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Shown Their Work / The Lion Guard

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Despite the large amounts of Artistic License – Biology throughout the show, it also gets a lot of things right.

  • The show in general often uses the correct terminology for animal groups ("pod" for hippopotamuses, "clan" for hyenas, "float" for crocodiles, "committee" for vultures, etc.)
  • Recent observations have suggested male lions do their share of hunting for the pride rather than just letting the lionesses do the work themselves according to popular belief. This fact is referenced when Simba is either mentioned off on a hunt with Nala or actually shown hunting.
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  • Like in Real Life, Nile crocodiles are portrayed as social reptiles travelling in groups led by a large male.
  • In "The Rise of Makuu", Ushari displays cobra-styled hunting posture by having his hood relaxed as he attempts to eat a hyrax.
  • The elephants having a funeral in "Can't Wait To Be Queen". This is Truth in Television; when a member of the herd dies, the rest of the elephants crowd around it and pay their tributes.
  • Bunga being unaffected by bee stings and snake venom. Honey badgers have very thick skin which protects them from bees' stingers as well as sharp teeth and porcupine quills, and the immunity to snake venoms comes from having the nicotinic acetycholine receptors in their muscle cells modified to become resistant to the neurotoxins in snake venom which target the receptors.
  • Jackals are omnivores and do eat fruit as well as meat, displayed by the jackals in "The Kupatana Celebration" when they steal some fruit from the Pride Landers.
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  • In "The Kupatana Celebration", the fruit Goigoi steals from the aardvarks' den is evidently a Cucumis humifructus, a type of cucumber that is exclusively eaten by aardvarks (hence their name aardvark cucumber). Although it is colored yellow like a galia melon as opposed to the biscuit color the real fruits have.
  • Fuli preferring to be by herself makes a lot of sense, as female cheetahs are solitary.
  • Ono is specifically chosen as Keenest of Sight because cattle egrets have binocular vision which gives them greater depth perception than most birds. Also, Ono is shown to have nocturnal vision, which cattle egrets are capable of according to psychological studies.
  • Aardwolves are both described and portrayed as shy, just like their real life counterparts. They are also exclusively insectivores mainly preying on termites.
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  • At one point in "The Trouble With Galagos", Badili scratches the bark of his tree, which is how leopards mark their territory in real life (besides leaving their scent).
  • In the "Lost Gorillas", pangolins are shown spraying noxious gas, which Ono points out that this is usually done when they are frightened. Truth in Television as pangolins have anal scent glands similar to those of skunks, and like skunks they use it for defense.
  • The centerpoint of "Beshte and the Hippo Lanes" is how hippos make channels in wetlands that other animals can use after rainstorms. And it is true indeed that as ecological engineers, hippos plowing through submerged wetlands helps water and nutrients flow around and while creating habitat and gateways for all kinds of animals.
  • Kifaru from "Ono the Tickbird" is clearly a white rhinoceros as he has a distinctive squared lip and a noticeable hump on the back of his neck. This is in contrast to the more commonly-seen rhinos in the show which are black rhinoceroses, as they all have a pointed upper lip and no comparable hump.
  • Rhinoceroses are shown having poor eyesight, which is a plot-point in "Ono the Tickbird".
  • A plot point in "The Savannah Summit" is Mtoto being able to hear voices at low-frequency. In Real Life, and as pointed out in the episode, elephants have very good hearing that can pick up infrasound and use low-frequency vocalizations to communicate through long distances.
  • The large nest Kulinda builds in "Ono and the Egg" is not unlike ones made by hamerkops in real life.
  • During the dry season elephants often dig for a new water source which also becomes beneficial for other animals, as shown in "The Rise of Scar".
  • Makuu's float (initially) sleeping through the dry season stems from the fact crocodiles spend the hottest and driest temperatures aestivating in underground burrows.
  • According to "Rescue in the Outlands", tsetse flies flee in the presence of zebras because of the zebras' stripes. And indeed, scientists have discovered that the reason for zebras evolving stripes is to keep biting flies at bay, rather than to confuse large predators as previously assumed.
  • The elephants being terrified of bees in "The Ukumbusho Situation". This is also Truth in Television; scientists did discover elephants flee at the very sound of bees' buzzing, as the bees could sting sensitive parts such as inside the trunk (as Ma Tembo points out in the episode).
  • The plot-point of "The Bite of Kenge" is monitor lizards having venomous bites. Monitor lizards such as the Komodo dragon were initially thought to have infectious bacteria in their mouths which they use to kill their prey, until recently it was discovered that they do indeed possess venom glands in their fangs. This is brought up again in "Dragon Island", where Ono describes Komodo dragons as having venom rather than bacteria.
  • In "Kilio Valley Fire", the elephants are shown tearing off tree branches and stripping the leaves off, which is one of the feeding methods of elephants in real life.
  • Unlike with most cartoon chameleons, Kinyonga's eyes are accurate to real life; she has a large, fused eyelid that covers most part of the eye, leaving a small opening for the pupil.
  • Kuchimba has his eyes covered over by furry skin, a distinctive trait of golden moles in real life. Thus, to make up for their lack of sight golden moles rely on vibrations to navigate tunnels, which Kuchimba also points out in the episode. Real golden moles are also territorial just like Kuchimba.
  • Ono is right about his claim that adult gorillas can lift ten times their bodyweight in "Beshte and the Beast"note . And in general, gorillas in the show are portrayed as friendly and peaceful just like in real life, with the immensely-strong Shujaa being a Gentle Giant for the most part.
  • Anga's powerful flight and swooping ability. The martial eagle is one of the most powerful birds-of-prey in the world, unique for its hunting technique which is to stoop on their quarry from a high soar.
  • In "Battle For the Pride Lands", Scar properly uses the term caldera for the collapse of the volcano.
  • Marsh mongooses do in fact eat snails like the ones in "Marsh of Mystery" (in contrast to the mongoose's Stock Animal Diet of snakes).
  • Unlike most cartoon dolphins or whales which spout a fountain of water from their blowholes, Lumba-Lumba expels air and a small spray of water like a real cetacean.
  • Lumba-Lumba's pink skin is not a case of Amazing Technicolor Wildlife; adult Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are indeed pink in real life.
  • When Lumba-Lumba gets beached, Bunga suggests dragging her back into the water by her tail, only for her to strongly object since that would hurt her. In real life, it is recommended not to drag beached dolphins or whales back into the water due to risk of injury.
  • Coconuts hanging from trees are properly depicted with green, smooth husks instead of hairy ones.
  • As mentioned above, Komodo dragons do have venomous bites. Considering the general outdated knowledge this series has, it's pretty impressive they got up-to-date on that.
  • Mama Binturong's porcupine minions attack Bunga by backing up into him, just as Old World porcupines do in real life (as opposed to the quill-shooting often seen in cartoon porcupines). On a similar note, Bunga is unaffected by the attack, due to the honey badger's thick skin being resistant to porcupine quills.

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