Difference Between Lions and Tigers

By: | Updated: Jul-23, 2021
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In the animal kingdom, there are different types of animals. Among them, one of the most beautiful and majestic is the tiger. In comparison to other types of animals, tigers are known for their excellent qualities such as strength, bravery and ferocity. They are also characterized by a beautiful appearance that makes them more appealing to many people around the world.

The Tigers have a very attractive appearance, but their habits are not quite pleasing to the human eye. The nature of tigers is to attack and kill other animals that do not pose any threat to them. As a result, they are known as ferocious beasts who can attack anything and everything without fear or remorse. Another big cat that is very similar to the tiger is the lion. Although they look different, they are similar in nature and behavior.

But what are the differences between Lions and Tigers? Are they similar or are they different? Can you identify the difference between them based on their physical appearance and characteristics? Do they have the same personality traits as well? In this article, we will discuss the differences of Lions and Tigers.

Summary Table

Lions Tigers
Panthera leo Panthera tigris
Have larger, denser manes and thick fur on their body which can be as long as 2-3 feet Have smaller, compact bodies with more rounded heads and mostly light brown to yellowish in color
Usually have 2-3 cubs per litter Usually only have 1 cub per litter
Are very aggressive animals that have a strong social structure Are less aggressive than lions


Difference Between Lions and Tigers

What is a lion?

A lion is a large carnivorous mammal of the cat family. It is also known as Panthera leo and it belongs to the genus Panthera. The word “lion” is derived from the Latin word, leo, which means “king” or “sovereign”. Lions are mainly found in Africa, Asia and parts of Europe. Lions are omnivores. They eat both meat and plants as well as scavenge for carrion. Lions have the strongest teeth in the animal kingdom, which can easily tear flesh from bone. They do eat grass, but this is only to regulate their diet or if they have digestive problems. Lions can kill large animals like antelopes, buffaloes and zebras. They are also very territorial and are usually not afraid of people.

What is a tiger?

A tiger is a carnivorous big cat that belongs to the Felidae family. The size of tigers varies from small (50–90 kg) to large (300–600 kg). Tigers are also known as panthers, and their skin color ranges from light yellowish-brown to orange or black. Tigers, or Panthera tigris, are native to Asia and Africa. These big cats are considered to be the largest in the world. Tigers are very powerful and have a very strong bite. Their claws are sharp and long as well. Tigers are known to be solitary animals, except for their mothers and cubs. They also have excellent senses of hearing, sight, smell and touch as well as excellent hearing abilities.

Lions Vs. Tigers

While lions and tigers are different species, they are often referred to as “same” due to their similar physical appearance. However, the differences between lions and tigers can be found in their appearances and behaviors.

  1. Physical Appearance

While both Lions and Tigers have similar size (length of 4-5 feet), lions have longer and thicker bodies than tigers. Lions have longer legs and paws that are bigger in size compared to tigers.

They also have larger, denser manes and thick fur on their body which can be as long as 2-3 feet. Lions usually have four or five rings of hair around their neck.

A tiger’s coat is much thinner and shorter than that of a lion. They have smaller, compact bodies with more rounded heads. The color of their fur is mostly light brown to yellowish in color.

  1. Behavior

The main difference between lions and tigers is their behavior. Lions are usually solitary animals that live in groups of 5-15 individuals called prides. They live in the savannas and woodlands of Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. Lions are very social animals that spend most of their time together.

They usually hunt in groups and take turns guarding the territory. Lions are very aggressive animals that have a strong social structure. They don’t like to share their food with other lions. Lions will attack and kill any intruders of their territory. They also do not tolerate intrusion from other males within their pride.

Tigers are also solitary animals that live in groups of 2-5 individuals called prides. They usually live in the forests and grasslands of Asia, South America, and Africa. Tigers are very social animals that live in small family groups. They usually live in close proximity to each other.

They spend most of their time together hunting for food and sharing it with the rest of the pride. Tigers are less aggressive than lions. They do not attack unless they feel threatened.

  1. Diet

Lions and tigers are generally carnivores and their diet consists mainly of meat, such as cattle, deer, buffalo, wildebeest and antelope. However, some say that lions are actually omnivore scavengers that eat whatever they can find in the wild. They also eat insects, birds, even some fruits and vegetation in the wild when their stomachs are upset.

  1. Reproduction

Lions and tigers are sexually mature at the age of 3-5 years. The gestation period for both species is about 4 months. Lions have 2-3 cubs per litter while tigers have only 1 cub per litter. Lions take care of their young by teaching them how to hunt, how to fight and how to survive in the wild.

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