Just something I need to get done for school…
Tigers and lions are the largest members of the cat family, Felidae (the tiger being the larger of the two). They belong to the same genus, Panthera, and are able to interbreed to produce ligers (offspring of a male lion and female tiger) and tigons (offspring of a male tiger and female lion). Like most hybrids, ligers and tigons are usually sterile, but occasionally a female will be fertile and can be bred back to a male lion or tiger.
In terms of their skeletal structure and musculature, lions and tigers are very similar – it is often difficult for anyone but an expert to tell whether a bone came from a lion or a tiger if they have no other information about it (where in the world it came from, for example). They have the same number of teeth (30) and claws (18).
Both are ambush predators adapted to hunting prey larger than themselves – usually large ungulates (hoofed mammals). Both are territorial, marking their territory with scent (from urine, faeces and glands in their cheeks and paws) and by roaring to warn others of their ownership. The lion’s roar is deeper and louder, the tiger’s higher-pitched and more snarly-sounding.
Tigers are found only in Asia, usually in wooded areas. The majority of lions live on the open plains of Africa, but there is a small population of Asiatic lions in the Gir Forest of India. Tigers are orange with black stripes, which helps break up their outline and camouflage them in their habitat. Lions are a uniform tawny colour, which helps them to blend in to the dry grass of their environment. Lions also have a tuft at the end of the tail, and males have manes – a thick ruff of fur around the neck and shoulders, which serves to make them appear larger and more intimidating to rivals and more attractive to females. It also protects their necks during fights.
Tigers are solitary, except for mothers with young, and come together only to mate. After mating, the male leaves and the mother raises the cubs by herself. By contrast, lions are very social, living in groups called prides. These consist of a group of related females and between one and eight males (two to four is most common), who are often, but not always, related to each other (though not related to the females). Cubs are raised communally and suckle from any lioness that is lactating.