Lions and Tiger are one of the most famous wild big cats to have existed. Though they are both carnivorous and lies at the top of the food chain, they have many differences that should not be overseen. They are both closely related to the Jaguars, Cheetah, and Snow Leopards, and do not have a predator – which leads them to hunt for a wide variety of preys.
Aside from being in the same family, a prominent difference from these two cats would be their natural habitat. A Lion’s natural habitat is often concentrated around the Savanas and deep forest, but does not exclude places such as bushes and lighter forests. Lions also have a distinctive roar that is no match from their other feline counterparts. Their grandeur physique and charismatic personalities has earned them the label as a powerful big cat. Throughout history, the human race has looked upon these majestic cats and has evolved to associate them with power and wealth.
On the other hand, Tigers are wild animals who’s habitat is heavily concentrated on Asian grounds. The bengal Tiger, being one of the most commonly recognised Tiger and makes up to 80% of the world’s entire tiger population, can be found in Asian lands such as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. One might even associate the bengal Tiger as India’s national animal. Unfortunately, these graceful big cat is on the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching and irresponsible external factors. As of now, the development of sanctuaries and other preserving communities has evolved and increased to help save the alarming declining rate of population.
These are just generic differences between the two cats, when in reality there is so much more than that. So, without further ado, here are the differences between a Lion and a Tiger.
1. General Differences
Before getting into more details on the differences between the two cats, we could start off with some general differences that is easily distinguishable at the first glance. Though both Lions and Tigers are both large carnivorous cats, you could already differentiate the two physical wise. To have a better understanding, we could explore some basic biographies of the two species
- Lions, or commonly referred to as Panthero Leo, is the one out of four big cats subspecies that falls under the Panthera genus and a part of the Feline family. An adult male Lion can grow up to weigh around 310 kg – though it may vary for every Lion. Male Lions are well known for their thick manes, while female Lions lack the bush.
- Tigers, or also known as the Panthera Tigris, is another one of the four big cats subspecies aside from the Lion. An adult male tiger can grow up to 3.38m in length and weigh about 420kg. Again, this data would vary for different Tigers, so it is unwise to hold on to this general knowledge without doing more prior research.
2. Natural Habitats
Another distinctive difference between the two big cats would be their natural habitats. Both Lions and Tigers strives and hunts in different environments – though the alarming rate of deforestation and building infrastructure in these habitats could force these animals to migrate in foreign places. However, disregarding this issue for a moment, their natural habitats are as follows:
- Lions reside in grassy areas of East Africa and up to the Kalahari Desert – located in the southern Saharas till across South Africa. Their natural habitat does not reside in the tropical forests of Kongo, nor the Gir forests in India. Lions would much prefer to live in forests that are elevated, with plenty of greens and preys around.
- On the other hand, Tigers would much prefer to reside in deep forests with plenty of water supply. Unlike Lions, Tigers are known for their fond ness with large bodies of water, and would love to cool down every now and then. Tigers appreciate shade and humidity much more than their Lion counterparts.
3. Their Feed
Another significant difference between the two would be the type of feed and prey they get their daily dose of nutrients from. Though both are carnivores, there are slight differences between the two feeds which are listed:
- Lions feed on larger preys such as gazelle thomson, zebra, artic deers, impala, warthog, hartebeest, waterbuck, cape buffalo, and giraffes. They aim for bigger due to their stamina and overall physique.
- As for Tigers, they too feed on large preys such as deers, cattle and wild boars; but they could also feed on smaller preys such as fishes, monkeys, birds, reptiles dan and even baby elephants. Tigers can also resort to cannibalism in a pinch.
4. Hunting Habits
Their hunting habits are also distinctive features that differentiates the two cats from each other. This becomes a feature because of their feed and the living conditions.
- Female Lions hunt mostly during the night, and less during the day. Their preys should have a variety – meaning that they do not cage themselves with one type of prey all throughout their lives. As mentioned, Lions prey on larger mammals and would usually hunt in packs.
- Unlike Lions, Tigers hunt individually. They could opt for smaller preys as well, and would only exclusively hunt during the night time. They are nocturnal carnivores – making the whole hunting process easier when the prey is fast asleep.
5. Feeding Habits
Another distinctive factor between the two cats are their feeding habits, which is as discussed below:
- Female adult Lions require around 11 pounds of meat a day, while male adult Lions require 15.4 pounds. This extravagant number is due to their big physique and their need to hunt bigger preys for their daily nutritional intake. Such a huge quantity of meat could only be found in larger mammals, which just so happens to be their main preys.
- Tigers would require lesser quantity of meats due to their prey options. Feeding on fishes and small animals would usually suffice for their daily activities.
6. Reproductive System
Lions and Tigers have a different reproductive system. Though this may not be the most obvious distinctive difference, it is worth knowing the following:
- An expecting female Lion is able to give birth after 100-110 days of pregnancy. Generally, they are only able to reproduce one cub per pregnancy
- An expecting female Tiger can reproduce up to 2-4 cubs after 104 days of pregnancy. These cubs would live and are nurtured by their mothers for 2 years, until they are ready to leave and live individually in the wild.
7. Stamina Rates
Last, and not least, would be their overall strength. Lions and Tigers are both strong creatures, but when measured scientifically, they have a difference in their stamina rate.
- A Lion’s stamina rate would measure about 420 x 50 = 2100.
- A Tiger’s stamina rate is much higher than their Lion counterparts, measuring up to 670 x 40= 26800.
So there you have it, the differences between a Lion and a Tiger. Note that these are just general differences, and these facts may vary amongst the individual animals. We hope that this information could be of good use!