The liger has the face of a lion and the stripes of a tiger on its body; however, their faces can have rosettes, which are markings seen on a leopard's body. Their temperament boasts characteristics of both lions and tigers. For example, they enjoy swimming and are very sociable. Although it is not proven, it is possible that they inherit health issues relative to both species.
The first ligers date back to 1799. A painting by Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire depicts that of offspring between a lion and a tiger. The largest liger, named Hercules lives in Miami. He is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cat in the world, weighing in at 904 pounds.
A few myths pertaining to ligers are:
- Ligers have short life spans. This is untrue. Most ligers live until their late teens or early twenties. They tend to live longer while in captivity, just as lions and tigers.
- Ligers are not genetically strong. Simply look at the animals that made them. They tend to be bigger and stronger than both.
- Ligers have unique dietary needs, resulting in them not receiving adequate nutrition. Although they are expensive to feed due to their size and vigor, they only need meats with essential vitamins and nutrients.
Do you know of anything interesting about ligers which I have not shared? It is neat to know they truly exist and are not simply an animal made up by Napoleon Dynamite.