"Hobbs", a liger
"Hobbs", a liger

The liger is a cross (a hybrid) between a male lion and a female tiger. It is therefore a member of genus Panthera. It looks like a giant lion with diffused 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 forest of India although their respective ranges used to intersect in Persia, China and perhaps also Beringia. Even where they do coexist, there have been no confirmed reports of natural 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 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.

The liger featured in the photograph is called Hobbs and lives at Sierra Safari Zoo. He is the offspring of an African lion and a Bengal tigress. The staff say, "He roars like a lion and swims like a tiger. He's definitely all cat. He likes to play, and for all his incredible bulk he moves just as silently as any other cat". He is estimated to weigh about 450 kilograms (992 pounds), about twice the average for male Siberian tigers, the largest non-extinct, naturally-occurring member of family Felidae.

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.

There is a four-year-old liger on display at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Ligers in popular culture

  • The titular character of the movie Napoleon Dynamite declares ligers to be "pretty much" his favorite animal, and states that they are bred for their "skills in magic". [1] (
  • A variety of mecha in the manga, anime and toy set Zoids are called the Liger.
  • In the new Transformers Galaxy Force series, where a figure scans a Liger as an alternate mode, and is now known as Liger Jack. He combines with Galaxy Convoy to become Liger Convoy.
  • Jushin Liger - a professional wrestler

See also

External links

  • Hobbs ( at the Sierra Safari Zoo.
  • Sudan ( at T.I.G.E.R.S.
  • Patrick ( at the Shambala Preserve
  • Liger cubs ( at Noah's Ark Zoo (German)
  • Hybrid Animals ( at Amazing Animals
  • Hybrid Big Cats, pages 1 ( and 2 ( es:Ligre fa:شیبر

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