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Liger Information

  • The liger is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger. It is therefore a member of genus taxonomic group containing one or more species. It looks like a giant lion with diffused tiger stripes. Like tigers (and unlike lions), ligers like swimming.

  • A cross between a male tiger and a female lion is called a tigon.

  • Known ligers exist due to human influence, either by deliberate human intervention, or by humans putting lions and tigers in enclosed spaces together. In natural conditions tigers and lions generally do not inhabit the same territory - the two species coexist in the wild today only in the Gir,a collection of mountains in India.
  • Even where they do coexist, there have been no confirmed reports of interbreeding, though there are long-standing claims that this has happened.

  • Ligers grow much larger than tigers or lions and it is believed this is because female lions transmit a growth-inhibiting gene a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity to their descendants to balance the growth-promoting gene transmitted by male lions (this gene is due to competitive mating strategies in lions). Being the offspring of a male lion and female tiger, the liger inherits the growth-promoting gene, but does not have the growth-inhibiting gene and typically grows larger than either animal; this is called Growth dysplasia. Some male ligers grow sparse manes.

  • Male ligers are sterile. Female ligers are often fertile and can be mated to a tiger resulting in ti-liger offspring or to a lion resulting in li-liger offspring.