Friday, March 21, 2008
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.
Ligers are the largest felid in the world and can stand 12 feet tall on their hind legs. There are several photographs within this article which show comparisons between humans and ligers; they give an idea of just how huge these hybrids are. Fortunately, these cats have quite a gentle and easy going disposition. (Note that tigons are quite a different story when it comes to size. They show a tendency towards dwarfism).
Ligers may weigh in at half a ton, up to double the weight of a fully-grown Amur tiger. 'Hobbs', the liger shown below is the offspring of a Bengal tigress and an African lion. He has an estimated weight of between 800 and 1200 pounds. As a comparison, the Guinness Book of World Records lists the heaviest Amur tiger as being a 1,025 pound male, but this is highly unusual for the subspecies and a captive Amur tiger would be very lucky to reach 650-675 pounds.