Overview: Big Cat Family
Both the Lion and Tiger belong to the feline or cat family. Although much larger in size and every physical proportion than our domestic friends, the house cat, these two animals share the same overall breed. Their habitats range from the thick jungles of Asia to the open plains of Africa where both predators reign supreme among other land carnivores in their respective regions. Compared to the other members in the big cat family, the cheetah, leopard and jaguar; the lion and tiger are the largest.
In this article I will pose the question to you, the reader, "who is the REAL king of the Beasts?"
I have included video footage to support this argument and will try not to lean in favor of the option I personally chose. However, without seeing these animals in their environment and natural habitat, behavioral patterns and true comparisons are hard to distinguish without scientific evidence and research.
In this corner...
The lion is the second largest member of the big cat family behind none other than the tiger. Male lions can weigh up to 550 lbs (250 kg) and are the primary means of protection for it's territory. Lions live in social groups called prides that can range anywhere from 10-30 members, including lionesses and cubs. In fact, out of all the members in the big cat family, the lion is the only member who lives, hunts and eats together as a group.
The existing habitat for the lion has dramatically decreased through centuries of dehabitation, human overpopulation and poaching. Their territories used to spread throughout much of Southwest Asia and practically the whole continent of Africa. Now however, lions are limited to small regions in Africa, mainly the sub-Sahara and the Gir Forest National Park in India where only about 300 are believed to reside.
Lions live roughly anywhere from 10-14 years in the wild, and up to 20 years in captivity. With little fear of any natural enemies, lions, like tigers roam freely and eat almost anything at will. Though their prey selection varies by region, both are accredited to being very strong predators and tackle prey often times, more than twice their size.
Lions on the Hunt
Only the Strong...
The Tiger (panthera tigris) is the largest member of the big cat family and are destinctive in their appearance with stripes on their bodies that help camouflage the tiger with it's surroundings. Like the smaller leopard, no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes which helps distinguish between one another. The male tiger can exceed weights of up to 660 lbs (300 kg) and has no known natural threat (other than man) in it's habitat.
Tigers are solitary animals, and live and hunt alone unlike the lion which lives in a group called a pride. They are very territorial and display aggressive gestures by which to defend it.
Tigers range from the Siberian taiga and snow covered landscapes to tropical forested areas and grasslands. The Bengal tiger is the most numerous of the tiger subspecies and the Siberian tiger is the largest.
There aren't many animals that resides in the tiger's habitat that can't be regarded as a potential meal. Their prey ranges from wild pigs and rabbits to the largest species of cattle in the world called the Gaur. Because of the tiger's natural habitat (mostly woodland areas), tigers rely on stealth and speed to surprise their prey.
By far, one of the most spectacular displays of beauty and strength can be found watching a tiger hunt.
So who wins?
So far we have discussed the various prey and habitats of both the tiger and lion. One species prefers solitude while the other are more adapt to a social lifestyle. Both the lion and tiger are fearless predators with high maternal and territorial instincts that truly make them rulers over their kingdoms.
So what is the verdict? Who truly reigns supreme over the big cat family, both in size and strength?
- The tiger can exceed weights of up to 600 lbs but in only one subspecies, the Siberian tiger.
- The lion hunts primarily in a group of other lions called the pride and live on wide open grasslands, whereas the tiger prefers thick woodlands for cover.
- Both the lion and tiger are top land preditorial animals in their respective domains.
- The tiger is the largest member of the big cat family with the lion in second place.
The fighting styles of these animals are mainly displayed through territorial and mating encounters. Because of different habitats, strengths vary as do prey, with the lion being more adapt to longer and intense fights with neighboring prides and other predators, such as the hyena. The tiger, however, does not have as much competition or opposing threats as the lion.
The wildebeast, zebra and water buffalo are among the normal diet of the African lion and although they hunt in numbers, lions are more than capable of bringing down prey by themselves. The tiger hunts relatively smaller animals such as warthog and deer but are more agile than lions and bring down large prey as well.
The argument however, cannot be won on the pages of debate forums, nor can it be solved by uneducated arguments that defend that person's idea of the superior animal. Regardless though, it makes for a great debate on the mightier of these two beasts. Who is king?
The smarter fighter?
And the polls say?
Ross wind on September 09, 2016:
HERE THE RESPONSE
1- Did you ever know that a tiger fights other tigers more than a lion fighting other lions?
Answer: Tigers do fight but it is exceptional. Most serious specialists will tell you that in general tigers avoid fighting. Most mature tigers have very little fighting marks. In contrary the male lions, the lioness and even the cubs are full of marks! Your source of information is likely full of propaganda.
2- Tigers are way stronger; they HAVE to be. They hunt prey six to seven times their own size. Have you researched on the attitude of Bengal tigers? Those things are like, "Oh! Another croc for breakfast!"
Answer: Tigers are strong yes, stronger no. Facts are in average Lions hunts larger prey than tigers. Tigers have a lower level of courage. They rarely do frontal attacks they are in general rear attackers with is far less dangerous. Tigers do occasionally kill crocs yes but never by the front it is by the back. You are contradicting yourself about “the Bengal tiger attitude” by acknowledged they can back off in front of a cheetah (the weakest of the big cats) which the mighty lion will never do. The tigers mighty paws? Did you notice that tigers rarely used their paws to kill prey and even when they fight each other?
3- The lion as the attitude of a king and rule like a king too.
Answer : You put a black mane lion with tigers in the same enclosure. The lion will dominate the tigers and will control the food. Tigers are by instinct afraid of a mature male lion. Tigers are often seen submitted to a male lion. You are right the mature male lion don’t back away when confront to a tiger. He is fearless. Lions are more furious than tigers and fight mush more often but do not always fight to kill it is true. Lions are unique and are known to sometimes spare life. Nevertheless tigers often avoid fights while lions rarely do.
4- Tigers kill the Indian Gaur, single-handedly.
Answer : Many specialists wrote that tigers rarely attacks healthy adult gaurs and surely not by the front. When there were many lions in India Kailash Sankhala wrote that whatever the tiger killed so the lion. Having a lot of mouth to feed lions hunts more often so face danger more often. Plus lions and lionesses do frontal attacks on one of the most aggressive preys on earth the powerful Cape buffalo.
5- Lion hunt rarely.
Answer: Male lion hunts rarely in an open field for the simple reason there are easily detectable and slower than the lionesses. In the savannahs speed is very important. In a 2013 study with modern technologies, it was found out that the male lion hunts in different territories were there is more vegetation for cover. Statistic shows males have the same average of success as the lioness but hunt the slower but larger preys. The majority of the male lion kills were adult male cape buffalo. The study shows that lions and lionesses only hunt as a pride 48-50% of the time they hunt as single or duo the rest of the time. There are many videos of a single lion kills on the net. There are many videos of male lion hunting as well.
6- The tiger is more agile.
Answer : Yes he is more agile and a stronger jumper too. The tiger is built for fast kills. The lion is not as agile he is built to use more muscle power.
Like you saw in the many lion vs tiger fight links in general in fair fights a healthy male lion will win most of the time against a tiger.
Anonymous on March 19, 2016:
Tiger is the true king of beasts. And who says that they aren't warriors? Did you ever know that a tiger fights other tigers more than a lion fighting other lions? Do some research, people, and get real.
Tigers are way stronger; they HAVE to be. They hunt prey six to seven times their own size. Have you researched on the attitude of Bengal tigers? Those things are like, "Oh! Another croc for breakfast!"
And it is a natural instinct of the tiger to prevent unnecessary mess. So let alone a lion, a tiger could back away from even a Cheetah, if its mighty paw swipe didn't kill it already. But provoke it and it'll show the other guy who's boss!! Lions actually fight less, guys, coz they prefer sleeping. Even if there was an intruder, the present king would try to appear more big and bad. Such bluffs normally work and therefore fights do not happen as much as you think. Even if they happen, they aren't for the kill. Lions don't back away from fights simply because they are more social than tigers and have an attitude of a King. But just an attitude doesn't make one King.
When a tiger fights, it fights for KILLING, understand? And tigers ARE more ferocious. They directly leap for the throat. Lions don't get serious from the beginning.
And yes, tigers can crunch up fully grown tortoises like they were nothing. So it's illogical to say that a lion's mane would protect it from a tiger's bite. A mane is just a mass of hair, and what is hair compared to a tough shell of a tortoise?
Tigers kill the largest cattle on Earth, the Indian Gaur, single-handedly. The much smaller African bison requires 3 to 4 lionesses.
And a lion hunts rarely so its strength isn't kept up. On the other hand, it is every tiger for itself. The tiger hasn't got a bunch of women to hunt for the pride. So the tiger is also physically fitter and therefore stronger. It simply HAS to be stronger and more agile.
So guys, tiger owns it all.
TIGER IS THE REAL KING OF BEASTS.
Ross Wind on July 07, 2015:
There are many physical reasons in favour of the male Lion. Here a few of then, lions are taller at the shoulders. They have stronger shoulders, neck and more powerful front legs. The lion's body is more compact, as a larger chess, his bones are thinner but are the strongest on earth. Strong bones is needed to hold ultra powerful muscles. Small bones means more place for muscles. A same age and size healthy male lion and tiger, the lion will be the stronger and heavier. They are no mammal on earth more muscular than a lion. In combat the Lion's blows are harder.
lion expert202 on July 03, 2015:
you are fools for chosing tiger.tigers have no chance of winning 98.9 percent of lions wins a ful grown lion is capable of killing a leopards,cheetahs,crocodiles and any other apex predator evenan of guard elephants,giraffes,a fully grown hippos and rhinos a cave lion is capable of preying on all the apex predator except polar bear.A male lion is a warrior not a killer so a lion is truely the king of beast and can kil a tiger with a single paw swipe so lion is dominant over a tiger
Ramesses on December 23, 2013:
Weight: 150 to 650 pounds. Length: 6.5 to 10 feet. Height: 2.5 to 3.5 feet at shoulder
Speed: Average: 45 mph. Top: 51 mph
Elykoi on May 30, 2013:
It's amazing how misinformation since childhood can cloud peoples judgment despite overwhelming evidence that the TIGER is the APEX PREDATOR! Yeah, I'll give it to the Lion as the King of the Jungle, but that's for some nursery Lion King perhaps. Tigger is the real beast and it just amazes me how some people stay in constant and perpetual state of denial. To sum it up, just listen to the "EYE OF THE TIGER" song!
sailam on May 03, 2013:
TIGER is the largest carnivore on land.it can kill almost all apex predators like crocs,bear, leopard...
There is no chance for lions to kill an healthy adult ferocious tiger.
Trapper on April 20, 2013:
I think a tigress will fight more ferociously to a lion than a tiger..
josh on February 03, 2013:
No crap they roam freely with no fear, their prey is way smaller then that of a lion. Lions are the better fighters, a tiger would be able to get the killing bite to the neck on a lion because of its mane. The lion isn't going to sit there and watch the tiger try to kill it. The lion is faster and its swipe is stronger, it will find an opening and kill the tiger as soon as it finds it.
guy on February 02, 2013:
Tiger would own the crap out of a lion only match for a tiger would be a polar bear maybe a silverback just maybe but tigers are like spartans no way thell lose Tigers true king of beasts
abc on January 08, 2013:
tiger are most powerfull cats in the world. they can prey bears,crocodiles,leopard and also lions when not enough food to eat.
fjkh on November 09, 2012:
always tiger is king and beat the lions
yasmin on August 26, 2012:
The Lion is the King of the JUNGLE!!! THERE FOR HE WINS! He stands for strength, courage and power! The lion take the cake and he knows no fear.
R.Edwards (author) on May 31, 2012:
Some of these comments are amusing, stating science research in "fight labs" as a legitimate reason to say whether or not either animal would come out victorious. I'm not sure if there are any actual footages of these animals fighting, and the ones you see on youtube are fictional, most at conservationalist parks where the two animals engage in friendly sparring, NOT FIGHTS!!! The prey that these two animals take down cannot be compared either, Tigers don't have to run after their prey for long distances tiring them out which makes the Lion HAVE to have members of its' pride help out. Tigers hunt in stealth, surprise attacks, much like the leopard so they have to be heavier to knock their prey down in an instant, duh!!! Lions have to be smaller, much hotter climate and has to have the agility to run longer distances, making its physical makeup slimmer and more leaner than the tiger, another "duhhh!!!" statement. If you were to put these two animals in a closed in room, the Tiger would probably win, it doesn't fit the Lion's habitat. Also vice verse, if you put these two animals in a wide open area where there is tall grass and open space the Lion would win probably, again, doesn't fit the Tiger's natural habitat. Here's an option, put them on a boat in the middle of the ocean....now there's a match!!!
troytigerfan on May 31, 2012:
lions have been king long time but they never put the tiger in because they think the lion is bigger but that is wrong its the lions mane that makes him bigger ,and lions are cowards of tigers ,thats most often yea they have been king for thousands of years but i dont blame the he is a natural killer and the lion was probably picked to be king naturaly but it should have been the tiger because the tiger is a fighter and a winner
troytigerfan on May 31, 2012:
well first of all i seen plenty of tigers and lions fight only reason they put the lion as king is because of its mane so if more people saw videos of tigers and lions they would pick tiger because they take down bigger prey alone and usally win against lions so choose
Nazer Ali Sultani on May 28, 2012:
Lion have been the king for thausand of years, and they the king
AERONTHELIONFAN on May 18, 2012:
this is for all tiger fans watch this video about your fave cat killed by the king of beasts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqE0KwhS26M
Aeronso25 on May 18, 2012:
well this is for you tiger fans have you seen a tiger killing a lion?? not likely i agree with you that lions run away from a fight with tigers watch this one male lion scares three tigers but watch this instead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML7I-Mhsp-c
AERON25 on May 18, 2012:
Well this is for you all tiger fans have you seen a tiger kill a lion watch this video instead yeah i agree that lions run away from a fight with tigers but lions really win watch this video instead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiJxtQ-Rmzs
Shane on April 12, 2012:
Tigers are the largest of the living cats and size does matter. Tigers have the ability to bring down the world's largest cattle "the Gaur" single handed which weighs over 1000 kilos. Also, Tigers have been known to attack fully grown elephants and not to forget has brown bears too in their menu. Imagine their power and wrath! A lion doing this alone just forget about it. It takes a pride of lions(that too female lionesses), to bring down a cape buffalo weighing 800 kilos.
Tigers are the king of beasts.
rishi on April 09, 2012:
Tiger and lion should both be king
Arjun on April 05, 2012:
Tigers' are undeniably an embodiment of strength & more ferocious & aggressive. Tigers single handed can bring down a gaur over 1000 kgs & drag the carcass without any problem. By contrast it requires a pride of lions to bring down a buffalo let alone pulling the carcass single handed, besides Tigers are known to hunt where as lionesses do the hunting.
Yes lions are string but no match when compared to the brute strength, might & ferocity of a Tiger.
Truly the Tiger rules :)
Michael Israel on February 21, 2012:
Friends friends, this debate has gone on for centuries, and the only reason these arguments still hold water, is because no matter which cat is better, we are still going to favor the one that we Want to be the best. I have watched so many clips on tigers battling Lions, both are natural born killers, and both hunt similar prey, however prey can very in size in favor of both the Lion and the Tiger. However, if you want to figure out which is the best over all, than you need to find each one's attribute to a warrior. A Lion is better armed than a a tiger, this can give an advantage if the tiger tries to go for the throat. The Tiger has much more over-all fur than the Lion. The blinding boxes of the tiger are much quicker than the Lion, but the Lion's Boxes are stronger, and could knock a tiger down. Tigers can attack bears (though they prefer not to make it a regular thing) and other large animals, however, the tactic that a tiger uses for hunting, or attacking large prey is the pounce, and stealth. The Tiger is bigger and heavier than the Lion, and when it pounces, or drops from a tree, it puts all its weight on that animal. Now, imagine a tiger in a Lion's habitat, the tactics that it normally uses would be impossible on the African plains, there would not be much stealth, and pouncing would be a rare option. But put a Lion in a Tiger's habitat, it would be much easier for him, because, normally, it is at 20 from his prey before he leaps out and attacks, while a tiger is (normally) within striking distance before it considers attacking. When a Lion hunts, it (unlike a Tiger) will chase its prey for an elongated time, and after the chase, will pull it to the ground an bite the throat, rather than wait within striking or pouncing distance and then attack. So, you decide which one is over-all better
alyssakollar on January 31, 2012:
who thinks a tiger is tuffer under put yes or no lions suck
nadztar on January 25, 2012:
The tiger would win. First of all, it is larger and longer than the lion, which gives it the size and weight advantage. It's skull is shorter and broader than the lion's, giving it a stronger bite force. The lion has it's mane to protect it's neck, but the tiger will not only go for the neck. It's hind legs are stronger than the lion's, which gives it the option to stand on both legs and hit with it's front paws. The lion does not have this option, and will only stand on it's back legs and hit with one paw at a time. Tigers have also been known to kill adult brown bears. Lions can't hand giraffes alone, which comes to the point that tigers could defeat lions most of the time.
htodd from United States on January 06, 2012:
That is really great comparison..Awesome hub
Supernovah on December 09, 2011:
Most video that I have seen between lions & tigers (with the exception of biased edited video), the lion wins! tigers are great cats second only to the lion. Tigers are bigger but they lack the mane that a lion has. Lions are the protectors of the pride so their bred or their nature is to fight not hunt, they are fighters & killers & seem to be more ferocious in most exchanges between lions & tigers. While tigers are predators & their aggression is mostly based on a kill to eat. Tigers are built for predatory reason while lions are built & made to fight & kill by nature. Both animals take down much larger prey even tho the tigers might take down larger prey which is in their nature their make up isn’t to fight much larger aggressive animals or even in some instances smaller animals or really any animals…their predators. I will never forget the video that I watched on youtube.com in which a tiger & I believe a leopard did battle & the leopard gave that tiger all he could handle, pretty even fight while a lion would anihilate a leopard. If you artificially match up a tiger, lion battle by shaving a lions mane yes the tiger might defeat the lion but all & all a lion would come out on top if they go to war with both lion & tiger if you did not shave his mane.
LighT on November 04, 2011:
I have watched many videos for tiger vs lions , Obviously tigers are the strongest , I have seen tigers fighting crocodiles in water and lions running from wild cattle . Tigers rule over lions
sharon on October 20, 2011:
lion is the king of beasts.no one can defeat the through a fight.
darkjesu on October 03, 2011:
tigers are bigger than the lions and it is undeniable but they have lacking of courage to fight,they would often run away in a fight unlike to the lions.Lions are fearless and much aggressive than the tigers.I think lions would win over the tigers.
Muhammad Arif on August 10, 2011:
U know 1 thing that the tiger is known to have attacked on full grown elephants in India to grizzlies in Russia
kjp on December 28, 2010:
i like the imformation you said, but i think you are contradicting yourself. one moment you are saying the lion take down bigger prey than the tiger, next you saying tigers take down big prey as well. forgive me if i am wrong! but what big prey can the tiger take down?
gary on September 09, 2010:
i think tiger is most powerful animal in the world they have no fear, they roam in the jungle quite freely no one is their natural predator he can dominate anyone he wants in his territory i have a reason for that if a lion get injured somehow he can still be alive by stoling some meat from his brother or sisters but for a tiger he has to fight alone take their prey down whether he is injured or not they are actually self responsible,
if i give u another reason you commented in your documentary that lion hunts larger prey but i want to tell u that larger downs larger prey like biggest cattle in the world gaur and big brown bear also without any help so i hope you will just think on my comment