Home SCIENCE The Truth About Ligers – Lion Tiger Hybrid = “LIGER”

The Truth About Ligers – Lion Tiger Hybrid = “LIGER”

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Despite rumors to the contrary they are not just the figment of movie nerd’s “Napoleone Dynamite”. They are a real hybrid consisting of a female lion and a male tiger.

image credit: Nat Geo WILD

King of the big cats is the liger, a lion father and tiger mother bred together in a way that enhances both species’ gene expression for size, resulting in a cat that’s about eleven feet tall and nearly a half a ton in weight.

image credit: mnn

When standing on their hind legs, ligers can measure up to 12 feet tall, and they can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.

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To compare, average male lions typically weigh about 420 pounds and measure a little more than six feet long.So it’s true that ligers are the biggest cats in the world — but they are the result of highly questionable breeding practices.

There are no black ligers. Very few melanistic tigers have ever been recorded, most being due to excessive markings (pseudo-melanism or abundism) rather than true melanism; no reports of black lions have ever been substantiated. As blue or Maltese tigers probably no longer exist, grey or blue ligers are exceedingly improbable. It is not impossible for a liger to be white, but it is very rare.

VIANat Geo WILD
SOURCEwikipedia
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