Lions and Tigers, Ligers, and Tigons

United States
November 26, 2007 10:58am CST
I have been studying hybrids for awhile now, for a series of articles that I am writing. I thought I would share with you what I have learned about lion and tiger hybrids. When a male lion and a female tiger (tigress) produce offspring it is called a liger. The Liger is a giant and the largest cat on the planet. It weighs up to 1200 pounds. The males are infertile, but the females can produce offspring when they breed with lions or tigers. When a male tiger breeds with a female lion (lioness) they produce offspring that is called a tigon. The tigon is often smaller then it's parents. It too has fertility issues. The females can breed, but the males can not. Both of these cats have stripes placed on a tawny background. Often the stripes are broken up more then that of a tiger. Their bodies and heads often bear the tiger shape. Males sometimes display ruffs or mini manes. Here are a few questions. Should this breeding be continued for those who wish to own or allow visitors to view such beasts? What about for studying genetics?