Liger - the Largest Cat on Earth
Offbeat - Pets and Animals
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ligerLiger is an amazing creature that has rarely occurred through history and is a true marvel in appearance. So great is the muscularity and strength of the cat that if it ever existed in the wild, it would have been capable of taking down every animal on earth!

Liger is not even a specie at all ~ it is a hybrid ~ a cross between a male lion and a female tiger that is given a scientific denotation of Panthera leo × Panthera tigris. The name is derivate of its heritage: 'Li' from lion and 'ger' from tiger. The appearance is indicative of the huge cat's origin ~ a tawny coat is marked by diffuse stripes and rosettes with a rudimentary mane. The attributes are also inherited from either parents and is a mix of the two species ~ Liger likes to swim like tigers and is sociable like lions. The roar is more like that of a lion and so is the frequent laid back nature of the cat, in contrast to the ferocious and active lifestyle of the male tiger.

Hybrids have always existed in the wild and in captivity and numerous attempts at interspecies breeding of big cats have always been made throughout history. The hallmark of the Liger are its massive physical proportions - with a weight over a thousand pounds and length greater than twelve feet, Liger dwarfs the biggest lion and tiger in existence. The reason behind this is believed to be genetic - the male tiger and female lion both have a growth inhibiting gene that restricts the growth of their respective offsprings to an extent - the concept behind Liger bypasses this condition by mating a male lion and a female tiger ~ the resulting cub can grow lifelong to become twice as big as either of its parents.

Withstanding all its magnificence - when I look at a Liger I feel awe and I feel...sorry! Yes it is true (bear me out for a while) ~ I feel sorry because I see a creature that is not meant to be in nature. I see an animal that has never existed in the wild and has never been created by conscientious breeders. An organism that is not a specie in itself since it is unable to produce fertile offsprings (male Ligers are sterile!). An animal that lives most of its life in solitude, created for attracting audience or for Hollywood. A creature marred in its small population by low lifespan, genetic aberrations and neurological defects (head shakes in cubs!).

Experts worldwide condemn the breeding of Ligers as an unhealthy practice. All responsible animal captivity programs and zoos around the globe never try to mate lions with tigers.
source: here


 

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