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The Liger

The liger is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger. It is therefore a member of genus Panthera. It looks like a giant lion, with diffused tiger stripes. Like tigers though unlike lions ligers like to swim.

Known ligers exist due to human influence, either by deliberate human intervention, or by humans putting lions and tigers in enclosed spaces together. In natural conditions tigers and lions generally do not inhabit the same territory.

The two species coexist in the wild today only in the Gir forest of India. The one place where it was rumored that giant cats of a much larger size once roamed. Although their respective ranges used to intersect in Persia, China and perhaps also Beringia. Even where they do coexist, there have been no confirmed reports of interbreeding, though there are long-standing claims that this has happened.

Ligers grow much larger than tigers or lions. This is because female lions and male tigers transmit a growth-inhibiting gene to their descendants. Being the offspring of a male lion and female tiger, the liger does not have the growth-inhibiting gene and grows much more. They will grow constantly through their lifespan until their bodies cannot sustain their size anymore.

The average male liger may weigh up to 880 pounds, about twice the average for male Siberian tigers, the largest non-extinct, naturally-occurring member of family Felidae.

Male ligers are sterile, where as female ligers are often fertile and can be mated to a tiger resulting in ti-liger offspring or to a lion resulting in li-liger offspring.

Cited Paraphrasing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liger