Lion Mating With Tiger
Picture of a liger
Lion Cross-breeding with TigersLions have also been known to breed with their close counterparts, tigers (most often Amur), while in captivity to create interesting mixes. These two new breeds are called ligers and tigons.
The liger originates from mating a male lion and a tigress. Because the lion passes on a growth-promoting gene, but the corresponding growth-inhibiting gene from the female lion is not present, ligers are larger than either parent. It is said that ligers do not stop growing and will grow constantly through their lifespan, until their bodies cannot sustain their huge size any longer, reaching up to half a tonne. Ligers share some qualities of both their parents (spots and stripes) however they enjoy swimming, a purely tiger activity, and they are always a sandy color like the lion. Male ligers are sterile, but female ligers are often fertile.
The tigon is a cross between the lioness and the male tiger. Because the male tiger does not pass on a growth-promoting gene and the lioness passes on a growth inhibiting gene, tigons are often relatively small, only weighing up to 150kg (350 lb), which is about 20% smaller than lions. They can best be described as "housecat-like" in appearance, although with round ears. Like male ligers, male tigons are sterile, and they all have both spots and stripes, with yellow eyes. Tigons are not as common as ligers because they are more difficult to produce since male tigers are less attracted to lionesses because of their smaller size and are thought to have difficulty with recognizing lioness breeding cues.
Female ligers and female tigons are fertile and can produce offspring if mated to either a pure-bred lion or a pure-bred tiger.
Tiger pictured mating lioness
A Chinese zoologist has captured a picture of a tiger mating with a lioness.
Zhao Yunhua took the rare photograph in Shenzhen Safari Park.
It's not unusual for tigers and lions to breed in safari parks - but it is seldom caught on film.
Two tigons - the product of a male tiger and a lioness - and three ligers - the cub of a male lion and female tiger - have been born in the park.
The five offspring are all growing up healthily, reports Shenzhen Evening Post.