The king of the plains is the lion. The jungle is dominated by the tigers. Face to face, however, who would win?
Let’s start with size. The lion’s weight of 550 pounds is greater than that of the tigers, which can weigh up to 800 pounds. The size differences between the felines aren’t so great. These are their profiles superimposed.
It is possible to recall that muscle weighs more then fat. This explains why the tiger carries so much extra weight. It seems the lion would have an advantage physically over the tiger.
It turns out, however, that historical data is also available to support this conjecture. The tiger-lion encounter was common in ancient Rome. A reader asked this question to the Spokesman Review in 1959. The newspaper then asked William Bridges, the curator of publications at Bronx Zoo, the same question. He explained that money was a support for the tigers in the Roman Colosseum’s era. We don’t know much about the outcome, but old paintings show the tiger winning. In the late 1800s, Indian ruler Gaekwad de Baroda staged a battle between the two beasts. The bettor placed odds that the Tiger would win the battle before it began. Yes, the Gaekwad had to lose 37,000 rupees.
In Turkey, a tiger decimated a lion by biting its one paw during a raid at Ankara Zoo. According to reports, the tiger broke into the enclosure of the lion by finding a crack in the fence. The tiger broke the lion’s neck with one blow when they met. Craig Saffoe of Smithsonian Zoo, who is also a biologist for the Zoo, said that tigers are more aggressive than lions. He told LiveScience that tigers go after the throat and go for the kill. Although the lions may be larger, I’m going to play with you and hit you. >>
Fighting in an arena or in a zoo is very different to fighting in the wild. What would happen if the wild lion met a tiger? This is a question environmentalists must answer right now. The plan is to relocate Asiatic lions out of the Gir forest to Kuno Palpur where there are tigers. According to the University of Minnesota’s Lion Research Center, the plan was delayed due to fears that the native tigers might kill the lions. They say that tigers and Lions fight in a different way in the wild.
A group of male lions fights against territorial rivals. Therefore, a tiger might have an advantage in a one on one encounter. This is because it is the most common fighting mode for a Tiger. A lion group of 2-3 male lions would be more successful than a single tiger. A group of 2-3 female lions would be able to outnumber a single tigress.
They concluded that a tiger is superior to a lion but that in the wild, the pride of a lion can defend itself from the single tiger.