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Difference Between Lions and Tigers

tigerLions vs Tigers

Although both lions and tigers are wild animals that belong to the cat family, there are many differences between these two big cats.

Their appearance is the most obvious difference between a lion and a tiger. Tigers have bold, black stripes across their bodies, whereas lions do not have any stripes. Tigers also do not have manes like the male lions. Male lions have a large mane around their faces.

The physical characteristics also differ between lions and tigers. Tigers are longer than lions, more muscular, and generally heavier in weight, although lions are taller than tigers. Tigers have stronger legs, and are much more active and agile when compared to lions. By nature, tigers are considered to be more aggressive than lions. Male lions are even thought to be lazy in a way, and will not do anything unless they really have to. Tigers are the more dominant big cat when lions and tigers are compared. Even in several cases where their genes have been mixed, the genes of the tiger have proven to be more prominent than the lion’s genes.

Lions generally like to live in large groups, and these are known as ‘prides’. In the pride there will be one male lion who is the head of the tribe, along with several other males and females. It is the female lion who hunts for food in the savannah. The females bring their prey back to the pride, and therefore, the male lions rely on the females for their meals.

On the other hand, tigers prefer to live and hunt on their own. Tigers hunt for their own prey in the jungle, and then eat their catch alone. Therefore, one can say that lions are definitely more sociable than tigers.


In terms of appearance, lions and tigers look completely different. Tigers are heavier in weight, more muscular, and have black stripes across their bodies. Lions do not have any stripes.

Male lions have a huge mane of hair around their faces; tigers do not have manes.

Lions live in groups, but tigers prefer to be alone.

Tigers are considered to be more active and agile than lions, and faster as well.

Tigers hunt for themselves; the female lions hunt for prey and brings it back to the pride for feeding.

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  1. This was really helpful.I used this 4 my homework called “Lions VS Tiger”.Now I would like to share this with my Friends. 🙂

  2. Biased and based on tiger fan viewpoints

    • Not really, they’re facts. Tiger fans just so happen to be factually correct.

      • Interesting thing about all cats, not just lions: they’re a lot more sociable than previously thought. This includes tigers, leopards, and jaguars. Also…male lions DO sometimes hunt: case in point, Asiatic lions have small coalitions consisting of usually one male and a couple of females. Asiatic male lions hunt a lot in Sasan Gir forest. African lion males sometimes have to hunt, as well, which is difficult, because it’s harder for them to hide, due to their size. Finally, although the tiger is considered by many to be the supreme cat, at 500-600 lbs for an Amur or Bengal male, a 450 lb lion, 220 lb jaguar or 180 lb leopard is still a real bruiser. They all should be treated with great respect. Pound for pound, the leopard is likely the strongest cat, and the jaguar has the strongest bite of all cats (only the hyena, related to civets, has the stronger bite), having stout canines and thick jaw muscles like a pitt bull. Leopards can lift 4X their weight into a tall tree (prey); jaguars bite right thru skulls of caimans and turtles.

        • Actually, the lion is pound for pound the strongest cat since they can attack and drag even cape buffalo a few miles.

          • A good ways to drag… I’m sure.
            … but, UP A TREE? Sometimes in a big hurry because other animals are coming for your catch?
            No… I’d have to go with the leopard showing it’s astounding strength by carrying antelope or wildebeest up trees over a lion dragging a buffalo for hundreds of yards, any old day. (Don’t know where you get “miles” of dragging…)

    • People think lions are lazy but they’re not. They are conserving their energy for when they need it. For instance, during a fight in a pride take over. And, beyond popular belief, male lions do hunt. They help the lionesses when the prey is too strong for them. Male lions also can live in single-sex coalitions. This helps them to hunt better and easier to take-over a pride.

      • Lions also creep up to their prey and go… “boo!”… so that a chase is started… to which the lioness’are set up & ready to ambush.
        I think that lions seem lazy… but the thing is… they don’t have to hunt.
        EVERYONE is hungry. What… are they going to sit around and argue who’s turn it is? They don’t have a mentality to think critically like we do. Plus… the lioness’are just more skilled at catching prey. We see it all the time… so why make up things about how they behave when it’s clear as day?
        Lions are powerhouses.
        Tigers are BIGGER powerhouses.
        A healthy lion vs. A healthy tiger?
        Tiger has mass, strength, agility on it’s side… just to compliment his longer teeth & longer claws.
        I never seen height defeat a faster, heavier, stronger & more athletic person… or animal.


        Lions are amazing!
        Not THAT amazing.

    • This was informative however a bit biased, and more assumption than fact.

  3. get confused between tiger and lion many time and sometimes, i interchanged them in my writings.

  4. Male lions can and do hunt (I can send a pic of a male lion attacking a wildebeest and a young elephant). His job (he’s usually got a brother or cousin as c0-lead) is to patrol territories and to protect the pride. Actually, the pride is like a herd of horses in that the lionesses run the pride like lead mares run herds (stallions protect herds, male lions protect prides).
    Lions are in fact spotted (although faintly) and belong to the “spotted” clade of big cats (Panthera, or big cats w/ flexible vocal chord for roaring).
    Tigers aren’t as “antisocial” as you’d think–they can and do exhibit “pride” behavior. You may want to read George Schaller’s accounts of studying tigers back in the 1970’s. Alan Rabinowitz has some great info on tigers and lots on jaguars. By the way: the jaguar’s the only Panthera. or big cat, that is not considered a maneater, although it can easily kill people. All of the other big cats, tiger, lion, leopard are known people-killers, but this is often because they’re either injured or they are desperate because they’ve got nowhere else to go, and they’ve become to used to being near people and domestic animals. Very unfair situation for big cats. That’s why it’s really important to support big cat conservation, and I mean wild territories, radio-collaring, etc.
    Anyway, lions are most closely related to leopards (before that, jaguars and then tigers). Tiger lineage (along w/ snow leopards, their closest relative), split about 2 million years ago. The ancestor of the leopard, jaguar and lion later split, the lion being the most recent of the Panthera genus. The Asiatic lion split from the African lion about 100, 00o years ago.

  5. I do really love tigers than lions 😀

  6. 1- The muscles structure of lions almost 60% of their body is the highest of all mammalians. Plus, the lion’s muscles are more compact than the tiger’s. This means that a lion and a tiger of the same size, the lion will be heavier.

    2- Tigers are jumpers, their back legs are stronger than the lions. But the male lion’s front legs power have no equal. To support their powerful muscles, the bones of the lion’s front legs are the strongest amount land animals.

    3- The 2013 study shows that male lions hunting at night were there is enough vegetation are equally successful as lionesses when they hunt alone. The male lions are more dangerous large prey specialists. The lion’s success hunting rate is higher than the tiger. Lions only hunt as a pride 48-50% of the time. The rest they hunt alone or in duo.

    4- The male lion as the dominant gene. Male lion with tigress produce a far bigger liger with better survival rate than a tiger and a lioness.

    5- The tiger’s average weight is overrated. In fact, both lions and tigers are about the same weight

    • The only thing that you got right is that the lions gene is stronger. A tiger is bigger, stronger, faster and more agile than a lion. The tiger also has the strongest bite force of all cats not the jaguar (not that you made that statement.) So, now you know something. Don’t you feel better?

      • I would love to see a any evidence to support the assumptions you just made. Also have you had any experience working with apex predators at all? I strongly advise it, it is incredible and you will learn so much from it.


    The mighty lion the “KING OF THE BEASTS” according to the National Geographic 2012, is on the list of the ten toughest animal on earth. The tigers are not on the list. The National Geographic also said that no animal on earth are safe from lions. Lions are design to hunt the largest preys on land. That’s make them the world’s very top predator. The male and female lion make a formidable duo. The very athletic lioness is the second fastest big cat behind the cheetah and her top speed is on the world’s top 10. Again the tiger is not on the list. In a hunt, the lioness will usually show more courage and perseverance than tigers. Few people know that lions have a greater hunting success rate than tigers.
    Pound for pound there are no land mammalian more muscular than the male lion. Surprisingly males are good hunters too, they are large preys specialists. But what cut thousands of years ago, the imagination of early civilizations is the extraordinary bravery and fighting skills of the male lion.

    They are no invincible predators, but in a fair fight, it is almost overwhelming for a tiger to defeat an healthy born in the wild male lion of equal age and size. All feline have poor stamina. But lions have more stamina and will power than tigers. The lion is a all around more formidable animal. WHAT IS STRONGER THAN A MALE LION, IS ANOTHER MALE LION. Perhaps it is better to compare tigers with the lioness. The male lion is unique, he belongs to a higher league.


    1-Black and white film tiger lion fight. Tiger loose retreats lion running after.

    2-Black and white film lion wins, run after tiger, tiger laid down injured or died.

    3-Jungle Jim black and white movie lion winner run after tiger.

    4- Black and white film Sub adult male lion with little mane defeat tiger, again lion run after tiger.

    5- 1929 black and white film Gir forest old lion kill tiger.


    First found the whole scene clean images versions. In the Big Cage scenes in few occasions the tiger tried to escaped but the lion ran after him. In nature when a tiger face serious opposition he retreats. The tiger (s) did the same. He knew he could not defeat and sense his life was in danger. A frame by frame examination on versions that have clear images, shows in a few occasions, the tiger retained momentarily the lion on the ground by his mane. Details of this scene was lather explained in the newspapers (The Milwaukee journal July 18, 1962 ). The black mane lion face not one but three tigers in a row. The lion killed so fasts the first and second tigers that they did not have enough footage. A third tiger was send and the male lion still had enough of energy in him. If I remember correctly, the last tiger tried to escape too. At the end the keepers managed to stop the fight when the lion was held down by his mane again. Now all 4 performing male big cats used by Beatty were born in the wild and were in top shape.


    One of the greatest tiger expert was Kailash Sankhala (1925-1994) known as “The Tiger Man of India”. The tiger was his favourite animal. From his 1970’s book, he had studied tigers for many years and when to the Gir forest too. There are only 10 to 12 regions in the whole India that can suits the lions needs. Once, these few dispersed places were eventually all occupied by lions. To do so lions had to pass through the tiger’s moist regions first. Kailash Sankhala wrote that the lions took the territories away from the tigers. Before lions were exterminated by men, tigers totally disappeared from these regions. On page 119 Kailash Sankhala had the honesty to state in a fair fight on a one on one combat a tiger is no match for a lion he added that a tiger will avoid a lion. Sankhala saw lion/tiger combats too and the male lion was victorious. This world renown tiger expect was convinced that lions are the superior fighters.

    The title lion “king of the jungle” come from India a tiger land. The Lion “king of the beasts” comes from “Mesopotamia” a tiger land too.

    • People who boast about lions study animals with their own guesses, and people who like tigers believe in zoologists’ research. So, who is right?




    1-Man standing up showing no fear inside a enclosure containing two captive tigers. Both tigers retreated inside.


    2- A fearless man interring the enclosure of a single tiger. The nervous tiger tries to find a place to hide.


    3- Chinese man inter the enclosure of two white tigers one frighten tiger when hiding. The other not assertive.


    4- Man with a submissive posture was killed after a 15min tiger hesitation. The tiger attacked the man after the public threw rocks at him. In similar circumstances, a nervous big cat attack the next living thing close to him. The sitting man submissive position, represented no treat to the tiger.


    5- Man showing no fear inside of an enclosure containing a male and female lion. Lions not afraid. Male lion gave warning strikes and kept his ground.



    7- Bird inside a enclosure containing two captive young tigers.


    8- Bird inside a enclosure of lions. (no hesitations)



    9- It is exaggerate but we still can see the tiger’s natural hesitation tendency and lack of self-confidence . In the wild though, tigers kills small animals, this cat could easily be a tiger’s snack.


    10- SIBERIAN TIGER AND GOAT (Nov. 2015)


    NBC NEWS ” Feisty Goat Still in Charge in Tiger’s Cage
    Sat, Dec 05, 2015. A week on, and Timur the goat is still refusing to accept his place in the food chain. “AMUR TIGERS DON’T ATTACK ‘SOMETHING THAT PRESENTS DANGER’ SAID THE ZOO VET.”


    The goat immediately establish his rank. He punched away the tiger from his usual sleeping place that’s make him the alpha of the two.


    Lion not nervous at all. In the wild lions unless very hungry, adult lions rarely kills small animals.



    13- Two TIGERS FIGHTING A SLOTH BEAR with no element of surprise.

    14- Movie tiger fighting 2 great Danes dogs

    15- Wild Siberian tiger fight two medium size dogs and retreats

  10. I think its help me lot to do my homework and the tittle is “Lions vs Tigers”That’s why it’s help me a lot.

  11. a very nice differentiation btn tiger and lion that basically helps students as well as other people throught the world in academics

  12. Heavily biased towards tigers with very little actual facts.

  13. Of course…it is a well known fact that Tigers are more formidable than lions.
    All the historical death fights always favoured the tiger…like that famous death fight “Atlas the Barbary Lion vs the Bengal Tiger of Shimla” where the Bengal Tiger ripped apart that Barbary Lion…& Bengal Tigers are not even the largest tigers…Siberian Tigers are…all the historical death fights too in Roman Colosseum had always favoured the Tiger.
    Tigers are by far the strongest cats too…although they are similar in size to Lions, their compacted muscle mass makes them several hundred pounds heavier than Lions.

  14. An healthy male lion will dominate an healthy male tiger in a fair fight. Clyde Beatty trained more than 2000 lions and tigers in 40 years. He saw hundreds of fights. He said 9/10 a lion will defeat a tiger with a combination of SUPERIOR strength and tactics. The male lion is stronger and a better fighter.

    1929 Bengal male tiger Asiatic male lion fight


    • You’re right, docantle on Instagram mentioned that their lions often have friendly fights with their tigers over territory in captivity, and when the fight gets serious the tiger always chickens out..it’s not that tigers are weak or anything it’s just the way of thinking that differs between the cats..lions fight to death and don’t care about damage whilst tigers do, docantle also mentioned that people often keep talking Trash about their liger, they think it’s too heavy to even walk and it could never run but he says the liger is totally healthy, inherits most characteristics of his lion father (same posture, same attitude, lion+tiger roar, unimpeded growth Gene, large upper body frame like a male lion) and can prove to be faster and more powerful than either of it’s parents or infact the most powerful cat ever seen on Earth…I also read in a old documentation where the author mentions lions have a wider upper body frame which other cats don’t, the muscles in the upper body provide for greatest frontal leverage than other cats..most people keep favouring the tiger, most of them don’t care about facts they just Google stuff and exaggerate what they read, especially the weight thing when it is obvious that tigers having evolved in Asia have developed the capability to store more adipose tissue(fat) and it’s all over their body if you see clearly and people think that’s muscle.. lions live on Savannahs where the heat just doesn’t allow for fat to settle in the bodies as it is unfavourable thermally and kills their agility as almost every animal is fast and a good observer on the Savannahs, I’m an Indian living in Africa and I’ve seen both beasts live and they are almost the same size. Tigers in Indian Forests never seemed that big, of anything they were lioness sized (even the males).. whilst almost every male lion I’ve seen seemed pretty sturdy and big, it keeps bothering me how people often report the opposite. Anyway this is what I’ve come to know over the years

  15. You forgot one thing to mention is the resiliency

  16. It is so truly true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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