You mentioned lions and other carnivores* earlier on. Do they groupvery much?
Yes. Most cats in fact don't group. Er, lions and, to a lesser extent,cheetahs* are the only cats that group together. A group of lions iscalled a pride*, and you might get anything up to 15 or 20 lions ina pride. A pride of lions would have perhaps two or three males,perhaps a dozen females, and then the cubs. But the real lion groupconsists of females with their cubs. The males tend to stay for a fewyears and then they get kicked out by a group of younger males thatcome in and take over.
And how about the apes?
Ah, well, now you're talking about the group of animals that we be-long to. Apes —— some apes —— live in very, very big and complicatedsocial groups. Not all. Orangutans, for example, big apes that livein Indonesia and Malaysia —— they're very solitary and one adult maymeet another adult only once every two or three years, when a maleand a female mate, and then, the only relationship will be betweena mother and her baby. The baby will stay with the
mother for twoor three years, four years, five years even, learning from the mother,learning what sorts of foods to eat, what the signs of danger are, andthen when the baby grows up, off it'll go, and live its own solitarylife. The reason why orangutans are solitary is because there's notvery much food in a forest and if there was a big group of orang-utans, all the food would just run out. But, leaving Asia and goingto Africa, then you find very social apes. Now, gorillas, for example.Gorillas live in unimale* groups. They used to be called harems*,but the technical term is unimale because there's one male withinthe group; one male, and then around him will be anything up to six,
seven, eight, nine females, plus all the babies. And that one male inthe group is the silverback gorilla, and he's much bigger and stron-ger than the others. He's got silvery fur on his back and the otherswon't challenge him and he'll lead the group slowly through the for-est, settling down every night and moving on the next day, findingfood. So that's a unimale group. But if you move a little bit furtherwest into West Africa, you'll start to come across chimpanzees. Nowthey're a bit smaller than gorillas. They spend a lot of time in thetrees, whereas gorillas are down on the ground. And chimpanzeesare much more closely related to us than they are to gorillas. They'reour closest living relatives. Now chimps* live in multimale groups.