Intelligent Design speciation

Tigers, lions, ligers … what’s the future? From the hybridization files

Spread the love

The future is probably more of the same. In reply to the reader who wondered the other day if ligers (lion plus tiger) can breed and produce offspring, the answer is yes. The results give rise to big kitties with a horde of odd names to describe the crosses: ti-tigon, ti-liger (tig-liger), li-tigon, li-liger

From Messy Beast:

Female tigons and ligers are often fertile and can mate with a lion, tiger or in theory with another species such as leopard or jaguar. Tigers and ligers have been mated together to produce ti-ligers (tig-ligers). Tigers and tigons have been mated to produce ti-tigons (below). Ti-ligers and ti-tigons are more tigerlike (75% tiger). Ti-tigons resemble golden tigers but with less contrast in their markings. Lions and ligers have been mated together to produce li-ligers. Lions and tigons have been mated to produce li-tigons. These hybrids are more lion-like (75% lion). (See also Backcrossing for information.)

Male hybrids are rarely, if ever, fertile even if they do display sexual behaviour. To date, all male ligers, tigons, ti-tigons and li-tigons investigated have apparently proven sterile. There are no authenticated liger x tigon, liger x liger or tigon x tigon hybrids. Theoretical offspring could be lion-like, tiger-like, liger-like or tigon-like, depending on what combination of genes they inherited. It is more likely that anecdotally reported offspring from supposed hybrid-to-hybrid matings actually resulted from unobserved additional matings of a hybrid female with a pure-bred lion or tiger.”

So it’s the girls keeping the thing going.

See also: Hybridization is much more common and normal among animals than once thought

and

The “sturdlefish” is the offspring of sturgeon and paddlefish—separated by 184 million years’ evolution

4 Replies to “Tigers, lions, ligers … what’s the future? From the hybridization files

  1. 1
    ET says:

    I saw a liger @ the Toronto Zoo about 18 years ago. He was huge. Lovely beast, though

  2. 2
    News says:

    They ARE huge if they are males. We think the explanation is that lionesses have a gene that suppresses hugeness in males but tigresses do not. As his mother was a tiger, there was no natural barrier to him becoming huge.

  3. 3
    EDTA says:

    Hopefully some combination will produce a Tigger! Because hybridization is what Tiggers do best!

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    So it’s the girls keeping the thing going.

    Well, strictly it’s the heterogametic sex, so males in birds. And, because this is biology, there are exceptions.

Leave a Reply