a true community where there's no bosses and everybody's pretty much the same," said the study's lead researcher.
- Alfie Shaw, "The Lion King and other myths," BBC Earth, https://www.bbcearth.com/blog/%3Farticle%3Dking-of-the-jungle-and-other-lion-myths/, accessed 28 December 2020.
- Shaw, "The Lion King and other myths."
- "For Female Lions, Democracy Rules," New York Times, 31 July 2001, https://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/31/science/for-female-lions-democracy-rules.html.