The song Hakuna Matata from The Lion King is all about eating bugs when you are a lion. I was wondering if this is actually a real life fact that lions can survive on bugs or did the Lion King makers just make this fact up to make kids less scared of bugs?

  • 1
    I doubt their intent was to make bugs less scary. If you break down the nutritional profile of any insects a lion may have access to, and they meet the dietary needs of the animal, then in theory a lion could sustain on a diet of those insects. How much and of what variety, and whether or not a real lion is dexterous enough to catch things of that size without spending more energy than they gather, is unknown
    – Kai Qing
    Apr 16 '18 at 22:54
  • Right on man. I just think its a bad idea because now people love a bugs life which is bad for disney cause pixar is competing for some money. And I love hemlick..
    – bakalolo
    Apr 17 '18 at 0:11
  • 1
    This would be much better answered on Biology.SE.
    – Charles
    Apr 17 '18 at 2:00
  • Of course. Bugs are animals. Any carnivore can live off bugs if there is an adequate supply to meet caloric needs. Apr 23 '18 at 20:14

Is it possible for lions to survive in real life on bugs?

Yes but he need to eat way more then he can possibly eat in that situation. From cinemablend.com

Lion needs something between 8,000 and nearly 9,000 calories a day. Crickets, according to one example, are 121 calories per 100 grams. This would mean a full-grown Simba would need to eat 24,292 crickets per day just to survive. Of course, just finding that many would probably burn a lot of calories.

While the meerkat and warthog are relatively small, Simba is a growing lion. It's surmised that he'd actually need a greater calorie intake as a growing lion than he would when he grows into an adult. While it appears that the exact calorie value of, say, a cricket, isn't exactly agreed upon, what is clear is that it would take a lot of them for a lion to survive. When you take into account that lions actually sleep most of the time, then it means that Simba would have no time to sing songs, as he'd need to spend every waking second scarfing every grub he could get his paws on. It would be such a volume of grubs, that Timon and Pumbaa would probably end up starving too, as Simba tried to eat everything.

A real life fact that lions can survive on bugs or did the Lion King makers just make this fact up to make kids less scared of bugs?

I think killing other animals might look gruesome so they depicted more of bugs or maybe just for fun, we don't really know.

  • the last sentence is kind of funny considering the film shows scar murdering mufasa, and his rule implies much in the way of murder and feasting when it shows the wasteland that became of the pride land as well as the whole elephant graveyard. Just the song "cant wait to be king" is really saying he can't wait for his dad to die. Lion King is messed up. I partly think they threw the bugs in there just for the fun of making it as disgusting as possible.
    – Kai Qing
    Apr 17 '18 at 16:11
  • Another source for the math woudl be this video from the "Film Theory" video on Youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=fmRs8HaMRUA . The answer to getting all those bugs seems to be Termites.
    – Layna
    Apr 18 '18 at 7:28
  • What if they can turn their mouth into a vaccum cleaner and go ham on a terminite mound then I think they would become full.
    – bakalolo
    Apr 25 '18 at 21:40

A large predatory mammal can indeed survive on bugs, generally. Grizzly bears routinely survive for lengths of time primarily on moths. Bears don't survive on them for long stretches of time. But yes, it's certainly possible for an animal like a lion to survive on bugs. They would need to find them in concentrated quantities, but bugs do tend to gather that way, so it's not out of the question.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .