Competition and Mutualism

Topics: Lion, Predation, Grassland Pages: 2 (580 words) Published: April 16, 2012
The purpose of this lab was the find out whether lions or hyenas would be more successful in hunting food on the tropical savannah when lions and hyenas are competing and then when mutualism comes into play. My hypotheses were the same- that hyenas would more successful even when mutualism is involved. My results yielded exactly as I predicted. Both times the hyenas were more successful, though when mutualism was involved the hyenas won by a smaller margin of kills.

Lions and hyenas have always been in competition, due to the fact they both hunt for the same prey. Both set boundaries in the animal kingdom that the other species are not supposed to cross even though boundary lines in the wild don’t really exist. Hyenas are inclined to go after lion cubs or weak-looking female lionesses, and they never go after male lions. Lions attack hyenas with a ferocious vigor, killing them quickly. The lions don’t even eat the hyenas they brutally kill, they leave them rotting in the wild. Hyenas, however, fight the lions with just as much force. The hyenas have really strong jaws which, when hyenas are full size, could have the force of 1,000 pounds in their bites.

Mutualism is a relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship. When birds tip off the prey that hyena and lion hunt, the prey has time to escape, making the lions and hyenas not able to hunt. The prey is saved and the birds benefit because they are able to eat the feces and waste left by the zebras.

Materials and Procedure
Data Chart
Writing Utensil

First, using the competition data table, a coin is flipped. If it is heads, the lions receive a kill while if it is tails, the hyenas obtain a kill. The coin is flipped twenty eight more times and the score for each side is tallied up. Using the mutualism data table, the coin is flipped twice. If both are heads, the lions earn the kill. If...
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