Are tigers stronger than lions?

Tiger test strength on fairground punch machine
Tiger test strength on fairground punch machine. Image: MikeB.

Yes, tigers are stronger than lions. Can you challenge that statement? This is an interesting question partly because I have eight articles on who would win in a lion versus tiger fight and the general consensus is that lions win. A link to one of those articles is just below. It was written by a guest to this website and it is quite a popular page. And you can look at another page on the topic by clicking the other link below.

Lion Wins nearly all the Lion vs Tiger Fights

Although the argument continues as to whether the lion or tiger would win in a fight between these two iconic big cat species, there is almost nothing in terms of scholarly articles written by scientists which help us understand which of the two is stronger.

Lion vs Tiger – Lion wins most times

The strength of either of these big cats will be a factor on who wins a fight but it won’t be the entire story. One website which gets a top ranking on Google search states that ‘recent research’ has been carried out to support the fact that the tiger is stronger than the lion. But this website does not provide us with a link to the research so that we can check it out.

RELATED: A massive page on why the lion wins a lion versus tiger fight written by a Hawaiian afficionado of the subject.

So, I went in search of this scientific research and the best place to do that is Google Scholar. All of the world’s scientific studies are published on Google scholar.

And, regrettably and perhaps amusingly, the only scholarly article that I can find which compares the strength of the lion and the tiger is on the website nature.com and the article was published on October 7, 1875! Hardly recent research 😎. This is an incredibly ancient piece of research and I’m not sure that it holds up today when you bear in mind the huge advances in science that have been made since 1875.

However, as this is all I have, I have reproduced the summary verbatim below. As you can see the author, Samuel Haughton, believed that he had proved “that the strength of the lion in the forelimbs is only 69.9% of that of the tiger and that the strength of his hind limbs is only 65.9% of that of the tiger.”

Clearly on that assessment, the tiger is considerably stronger than the lion. In an article that I published at least 10 years ago written by Leonardo, he cogently states that the tiger has a much stronger bite force in the lion. The bite force of the lion is 600 pounds per square inch while the Tiger achieves 1000 pounds per square inch. See the full article by clicking on the link below:

Lion Versus Tiger Bite Force

The bite force is clearly an aspect of their strength which is why I have referred to it here. The tiger wins the competition according to Leonardo’s article from South Africa.

My current thinking is that the tiger is stronger than the lion but the lion wins a tiger versus lion fight. This seems illogical. But there are other factors which play a role in fighting. It is fair to say, though, that this discussion is ongoing and you can’t expect a definitive answer. One reason for that is that the wild lion in their natural habitat never meets a wild tiger in their natural habitat because they live on different continents thousands of miles apart.

We can never test the theory.

P.S. The tiger’s strength is legendary in dragging super-heavy prey carcasses for hundreds of yards. I have an article on that too which you can see by clicking on the following link:

Legendary tiger strength on show as tiger pulls SUV backwards with its teeth clamped on bumper

Tigers are enormously strong
Tigers are enormously strong

Below are some tiger versus lion articles. I would very much welcome the views of others if they can provide some hard evidence which proves that either the tiger or lion is stronger. Whatever the answer, there is not much in it and they are both massive strong.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

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