The Difference between a Lion and a Tiger

of reading - words

Lions and tigers are the two biggest cats in the world. The two are unchallenged and unparalleled in the world of wild cats. Both are the top of the food chain in their respective food chains and are the apex predators in their respective areas. Both are carnivores and both hunt their prey with great brutality and proficiency. Besides being two of the most dangerous animals on the planet, lions and tigers do not have a lot else in common. Here are some defining differences between these two big and magnificent animals:

Physical Differences

Lions and tigers have a number of physical differences. The most common physical difference between them is the difference in appearance. Lions have a yellowish brown hue to their coats while tigers are tawny brown with black stripes. Apart from this very basic difference, there are a number of difference in their physical structures. Male lions are taller than tigers at the shoulder but are smaller in length. Tigers can be as long as 11 feet, making them the largest wild cats in the entire world.

Another major difference is the mane male lions possess. The mane of a male lion is the specie’s most defining characteristic. It is a highly famous physical characteristic that makes lions very easy to identify. On the other hand tigers possess no manes. Tigers have rounder faces compared to lions, who have typically square jaws. Tigers also weigh more than lions. A male lion can weigh as much as 420 lbs. while male tigers can go from 200 to 670.

Habitual Differences

Lions are very social cats, making their behavior unique. They often live in large prides with a number of females and 1-4 males. Tigers, on the other hand, are loners. They live most of their lives in solitude away from other tigers. Male tigers have no part to play in raising their cubs, whereas male lions play an active part in the growth of their cubs.

Difference in Habitats

Lions typically prefer living in grasslands and open bushy areas. Although they do sometimes live in forests, like the Asiatic lions in the Gir forest, lions normally occupy grasslands. Most of the lion population exists in sub-Saharan areas of Africa, where they live in savannahs and open woodlands.

Tigers occupy the areas in the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia, and parts of Siberia. They normally live in rich grasslands and marshy swamps that give them a lot of cover for camouflage. Tigers also require a regular and large supply of water.

Tigers love to swim, unlike most cats, and normally spent most of their time in water. Lions are very good swimmers as well but because of their different habitat do not normally swim. Other differences between these two magnificent creatures extend to their prey and their strength. People often like to debate between which cat is stronger, and the details provided on paper are just never enough to make a conclusion.


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