Lions room the king of the plains. Tigers rule the jungle. Yet face to face, which would win?

Well, let’s talk size first. Tigers room heavier, weighing as much as 800 pounds come the lion’s 550. However the two cats aren’t so various in size. Here, their profiles room superimposed:


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Image: Rom-diz


You might remember indigenous high college health course that muscle weighs more than fat, i beg your pardon helps explain the tiger’s extra pounds. So it seems that the tiger would have a physical benefit over the lion.

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But it turns out that we have actually some historical data to include to this conjecture, too. In ancient Rome, the tiger-lion face-off wasn’t uncommon. In 1959, a leader asked the Spokesman-Review this question, and also the paper, in turn, asked william Bridges, the curator of publication at the Bronx Zoo. The told them that “back in the job of the roman Coliseum, the clever money commonly backed the tiger.” While us don’t have actually any good descriptions the the outcomes, ancient paintings that the event usually confirmed the tiger winning. And also in the so late 1800′s, the Gaekwad the Baroda, one Indian ruler, i ordered it a fight in between the two beasts. Before the hit began, those running the bettor collection the odds in ~ 1 to 37,000 that the tiger would certainly win. The did, and also the Gaekwad lost 37,000 rupees.

And in 2011, a tiger eliminated a lion through a single paw swipe in a operation in in ~ Ankara Zoo in Turkey. The tiger apparently discovered a gap in the fence, and made its method into the lion’s enclosure. As soon as they met, the tiger severed the lion’s jugular vein in simply one stroke. Craig Saffoe, a biologist in ~ the Smithsonian Zoo, likewise generally favored the tiger, informing LiveScience, “What I’ve checked out from tigers, castle seem come be an ext aggressive; they walk for the throat, go for the kill. Whereas the lions are more, ‘I will just pound you and also play with you.’”

But fighting in an arena, and even in a zoo, is quite different than fighting in the wild. If a tiger to be to satisfy a lion there is no cages or screaming fans, what would certainly happen? That’s actually a inquiry that part conservationists are having to answer ideal now. There’s a plan to relocate some Asiatic lions come from the Gir woodland to Kuno Palpur, whereby there room tigers. The university of Minessota’s Lion Research facility says that the setup has been delayed for are afraid that the aboriginal tigers would certainly kill the lions. However in the wild, lock say, tigers and also lions fight quite differently:

Coalitions of masculine lions normally fight together a group versus territorial rivals, therefore a tiger may have an advantage in a one-on-one encounter, due to the fact that this is the usual mode of combat for a tiger. However, a lion coalition of 2–3 males would have a clear benefit over a lone tiger. A group of 2–4 female lions would have actually a similar advantage over a lone tigress.

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They conclude that while one top top one, a tiger would certainly ideal a lion, in the wild the lion pride can hold your own versus the solitary tiger.

Here’s the exploration Channel on the face-off:

More native Smithsonian.com:

As many tigers Dwindle, Poachers turn to Lions because that ‘Medicinal’ BonesThe Truth about Lions