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Tigon Meaning

A tigon (tiglon) is the hybrid (crossbreed) offspring of a male tiger and a lioness. Tigon animals acquire many characteristics from both parents. Also, they can have both spots from the mother and stripes from the father. However, any mane that a male tigon may seem to be dwarf and less noticeable than a lion's mane and akin to the type of the ruff that a male tiger possesses. 

We have a common misconception that tigons are smaller than lions or tigers and they never exceed the size of parent species because they inherit growth-inhibitory genes from both parents, however, this is not true because neither of these possesses dwarfism or miniaturization; besides this, they often weigh around 180 kg, compared to ligers which often weigh between 320 kg and 550 kg.

Tigon species have specific classification systems, fertility rates, size, history, and facts, which we will understand on this page. Along with interesting facts about tigons, and liger tigons, we will learn about the ligers and tigons with the tigon vs liger.

Tigon Nomenclature

Nomenclature is the study of naming things.  To have the option to discuss anything, we need to have a name for it that is conspicuous and accepted. The manner in which we offer names to animals in the scientific world relies mainly on the works of Carolus Linnaeus in the mid-1700s. 

Originally, he divided things into Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species based completely on their physical characteristics, which he could discover with the technology available to him at that time. 

Genus and species are the minute divisions in this system, and writing these two classification names in Latin is called the binomial or a two-name nomenclature. 

Naming the tigon animal and other similar animals poses a very genuine problem when endeavouring to utilize traditional nomenclature. Also, they don't fit the naming parameters precisely, and they present a fair issue. 

However, Linnaeus grouped lions and tigers in the family Felis, and the genus Leo and Tigris separately. Modern naming has knocked these names down to the Species-level and embedded the Genus name of Panthera as the family name.

So, let’s understand the tigon classification:

Tigon Classification

Tigon Animal



















Male Tigon - P. tigris (♂) 

Female Tigon -  P. leo (♀)

Tigon Animal 

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Tigon Animal picture captured at National Zoo & Fish Aquarium in Canberra, Australia

What is a Tigon?

The tigon name is a portmanteau name that is a mixture of the two names. In this case, tiger and lion mix to form a new word, ie.,  tigon. The tigon name is included at the species or subspecies level of binomial nomenclature for displaying the cross between a male tiger Panthera Tigris and a female lion Panthera Leo, i.e., P. Tigris ♂ × P. Leo ♀.

The origin of the name appears to arrive back in the 1920s. From the above text, we understand that the tigon is a blend of the physical characteristics of the father tiger and the mother lion. 

Tigon Size

Male Siberian tigers weigh between 400 - 600 lbs with a length of 8 - 11 ft., while a smaller Sumatran tiger weighs between 170 - 350 lb. with a size of 6 - 8 ft. 

The African lioness’s weight ranges between 250 - 350 lbs. and is 4 - 6.5 ft. in size. Historically, the Asiatic lion was considered bigger than the African lions, i.e., at 300 - 450lb. and 6 - 9 ft. in length.

Tigon History

  • British officers were very fond of hunting. During their stay in India in the 1800s, they hunted the largest lions as trophies, selectively abolishing the larger Asiatic lions. This, in turn, effectively reduced the size of lions left in the gene pool. 

  • The historical backdrop of the tigons traces all the way back to the twentieth century. During the 1920s a few English Newspapers and Journals have distributed stories and attributes of the tigons. In 1924 "The Illustrated London News" distributed an article about Tigon at The Gardens of the Zoological Society of London. This was one of the most seasoned chronicles about the tigons from a British paper source. 

  • Tigons were additionally distributed inside the paper articles during the 1930s also. Around then both London Zoo in 1936 and Manchester Zoo in 1938 both had tigons at their premises. A celebrated tigon named Maude the tigon inhabited Manchester Zoo in England in the 1930s and 1940s. Today; England's Manchester Museum likewise has a saved collection of Maude the 

  • Tigon lived from 1936 to 1949. Both of these tigons were brought into the world in India and they were talented to the British Royal Highness. It is additionally accepted that like ligers, the world's first tigons were likewise brought into the world in Quite a while. Thus, huge feline half and halves i.e., tigons and ligers both arose out of India.

Tigon Extinction

  • It has been growing concern that Asiatic lions may soon be extinct. The word  “extinction” means the species that are dead and no longer known to exist. Because of this reason, the Asiatic lion's average size has descended below the size of the African lion in recent decades and their numbers continue to decline, possibly toward extinction.

  • In recent times, the same happened with the Persian tiger Tigris virgata in the mid-twentieth century, when it was hunted to extinction because everyone was scared to have it in their backyard unless it was in a cage.

Do you know what animal liger is? If not, let’s understand ligers along with tigon vs liger:

Animal Liger

Ligers will in general be bigger and heavier than individuals from their parent species. Scientists propose that the liger's enormous size, or "growth dysplasia," results from the shortfall of growth-limiting genes. 

Female lions mate with a few male lions for the duration of their lives, so the genes of a male lion are adjusted to amplify the growth of his offspring since his offspring might be needed to rival those of other males produced by a similar lioness. The genes of female lions, notwithstanding, are adjusted to drop or hose the impacts of the growth amplifying genes of male lions, so lions stay inside a given size range. 

Tigers, on the other way, have no such cutthroat mating methodology, and numerous biologists contend that tigresses don't have the growth restricting adaptations of their lioness partners. Therefore, the impact of the growth-limiting genes given by male lions is more prominent, which permits ligers to expand than their parents. Nonetheless, for tigons, growth restricting genes are found in both male tigers and female lions, so their offspring have a wealth of these genes, which represents their more modest size. 

The biggest ligers regularly develop to lengths of more than 3.3 meters (10.8 feet) and gauge in excess of 400 kg (900 pounds); notwithstanding, there are reports of certain people gauging in excess of 1,000 kg (1 metric ton [about 2,200 pounds]). Tigons, conversely, will, in general, be a similar size or more modest than their parents, on the grounds that the development restricting genes are conveyed by both parents.

In spite of the fact that lions and tigers may mate in the wild, they are isolated by topography and conduct, and in this manner, all known ligers originate from accidental mating among lions and tigers just as from coordinated reproducing endeavours that have happened while in imprisonment. 

Do You Know?

The first known breeding of a lion and a tigress in bondage probably happened at some point during the last part of the 1700s. 

Approximately 100 ligers and less than 100 tigons are suspected to exist. Numerous national governments and animal-rights organizations see the act of reproducing lions and tigers as untrustworthy, on the grounds that ligers regularly obtain birth defects that outcome in death soon after birth and are inclined to obesity and unusual growth that spots weight on their internal organs. 

What's more, ligers and tigons have issues cooperating with individuals from their parent species on the grounds that their behavioral attributes regularly show as a blend of the habits for the two species instead of possibly either. Different rivals of liger breeding point out that ligers regularly occupy significant places in zoos that could be better utilized as living space for imperiled (endangered) species.

Now, Let’s Understand the Tigon and Liger:

Tigon and Liger

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The term liger tigon is portmanteaus (a word mixing the sounds and combining the meanings of two words) of lion and tiger.

Liger is an offspring, as a result of mating a male lion and a female tiger. It is a zoo-bred hybrid akin to tigon, which is reproduced by the mating of a male tiger and a female lion. 

Both liger and the tigon possess cross features of both parents, in varying proportions, but are usually larger than either. In most of the parts, male ligers and tigons are sterile (not able to produce children or young). 

However, occasionally, some females may be able to produce young. 

In Short, The Tigon Vs Liger is:

The liger is a hybrid (crossbreed) offspring of Panthera leo and Panthera tigris. Parents of ligers belong to the same genus but of different species. The liger is different from the hybrid of tigon and is the largest of all known extant (surviving) felines. The liger species enjoy swimming, which is also a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Alike tigons, ligers generally grow larger than either parent species.

Now, let’s have a  look at 11 important points that we don’t know about tigon:

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Tigon

Below are the Interesting Facts About Tigon:

  • It is believed that the first tigon has been successfully bred and born in India. This record familiarizes with the record of the first liger so apparently known as the hybrid of big cats originated from India.

  • A tigon synonyms are a tigron, a tiglon, or even a tion. Additionally, these names are simply nomenclature appellations or titles that support reference to their parents’ names.

  • Tigons are Banned in Taiwan: Taiwan has imposed a ban on the crossbreeding of lions and tigers to produce tigons. Additionally, this ban also applies to the breeding of ligers as well. 

Besides Taiwan, nine other countries including China, Iran, United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Argentina, India, Russia, and the Czech Republic have also imposed bans on the production of tigons.

  • Tigons Body Size: The saying that a fruit doesn’t fall far from its tree holds true for tigons as they seem to be no bigger than an average lion or tiger. 

An adult male tigon weighs around 450 lbs, however, a female around 200 – 300 pounds. This holds up a huge similarity to the weight of an African lioness, though smaller than an average Siberian tiger which is almost the size of the father. 

However, it sharply resembles its cousin, the liger which weighs around 900 kg and holds the record of being the world’s biggest cat.

  • Appearance - A tigon has a dark brown appearance with stripes on its fur. The color of its coat ranges from pale ocher to yellowish-brown. It also has spots on its face much similar to its father’s, the tiger. Most tigons also have a short trimmed mane around their neck.

  • The Health of a Tigon - A tigon is usually less healthy than its parents. Also, it is very prone to developing cancer and other unfortunate illnesses as is popular among hybrids. For the most part, it is born with congenital defects and hormonal imbalance issues. These factors lead to having a shorter lifespan than either a lion or tiger.

  • Tigons Enjoy Swimming - Though lions are water haters and may not even swim to save their lives. In contrast, the tigons have great swimming abilities, they enjoy the water, and do not hesitate to exhibit this love.

  • Tigons Show Conflicting Behavioural Patterns -  The tiger likes to keep to itself (staying aloof) whereas the lion enjoys the social life immensely; this conflicting behavioral pattern develops as an innate nature of the tigon. Thus, tigon mostly remains in a disturbing depressive state. People who debate against crossbreeding, name this behavioural trait as one of the many demerits of competing with nature to create animals.

  • Tigons are More Aggressive Than Ligers - Despite being of a smaller size than ligers, tigons have been found to be more aggressive than their bigger hybrid cousins. 

Not surprisingly, this is a contributing factor to fewer tigons (because of the conflicting behavioural traits acquired from their parents) being bred around the world. 

Talking about ligers, they may largely be preferred for their size and ensuing awe (as a result), tigons are considerably less preferred for being more aggressive and giving rise to a larger risk.

  • Tigons Fertility  -  Hardly, hybrid males are fertile and the tigon is no exception. The male tigon is sterile, i.e., cannot reproduce to bring about offspring. However, most female tigons are fertile and crossbreed with either a tiger or a lion. As a result, the offspring are the tigons. However, second-generation hybrids, tigons are quite rare.

  • Coexistence of Parents - Rarely, tigons breed in the wild. This happens because the habitat of a lion and a tiger never overlap.  

The reports exist of the cohabitation of the Asiatic lion and the Caspian tiger in countries involving Iran and Turkey along with the Bengal tiger in India. However, the difference in heat frequencies of the two animals leads to the occurrence of a hybrid offspring almost dismissible. Tigons, like ligers, have been successfully bred only in confinement (imprisonment).

Ligers and Tigons

Guggisberg concluded that ligers and tigons were for long thought to be sterile; in 1943, in any case, a 15-year-old crossbreed between a lion and an "Island" tiger was successful as a result of mating at the Munich Hellabrunn Zoo. The female offspring, despite the fact of sensitive wellbeing, was raised to adulthood.

At the Alipore Zoo in India, a tigoness born in 1971, named Rudhrani was effectively mated to a male Asiatic lion named Debabrata. The uncommon, second-generation hybrid was known as a litigon. 

Rudhrani delivered seven litigons in the course of her life. A portion of these arrived at great sizes - a litigon named Cubanacan weighed at any rate 363 kilograms (800 lb), stood 1.32 meters (4.3 ft) at the shoulder, and was 3.5 meters (11 ft) altogether length.

Reports additionally exist of the comparative titigon rising as a result because of the cross between a female tigon and a male tiger. Titigons resemble golden tigers, yet with less difference in their markings. 

A tigoness was born in 1978, named Noelle, shared an enclosure in the Shambala Preserve with a male Siberian tiger called Anton, because of the keepers belief that she was sterile. 

In 1983 Noelle created a titigon named Nathaniel. As Nathaniel was three-quarters tiger, he had hazier stripes than Noelle and expressed more like a tiger, as opposed to with the blend of sounds utilized by his mom. Being just about quarter-lion, Nathaniel didn't grow a mane. 

Nathaniel also developed a severe cancer disease at eight years old or nine years of age. Noelle likewise fostered an extreme malignant growth that killed her not long after she was analyzed.

FAQs on Tigon

Q1: Describe Tigon.

Ans: The state of the face, shading, size, and different attributes rely upon the subspecies reared and how the qualities associate. 

The shade of their jacket goes from pale ocher to yellowish earthy colored, somewhat hazier than lions and lighter than tigers. 

Tigons can have spots or stripes, as lions have both genes.


A male tigon doesn't have a full mane, however can hold some ruff. 


They weigh around 180 kilograms. 

They are similarly more modest in size as the lioness conveys development inhibitors. They never surpass the size of their folks. 

Totally mature male tigons scarcely develop as much as the lioness. In any case, they don't show dwarfism.

Q2: Where Do Ligers and Tigons Come From?

Ans: Both lions and tigers are entirely different. The two big cats rarely come across each other because of their varying habitats and behavioural traits. 

Lions habitats in Africa and tigers in Asia. So biologists conclude that no ligers or tigons survive in the wild. It’s just an assumption that ligers and tigons either purposefully or accidentally bred in zoos and circuses; however, it’s not true.

Q3: What do Ligers and Tigons Have in Common?

Ans: At the first glance, we learned that ligers and tigons have cross-bred characteristics from both parents, however, in reality, they don’t strongly resemble their parents; let’s see how:

Lion Characteristics: Tiny mane, and Black tail tip

Tigers have small ruffs, light stripes, and a belly. Also, they like swimming.

Q4: What are Ligers? 

Ans: Ligers weigh on average 1,000 pounds, and the heaviest ever recorded liger was 1,600 pounds in weight.

They are regarded as the biggest cat on earth because tigers weigh about 500 pounds and lions at a maximum of 600 pounds. Also, these species can produce lion and tiger vocalizations. Besides this, they are also called social cats.  

Q5: State Some Information About Ligers.

Ans: Some of the fun facts about ligers are:

Liger - Napoleon Dynamite: In 2004; the film Napoleon Dynamite likewise had content expressing liger as a most loved creature of the main job (Napoleon Dynamite himself) of the film. The entertainer likewise accepted that ligers are reared for their abilities in appeal and enchantment. 

Liger - Guinness Book Records 

In 2006's Guinness Book of World Records; ligers were likewise pronounced as the greatest of the relative multitude of enormous felines on the planet. A liger named as Hercules additionally included in 2014's Guinness Book of World Records too. 

Liger - National Geographic: In a  quest for a Super Cat, National Geographic discovered liger as an Ultimate Cat with undeniably more force and strength than some other enormous feline on planet earth. They even assessed the nibble power of the liger to be twice more than the lions and tigers.