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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Science and Nature

The Lion's Roar

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

The Lion's RoarTHE LION’S ROAR. – The very roar of the lion in its wild state is music that even the most fastidious would deem worthy of being listened to, and is truly magnificent. His first note, when he commences to roar, is a low sound emitted from the chest and nostrils; but it is audible from a great distance. This is a species of prelude, and immediately afterward it is repeated; but this time it is much louder and more protracted, the jaws of the animal being still closed, or the mouth but slightly opened. The third and fourth outbursts are given to the air through the fully-extended jaws, and with the whole force of the lungs. To listen to this roar is terrible for those who happen to be crossing the monarch’s path, to be marching through the lonely forest. At length, after two or three more utterances of this kind, the animal ends, as he commenced, with less vigorous notes. The distance to which we have been able to trace the progress of a lion by his roar, when there has been no contrary wind, and no mountain nor other obstacle to intercept the sound, is tow or three leagues; but when he roars about a league off, one who is unaccustomed to the sound would believe him to be close at hand. A curious circumstance is, that when the lion is accompanied by his mate, they always roar alternately; that is to say, the lioness commences, and the lion answers her, each continuing in its turn to utter its note, but the tomes never being mingles.