Difference Between Lions and Tigers

Lions and tigers are two of the most well-known big cats, with the other two big cats being the jaguar and leopard. Both of them sit on top of their food chain, which means that the only thing they really have to worry about is finding food and not ending up at the wrong end of the hunter’s gun.

Majority of people, including children, can easily tell a lion and tiger apart due to the difference in their appearance. However, not many people are aware of the difference between their physical characteristics, hunting ways, social life, etc.


  • 1

    The most evident difference between lions and tigers is that of their appearance. Lions are a tawny buff colour, whereas tigers are orange, with bold, black stripes across their bodies. Lions do not have any stripes across their body. Furthermore, male lions have a large mane around their faces, whereas neither tigers nor tigresses have any kind of mane around their faces.

  • 2

    Both lions and tigers have different physical characteristics as well. Lions are generally taller than tigers, but are relatively lazier. Tigers may be smaller in size, but they are more muscular, have greater weight and are way more active and consequently more aggressive than lions. Male lions have weigh 330-550 pounds, whereas female lions weigh 250-350 pounds. On the other hand, male tigers weigh 579 pounds, while tigresses weigh 308 pounds. It is generally seen that lions do not exert unless they really have to.

  • 3

    Tigers prefer to live on their own, whereas lions generally prefer to live in large groups, which are as prides. The pride has one male lion who serves as the leader of the tribe. Anyone who has seen Disney’s “Lion King” will be pretty familiar with the pride and the leader of the tribe.

  • 4

    Tigers hunt for food in the jungle on their own during the night and eat their catch alone, whereas lions leave the hunting job to female lions, who carry out the hunt in groups during the night and bring the prey with them to the pride. Therefore, one can deduce that lions are far more sociable than tigers.

  • 5

    Lions can run as fast as 30 to 40 miles per hour, whereas tigers can run as far 37 miles per hour. This is an average, as the speed varies from lion to lion and tiger to tiger.

  • 6

    Male lions have an average life span of 12 years in the wild, while female lions have an average lifespan of 15-16 years in the wild.  On the other hand, tigers have an average lifespan of 15-20 years.

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