Tigers and lions have always been popular in the imagination of humans. These animals, with their strength and speed, are often used to represent many different kinds of mythologies and values that they can easily be connected with. Even if you are not interested in the mythologies that are connected to tigers and lions, you might think that these large cats are very fascinating creatures.
Lions and tigers are both large cats, but they are not as similar as you might think. Differences in build, strength, and speed exist between the two kinds of cats. There are also some social differences that each kind of large cat maintains within their social groupings. While these are both large cats, they are not as similar as you might think.
If you are ready to learn more about the differences between tigers and lions, you will want to read on!
Tigers Are Larger
Tigers are larger than lions overall. They can reach up to 12.5 feet in length which includes their tail. Lions tend to be about 330 to 550 kilos but tigers can be 650 pounds.
Tigers are almost always larger than lions which is a surprise to many people. Tigers are sometimes falsely thought to be smaller, but this might be due to their stripes which make their bodies appear to be taller and thinner than lions.
Males and females are not the same size in either kind of large cat and males will be bigger in both lions and tigers overall. The average sizes for both kinds of cat are both based on the males of each type.
Lions Are from Africa
Lions are from the plains of Africa while tigers are from Asia. Tigers are more prone to perch in trees and hunt from above than lions as a result of this difference in native environment.
Lions are plains hunters that are able to run very fast over long distances while tigers are much more likely to climb to a high point and jump down onto prey.
Tigers are from the area between Siberia and Southeastern Asia. These are warm-weather and jungle cats while the lion is made to be able to tolerate variable temperatures as well as the nature of speedy hunting that is necessary on the open plains. These animals have different hunting styles as well as different natural environments.
Lion Females Are the Hunters
In lion packs, females are more likely to hunt than males overall. In tiger groups, tigers hunt alone and at night. These two groups of large cats hunt in very different ways that are not at all related. Tigers being prone to hunt from the trees will naturally be more inclined to hunt alone and at night.
Lions tend to hunt in groups led by females. These lion groups will trap and chase down an animal and take it down as a group. This is not at all how tigers are prone to hunt due to their natural jungle habitat. The differences in hunting style are some of the key reasons that the two cats are not similar to one another.
Tigers Are Faster
Tigers can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour while lions are able to top out at speeds of 50 miles per hour. The two cats are not built in the same way and the slightly leaner and more flexible build of the tiger for tree climbing also leads to increased speed.
Lions are also more prone to hunt in packs, which means that they do not usually need to be as fast as tigers. Hunting alone adds layers of difficulties that hunting in packs eliminates. The speed of tigers who are hunting is likely in part related to their hunting style.
Tigers have Shorter Gestation Periods
Tigers carry their young for up to 103 days while tigers gestate for 100-110 days. Tigers tend to have 2 and 3 young, while lions will have one baby in some cases.
The mothers of each kind of cat can spend 3 years training their young to be self-sufficient, but lions are more likely to train their children with the aid of the whole pack.
Tigers, being more prone to live and hunt alone, are also more likely to raise their young alone as well. There are fewer pack interactions with tigers overall, and the cubs are used to spending most of their time with their siblings and mother.
Tigers Love the Water
Tigers are very comfortable in the water and will even hunt down prey that lives in the water. This is a big difference when compared to the lion, which is less likely to see any large bodies of water ever in its lifetime in the desert. Tigers are such good swimmers that many zoos will require that they have swimming pools in their living space.
Lions are more adept at dealing with heat and tough conditions in the desert, but tigers are much more likely to handle water really well. Lions will often avoid water and this is because they do not see it very often in their natural habitat. These skills are related to the average living conditions of both kinds of a large cat.
Lions Have Manes
Lions are well-known for their manes. In some species of lion, even females have manes. Tigers do not have manes at all in either females or males. This is one of the key differences between the two kinds of large cats besides their stripes.
Lions also sleep the most of any large cat, choosing to rest for 13 hours a day. Tigers are more active overall and do not have manes in either sex. These differences are most likely due to their environment overall, but they do denote big differences in each kind of large cat.
|Smaller and reach about 330-550 kilos||Larger and can be as much as 12.5 feet in length|
|Hunt by running across the plains||Hunt from trees more often than hunting from the open|
|Lions are from Africa||Tigers are from Asia|
|Lions run at 50 MPH||Tigers run at 55 MPH|
|Lion gestation period is 100-110 days||Tigers gestate for 1003 days max|
|Lions are not that adept in water||Tigers love water|
|Have manes||Do not have manes|
|Sleep 13 hours a day and hunt in the daytime||Sleep far less and hunt at night|
There are some major and recognizable differences between these two kinds of large cats. Tigers do not have manes and they hunt alone and at night. There are many other smaller differences between the two kinds of large cats that make them unique to one another.
Even if you are looking no further than the stripes of the tiger and the mane of the lion, you should be able to see that these two large cats are quite different from one another. Lions and tigers might both be large cats, but they are very different from one another in many ways. The natural habitat of each of these two cats has dictated their differences over time and many people are not aware of how different these two kinds of cats are overall.
There are many reasons why these two kinds of large cats are different and it is important to be aware of the differences between these two large cat species when talking about these large and interesting animals.