Lion vs Tiger Differences and Comparison

Difference Between Lion and Tiger

Overview: Lion vs Tiger

Lion and Tiger are counted among large mammals and belongs to the big cat family. They are the most ferocious apex predator roaming on earth. Both lion and tiger belong to the Felidae family and genus Panthera.  Lions are mainly found in the grasslands of savannah and they rarely live in forests whereas tigers reside in the forest as well as grasslands.

Lions and tigers are easy to recognize due to their distinctive features; lions are usually ash-brown in colour and adult lions have mane whereas tigers are orange-colored with black stripes on them. These magnificent animals have always been the symbol of courage, strength, and power. But what will happen if they encounter each other; who would win?? To determine the winner we’ve to look closely into their various traits.

Physical traits:

Lions are the second-largest cat of the big cat family after the tigers. Male lions are about 20-30% larger in size and are 50% heavier than their female counterparts. Lions have a muscular body, big head, long canines, strong jaws, and sharp claws; these all are the perfect combination to make a lion apex predator. Lions have different coloration’s they may vary from white to tawny yellow, slightly ochre, ash brown. Lions have distinct “whisker spots” which are different in each lion; the top row of whiskers forms a pattern through which a lion can be identified as they remain the same throughout their life.

Like lions, tigers are also muscular and powerful animals; they hunt big mammals with their sharp claws, strong jaws, ambushing skills, and camouflaging colour. Coloration in tigers varies from standard orange with black stripes (normal tigers), white tigers have a white coat with black or brown stripes (rare), and the golden tiger has cinnamon-colored stripes (extremely rare). Tigers are the heaviest big cats but their weight highly varies depending on species as a male Siberian tiger can weigh around 272-280 kg and reach a body of length of 3 meters. Tigers are identified with their distinctive stripe patterns as each tiger has a different stripe pattern; it helps them to camouflage and ambush during the hunt.

Diet:

Lion’s diet includes large animals like giraffe, wild buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, impala, etc. Lions usually hunts in pride; they take care of their pride members too, if any member of the pride gets injured or wounded the food is provided to it. The dominant lion rarely participates in the hunting as the hunt is mainly done by the females; the male lion takes whatever it wants after the kill. Tigers are solitary animals and they hunt alone. They also prey on large animals like buffaloes, wild pigs, and deer, sometimes they hunt monkeys, birds, fishes too. Both lion and tiger hunt during the day as well as night.

Habitat:

Lions prefer to live in grasslands; they are found in the grassland of East Africa, Kalahari Desert, and the south Sahara Desert. Once lions roamed throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe but due to their excessive hunting there population shrunk and now they are found in Africa and Northwest India. Tigers are indigenous to Asia and some parts of Russia; they can live in grassland, swamp areas (Sunderbans, India), and forest.

Reproduction:

Lions and Tigers have a similar gestation period of about 100-110 days. To deliver the cubs lioness leaves the pride and gives birth in secluded dens, caves, and marshes. Litter of lioness can have 1-6 cubs and they are nursed till 6-7 months. When cubs reach maturity, they leave the pride to find their territories. When the dominant male of the pride is defeated by any outsider, then the outsider kills the cubs that are under 2 years old so that it can make females ready to mate. Tigress gives birth to 2-4 cubs and took care of its cubs for up to 2 years. After attaining 2 years of age male tigers leave to find their territory whereas female tigers share their territory with their mother.

Battle: Animal Duel: Who would win?

Lions and Tigers are natives to different halves of the world; so there is no chance of natural battle between these two. Both are apex predators of their environment having enormous strength, muscles and are immensely powerful. But if in case a one-on-one fight occurs, tigers can bear down the lion. The lion may look huge due to its dense mane but tiger is bigger than a lion; tiger has more muscles. Also, the bite force of the tiger is about 1,050 psi whereas the lion’s bite force is 650 psi; if the tiger gets a chance it will crush the lion’s bone. Although, the battle will be the bloodiest one; as they both have sharp claws and long canines. But still, the tiger will rise victoriously. Hence, we predict the tiger as the winner of this animal duel. 

Comparison Chart: Lion vs Tiger

Comparison HeadsLionTiger
KingdomAnimaliaAnimalia
ClassMammaliaMammalia
OrderCarnivoraCarnivora
SuborderFeliformiaFeliformia
FamilyFamilyFelidae
GenusPantheraPanthera
SpeciesP. LeoP. Tigris
HabitatPlains, grasslands, savannahsGrasslands, forest, swamps, marshes.
Weight331-550 lbs (males), 243-401 (females)200-700lbs (males), 140-370 (females)
ColorationBrownish; males have a dark-colored mane.Standard orange color with black stripes; color can be white as well as golden.
Speed45-50 miles per hour30-40 miles per hour; amur tiger (subspecies) can run at a speed of 50 miles per hour.
Litter Size1-61-4
Hunts duringDay mostlyNocturnal; prefer to hunt during nights.
Lifespan12-15 years in wild; in captivity can live up to 30 years10-15 years; in captivity 14-16 years.
Body length5.5-8.3 feet (males), 4.5-5.5 feet( females)8.2-13 feet (males), 6.5-9 feet (females)
Nursed by Mother10-12 months18-24 months

Comparison Video: Lion vs Tiger