People, do you know what liger is? I bet many of you didn’t know what liger is (and I apologize if I’m wrong). Liger is hybrid offspring from the couple of female tiger (in Latin named Panthera Tigris) and a male lion (in Latin named Panthera Leo) – and yes, this hybrid creature was scarce. Unlike their similar hybrid friend tigon, liger could grow bigger than their parent species. This was the fact that make a lot of people wondering and become the main focus of our discussion in this article, how liger gets so big? Let’s find out!
Moreover, liger was crowned as the largest among any extant felines. They have the same characteristic as tiger, and inherit a good sociable ability just like lion. Also, they love swimming just like a tiger – well, it’s safe to say that liger is a new species of big cat. The liger history start in India in 19th century 1798, a French naturalist named Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire decided to made a hybrid offspring of tiger and lion. Then, followed by G. B. Whittaker who made a cub of liger born in 1824.
Since then, a lot of naturalists was made ligers cub born in many places (but the number as still limited until now). This creature would mesmerize our eyes with their giant body. Their length, weight, and height, over-all their body gesture and organs could grow twice bigger than tiger! A male liger could reach approximate about 3 to 3.6 m (about 9.8 – 11.8 ft) while his mother tiger approximate only 2 to 2.75 m (about 6.56 – 9.02 ft), and his father lion approximate 184 to 208 cm (72 – 82 in).
Nevertheless, if we compare a male liger and a male tiger, we could say that this two creature have at thin number differences (and tiger still win); a male tiger could reach approximate about 2.5 to 3.9 m (8.2 – 12.8 ft). This measure was in general measure. But, if we compare these three big cat from the weight side, everyone could agree that liger is the biggest of all them. A male liger general weight is 363 kg or 800 lb, a male tiger could grow between 90 to 306 kg or 198 to 675 lb, and a male lion only between 155 to 169 kg or 342 to 373 lb.
Yes, this number are fantastic! In fact there are some liger which apparently has breaks the world record as the largest living cat on earth:
Hercules was the largest but non-obese liger. Hercules break the record with the weight approximate about 418.2 kg or 922 lb. This one particular liger also very famous and featured by some popular TV programs, such Good morning America, Today Show, Inside Edition, Anderson Cooper 360, and Maxim. Hercules was lived at Myrtle Beach Safari wildilfe in South California reach 131 in of long and 49 in of tall.
Nook was a male liger which lived in the Valley of the Kings animal sanctuary in Wisconsin, USA. This liger successfully reach about 1400 pounds or 550 kg or 1,213 lb. This giant cat will consume al least 150 pounds of meat every single meal. Unfortunately, Nook had a sad past, just like other exotic animal in America, he shares the same fate to be raise in some household as the pleasure purpose and then left abandoned.
Luckily, he was saved and from the age of four months old until the rest of his life, Nook was lived peacefully in animal sanctuary. But, sadly, Nook was euthanized to death at the age of 22 years old because of bone cancer.
Ligers have pretty long live for animals. There are some reports of liger which lived longer; shasta a female liger (ligress) reach the age of 24 years old. Nook died in the age of 22, and a male liger named Hobbs at Sierra Safari Zoo in Reno, Nevada was reach 15 years old and died of liver failure.
However, let’s dig deeper on how liger gets so big? Let’s find out. The explanation been revealed by scientist that explained imprinted gene is generally was under the greater preasure of selective process than normal gene. This happened because only one copy that active in one time and other variation of copy will be appeared. The other disadvantage is there’s no back up copy that could reduce the effect.
Consequently, imprinted gene could evolve rapidly than normal gene. This rapid process also occurred in the imprinting genes pattern inside the eggs and sperm. This process is different even in other close related species. As we know that tigers and lions are uncommonly meet at the same place in nature, but these two creature could get a long quite well in captivity.
The size of hybrid offspring also depending on who’s the mother; if the mother was a lion and the father was a tiger, the cub would be a tigon – which is a big cat at the same size as the parent. But, if the mother was tiger and the father was lion, it will bring forth a liger – the giant of all cat. Basically, there’s different pattern created inside between tigon and liger – based on who’s the father and who’s the mother.
Basically this happened because tigress mate only with one male, quite different with lioness who could mate with multiple male. Based on this nature habit, tigress has no defenses like lioness called the anti-growth imprinting defensive – which operate to against any paternally inherited gene that will encourage the growth of a male lion gene which contribute to the genes. You combine these two animals, and prepare a big smile – you’ll get liger!
But, just as the same as his fellow little friend a cat (cats we know), this big giant cat also have the same preference treatment – basic behavior of cat. All you need they love to play, they like being brush, needs of attention, and need a proper treatment when they sick a home remedies (natural remedies) or medical treatment. Once a cat be always a cat, I guess. They only differences perhaps, you would make yourself as a punching bag if you choose to play with this massive cat.
I hope you enjoy it, my friend. I wish you all the best!