Such devoted sisters?

22 03 2011

Within the Ngamo pride we have three pairs of sisters;  Ashanti & Athena, Kenge & Kwali and Nala & Narnia.  But which of these siblings have the greatest kinship?  Again, we can look at the research data to get an insight as to whether sisterly devotion exists within the pride.

Kenge & Kwali play in the early morning light

Firstly, let’s look at the social interactions between the sibling pairs.  Because Athena and Kenge have been away from the pride for much of the last two months we have removed all data after they left to cub down so as to avoid bias in the results.  Shown below are the social interactions observed with each lion’s sibling (either initiated towards or received from) as a percentage of all social interactions that the lion engaged in.  We have also shown the name of the lion each lion most interacts with and their percentage for your information and to note the level of discrepancy in kinships within the pride.

Ashanti and Athena        9.4%                      Ashanti and Phyre           24.5%

Athena and Ashanti        9.3%                      Athena and Phyre           32.7%

Kenge and Kwali               13.4%                    Kenge and Phyre             17.0%

Kwali and Kenge               22.7%                    Kwali and Phyre              31.8%

Nala and Narnia               25.7%            Narnia was the lion Nala interacts with most

Narnia and Nala               23.7%            Nala was the lion Narnia interacts with most

As you can see, the youngest sisters, Nala and Narnia, lavish attention on each other whilst all other sisters interact with Phyre more than any other lion.  In the case of Kwali her second choice is her sister, whilst Kenge, Ashanti and Athena interact with their sisters less than with at least two other lions in the pride.

Nala & Narnia find a shady spot to chill out together

Moving over to the group dynamic data we looked at how often a sibling pair was together when either one was found on the first sighting of each research session.  Again, for the lions that have absent sisters due to mothering duties, this data was removed before making the calculations.

Ashanti and Athena        57.6%

Kenge & Kwali                   73.4%

Nala & Narnia                    86.4%

Again, we see the same pattern with the kinship between the “A” girls being least and the “N” girls the most.

Finally, we look at the likelihood of a lion’s sister being their nearest neighbour.  Again, we show the percentage to their sister and the percentage of the lion they are most often nearest to.

Ashanti and Athena        12.8%                    Ashanti and Kenge          21.2%

Athena and Ashanti        16.4%                    Athena and Kenge          25.9%

Kenge and Kwali               12.0%                    Kenge and Ashanti          21.0%

Kwali and Kenge               17.1%                    Kwali and Phyre               21.8%

Nala and Narnia          37.5%       Narnia is most likely to be Nala’s nearest neighbour

Narnia and Nala          39.7%       Nala is most likely to be Narnia’s nearest neighbour

Over the course of their lives Ashanti and Athena have spent the most time apart, being raised in separate walking groups when in stage one  The sister’s were reunited at Dollar Block.  Kwali and Kenge were split after stage one when Kenge was moved to Dollar Block to be released, only being reunited with her sister when the pride was brought back to Antelope Park to later be released in the Ngamo site.  Nala & Narnia have spent their whole lives together.  As such, we expected to find the kinship between siblings reflect this.

Ashanti & Athena

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