Liger Vs Tigon Comparison: 9 Key Differences

Liger Vs Tigon Comparison: 9 Key Differences

Today’s article is all about “Liger Vs Tigon Comparison”. Basically, both the animals are hybrids of Lion and Tiger. Hybrids exist in the natural world and research gate says that they are very powerful. Let us see how they are bred.

How ligers and tigons are bred?

Liger Breeding

Liger is the hybrid of a male lion and a female tiger. In hybrids, humans do nomenclature on the basis of placing the male parent’s name first, followed by the female parent. The same is with liger. Li is from Lion and Ger from Tiger. 

Ligers have great potential as they get genes from two of the biggest cats in the world. They usually grow around 11 metres on average. Ligers have sandy or golden colours. The lion contributes to this. On the other hand, faint stripes are contributed by the tiger. 

Tigon Breeding

Tigon is the hybrid of a male tiger and a female lion. It is usually characterised by a golden coat and a short mane around the neck. Tigons are usually the same size as tigers. They are not as massive as ligers. This is because they get most of the growth-inhibitory genes from the female lion. 

Liger Vs Tigon Comparison: 9 Key Differences

Mane Differences

Male tigons and ligers have well-grown manes. However, the manes are not always noticeable. Additionally, there’s no assurity that the males will develop the mane. 

For instance, there are male ligers with and without manes. If a liger has a mane, it’s not the same and fully grown as the lion. When a liger grows mane, it is of the same colour as its body. 

On the other hand, tigon has a grown mane. The mane is similar to a tiger’s mane. Moreover, it does not grow as complete as a lion’s mane.


Ligers are highly vulnerable to diseases and injuries. Therefore, they have a shorter lifespan than their parents. The average lifespan is between 13-18 years. 

The short lifespan is due to the hybrid breeding risks that include arthritis, cancer, organ failure, etc.

There are incidents where ligers have crossed 20 years of age. One is the ligress, Shasta. She died at the age of 25 in Salt lake city. 

There are less data about tigons’ lifespan. And it says that tigons’ average lifespan is around 15 years. Tigons also have different health risks due to breeding. These health risks include cancer, sterility, neurological issues, organ failure, etc. 

Bite force

The bite force of both animals differs because of the size of their heads. A liger’s head is larger than a tiger’s head. Moreover, a liger’s head can reach up to 18 inches wide.

Therefore, ligers have much more power in their bite. On average, a liger’s bite force can reach upto 900 psi. On the other hand, a tigon’s bite force can reach up to 450 psi. 

Other significant differences

  • Tigons are less competitive than ligers due to their small size. 
  • Ligers can weigh around 900 pounds. On the other hand, tigons can weigh around 450 pounds.
  • The largest liger is Hercules. He weighs 921 lbs.
  • Ligers are larger than tigons in terms of body length. 
  • Tigons and ligers have different coat patterns.
  • Tigons have stripes on the body. However, the coat is of dark orange colour. On the other hand, ligers have a tawny-orange body with soft strips.  

Ti – Tigons and Li – Ligers

Ti – Tigon is the 2nd generation offspring of a male tiger and female tigon. On the other hand, Li – Liger is the 2nd generation offspring of a male lion and female liger. These are rare but can be found in captivity. 

People used to consider ligers and tigons sterile. However, the truth is only the male is sterile, and the female can conceive. In some instances, the females have turned out to be infertile, but the truth is males are not capable of reproducing. 

The fertility was proved in 1943 when a female tigon/liger was mated with a lion. It was a successful mating resulting in a 2nd generation hybrid.

Possible big cat hybrids

  • Jaglion – Male jaguar and female lion
  • Jagger – Male jaguar and female tiger
  • Jagupard – Make jaguar and female leopard
  • Tiguar – Male tiger and female jaguar
  • Tigard – Male tiger and female leopard
  • Lipard – Male lion and female leopard
  • Liguar – Male lion and female jaguar

Liger Vs Tigon Who Will Win?

Liger will win for sure. Tigons are smaller in size than tigers. This is because of the gene transfer from the female.

Therefore, ligers are 25% bigger than their parents.

Igers have bigger sizes, bigger teeth, thicker skin, bigger muscles, bigger claws, more bite force, etc. 

What Is Stronger A Liger Or A Tigon?

A liger is heavier, larger, and stronger than a tigon. Liger has its parent’s features but is larger than theirs. In fact, ligers are the biggest cats in the world. They grow up to 11 feet in length and can weigh up to 900 pounds. 

On the other hand, tigons are of the same size as their parents. Their average is the same as their parents or smaller. And they weigh around 400-450 pounds.

Can A Liger And Tigon Reproduce?

Most male ligers and tigons are sterile. However, only some females can reproduce. Therefore, they usually mate with lions and tigers to reproduce 2nd generation hybrids. These are known as Li-Ligers and Ti-Tigons.

Source: Britannica

Final words

In conclusion, I would say that ligers are superior to tigons. Both the animals are results of hybridization. There is a significant difference between them. However, they are unique in their own sense. 

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with exciting and informative pieces of writing. Till then stay connected. Thank you.

Frequently asked questions

Why do ligers and tigons look different?

A male tiger + female =  tigon, a cat is approximately the equal size as its parents. The distinction in size and appearance among ligers and tigons is due to parents’ differently imprinted genes. Other animals also can hybridise, with comparable results.

Are tigons rarer than ligers?

Tigons are rarer than ligers. Firstly, male tigers and female lions are not good at recognizing the alternative species’ mating signals. And secondly, due to the fact, their genetic material does not fit as well. While ligers are frequently much larger than their parents, tigons are typically smaller.

Why is a liger bigger than a tigon?

The large length of the liger and the small length of the tigon is due to “genomic imprinting”. This is the unequal expression of genes relying on the parent.

What’s the biggest liger?

Ligers are the largest cat on the planet with the biggest extant Liger residing in South Carolina. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “Hercules” is the biggest member of his species, and the residing cat world, weighing 922 pounds and 10.8 ft long.

Why can’t ligers reproduce?

Hybrids are infertile due to the fact they do not have viable intercourse cells, which means they cannot produce sperm or eggs. This is the case because the chromosomes from their distinctive species’ parents do not match up.

How many ligers exist?

100 ligers: At the existing time, there are only approximately 100 ligers (or even fewer tigons) known to be in existence. In a few countries,  it is simply illegal to reproduce hybrids of protected animals, as it is considered a waste of genetic sources.

Are ligers friendly?

Ligers are pretty calm and mild animals. Even though their parents are recognized to be aggressive, ligers aren’t recognized to attack or harm their handlers. However, if a handler isn’t feeding them properly or misbehaving, then it is pretty likely that they’ll attack him.