Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Lion Plus Tiger Equals Liger (News)

A liger is the product of bizarre directive crossbreeding of a male lion and a female tiger, resulting in a creature that resembles their lion heritage more so than the tiger, and are entirely real. There are only a handful of ligers in the entire world.A Liger isn’t even a species, it’s a hybrid  there is no scientific name assigned to this creature due to its human assisted ancestry. While male ligers are sterile, female ligers are fertile, and can reproduce, but they’re unable to produce fertile offspring.Rare reports have been made of tigresses mating with lions in the wild, but breeding between lions and tigers generally occurs only in captivity. Under exceptional circumstances it’s been known for a tiger to be forced into ranges inhabited by the Asiatic Lion. However, this combination of species in the wild is considered highly unlikely. The present day range of wild lions and tigers no longer overlap. “Crossing the species line” does not typically occur in the wild, as “it would result in diminished fitness of the offspring.” said Ronald Tilson, director of conservation at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Geography is another obstacle to natural lion-tiger mating. Wild tigers generally inhabit Asia, whereas the lion’s current natural habitat is almost entirely in Africa. The Gir National Forest in India is the only location in the world where tiger and lion ranges overlap, increasing supposition that wild ligers roamed the area hundreds of years ago. “This would be highly improbable, because the Gir forest is really very dry and not optimal tiger habitat.” said Tilson.A liger looks like a giant lion with muted stripes or spots running through it. Most often, the striping is located across the back and hindquarters, while the abdominal area is spotted.
The spots are inherited from the lion, even though they’re not usually obvious in adult lions. Spotting can be found on lion cubs and assist for camouflage in the wild. On rare occasions adult lions will retain these. Tiger ear spots may or may not be present and the same applies to the tiger facial ruff. Though the tigers involved are usually orange in color, white tigers have been hybridized with lions to produce white ligers and golden tabby tigers have been hybridized with lions to produce golden ligers

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