Saturday, November 21, 2009
WHAT IS A LIGER?
A liger is the offspring of a lion father and a tiger mother. Though the tigers involved are usually of the orange coloration. Ligers share characteristics of both their parents. Some look very like lions, while others show their tiger heritage strongly.They usually chuff like a tiger and roar like a lion, but without giving the typical lion grunt at the end. Their vocabulary is made up both of lion and tiger sounds. The liger pelage usually has the typical tan lion coloring, with tiger 'candle flame' shaped stripes or spots running through it. Most typically, the striping is located across the back and hindquarters, while the abdominal area is spotted. These spots are inherited from the lion parent, even though they are not normally obvious in adult lions.
On ligers, tiger ear spots may or may not be present and the same applies to the tiger facial ruff. A male liger may have a leonine mane, but this is much more modest than on the lion and many male ligers have little or no head decoration at all.
Hybrid animals usually display what is known as 'hybrid vigor'. This means the offspring grow much larger and faster than either parent, and it appears that many hybridizations cause gigantism.