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In a tiger vs lion fight, it’s likely that a tiger would win. Taking into account a number of factors, including tiger vs lion size, bite force, brain size and behavioral characteristics, this seems logical.
When it comes to animals of the wild, lions and tigers are some of the most popular and fierce beasts out there. Lions, in addition to being powerful mythical characters, are animals that almost all beasts of the wild respect, thus earning lions the title ‘King of the Jungle.’ Tigers, on the other hand, are known for their strength and their reputation as a lethal killer of the jungle.
However, what happens when these two deadly beasts are pitted against each other?
An Ancient Rivalry
This battle between the two most dangerous animals of the wild is something that has piqued the interest of hunters, naturalists, poets and scientists for centuries. Even today, their might is celebrated in popular culture and there have been numerous movies and shows where lions are portrayed as the ‘mightiest’ of all the animals in the wild. There seems to be a collective agreement that if a lion and tiger were to fight, the lion would be more likely to emerge on top, but in fact, the reality is something entirely different.
In Ancient Rome, lions and tigers were often pitted against each other in arenas for the purposes of entertainment and gambling. Furthermore, it was found that most of those ancient people placed their bets on tigers rather than lions!
For example, there was a tiger owned by the King of Oude who is said to have killed 30 lions in a duel.
Why Are Tigers Favored?
To understand the reason behind this, let’s look at some of their physical assets.
1. Bite Force: Tigers have a higher average bite force than lions. Their teeth are exceptionally strong, and they are the longest amongst all animals (measuring from 7.5 to 10 cm in length).
2. Body Size: When it comes to body size, tigers generally beat lions (their body weight and body length are greater on an average). But as they say, physical strength is not the only factor that counts in a confrontation of two equally powerful species.
3. Brain Size: Tigers have been found to have larger brains than lions relative to their body size (source).
4. Nature: In any fight, this is the most crucial factor in terms of making a difference between winning and losing. Lions are social creatures, while tigers are mostly solitary beings. Lions usually grow up in a ‘pride’ of almost 30 individuals, where they play with other cubs and lionesses to pass their time. As a lion grows up, it’s usually seen that they are raised by a close-knit community of female lions that do the hunting. Therefore, a lion doesn’t get much of a chance to see what’s out there. When a lion does goes out to hunt, it is usually accompanied by other lions. This group mentality doesn’t do lions much good when it comes to handling sudden situations – like a battle with a tiger!
On the other hand, a tiger usually lives alone most of the time and interacts with the opposite sex only for copulation. Also, since it lives alone most of the time, it is better equipped to handle danger and deal with enemies efficiently.
Making Time for Love
It’s not that these two creatures are always fighting. In fact, most of the reported circumstances of their confrontations occur in captivity. Not only that, but tigers and lions have also interbred in the past, giving way to tigons or ligers as offspring. However, the offspring from these copulations are sterile, so don’t worry, there won’t be any super-species of ligers taking over the wild anytime soon!