Yawn or Threat

Yawn or Threat_2014_05_17_0525_1024px

A young male lion (Panthera leo) comes curiously close to the photographer and sits just meters away as if in a face off. Yawning in some animals is a show of dominance with both alpha males and females being observed to yawn more frequently. Some suggest that yawning synchronises mood in gregarious animals too. In hippopotamus this is a warning threat gesture, but there is no empirical evidence of this being the case in lions, although the display of large canines is threatening in its own right. The contagious effect of yawn on the photographer was not apparent!
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III /EF200-400mm IS II USM EXT; 1/160 sec; f/4.5; ISO 320; 175mm)

Picture ©2014 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

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Stuck in darkest Africa, lost in the wild and loving it! Don’t let me out of here…

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