A liger is a genetic mutation resulting from breeding a male lion (Panthera leo) with a female tiger (Panthera tigris). While such crosses between different species are not unheard of, they are quite rare. Ligers are notably large and usually sterile. Ligers can measure up to 6'3" in length and weigh as much as 900 lbs.
Fun Facts About Ligers
1. The largest known cat: Ligers are considerably larger than tigers. A liger can weigh about 900 pounds, making it the largest known cat species globally. However, the biggest tiger breed (the Siberian Tiger) can weigh about 660 pounds.
2. The offspring of a lion and a tigress: A liger is the crossbreed of a male lion with a female tiger. The reverse cross, which involves the crossbreeding of a male tiger with a female lion, is called "tiglon."
3. Few: Ligers are a relatively rare species, making up less than 1% of the cat population. There may be less than 100 Ligers in existence.
4. A different kind of hybrid: Hybrid vigor is advantageous in crossbreeding as it increases the species' genetic diversity. However, ligers are sterile—they cannot pass on their genes.