The age-old debate of tiger versus lion has been around for centuries. Even the ancient Romans couldn’t resist pitting these majestic creatures against each other and even against humans.

But when it comes to size, it’s hard to deny that tigers come out on top. These fierce felines can grow up to a whopping 10 (or even 13) feet long and weigh over 660 pounds for the largest subspecies, the Amur tiger.

Comparatively, lions max out at around 8 feet in length and weigh up to 550 pounds. However, it’s important to note that appearances can be deceiving.

Despite being larger, tigers can often appear smaller than lions due to their lack of a magnificent mane and the way they carry themselves.

Which Tigers Are Bigger Than Lions?

Did you know that there are nine different subspecies of tigers, but unfortunately, three of them are already extinct? It’s a sad reality that all living tigers are currently endangered, with some subspecies even being listed as critically endangered.

Experts have classified tigers into two primary types: the continental tiger, which inhabits continental Asia, and the Sunda Island tiger, which only lives in the Indonesian islands.

Interestingly, there are three subspecies of continental tigers that can actually grow larger than lions! However, one of them, the Caspian tiger, has been extinct for over half a century.

1. Bengal Tiger


Bengal tigers are one of the most widely distributed tiger subspecies and can be found throughout the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.

Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts, their population has shown improvement over recent years.

Female Bengal tigers generally grow up to 8.7 feet in length and weigh up to 350 pounds, which puts them at a slightly smaller size compared to lions.

However, male Bengal tigers can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 570 pounds, making them slightly larger than even the biggest male lions.

2. Siberian Tiger or Amur Tiger


When it comes to the question of whether are tigers bigger than lions, the Siberian tiger immediately comes to mind. Once widespread in the forests of eastern Russia and northeastern China, Siberian tigers are now restricted to the Russian Far East.

Like many tigers, they’re endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, and dwindling prey species.

Siberian tigers are not only the largest tiger subspecies but also the largest of all big cats.

Female Siberian tigers can reach up to 9 feet in length and weigh up to 370 pounds, while males can grow up to 11 feet long and weigh over 600 pounds, making them even bigger than the largest of lions.

Note: The average weight of Bengal tigers is slightly higher than that of Siberian tigers. But Siberian tigers weigh more than Bengal tigers when compared individually.

3. Caspian Tiger (Extinct)

The Caspian tiger, once widespread throughout western Asia and the Middle East, has unfortunately been extinct for several decades.

Humans played a significant role in their disappearance, through the destruction of their habitat, the depletion of prey species, and hunting.

Like their close relative, the Siberian tiger, Caspian tigers relied on wild pigs, deer, and mountain sheep for food.

Despite their extinction, we can still learn about the Caspian tiger. Male Caspian tigers were able to grow to lengths just over 10 feet and weighed up to 550 pounds, making them slightly larger than the largest male lions.

Are Tigers Stronger Than Lions?


It’s interesting to observe the heated debates online regarding which of these big cats would win in a fight.

While there have been many documented fights between tigers and lions around the world, the truth is that the outcome can vary – sometimes the tiger wins, and other times the lion wins.

In a one-on-one scenario, a similarly sized tiger would likely defeat a lion, although the individual abilities of each animal would play a significant role.

Tigers are known to possess incredible power in their paws, capable of smashing the skulls of domestic cattle and breaking the backs of sloth bears with a single swipe.

Lions have an advantage due to their group living style (pride), where they band together to defend their territory.

Differences Between Tiger and Lion


Binomial Name:

  • Lion: Panthera Leo
  • Tiger: Panthera Tigris

Comparative Size:

  • Lion: Smaller
  • Tiger: Larger


  • Lion: Social, live in groups
  • Tiger: Solitary


  • Lion: Brown mane and tan-colored tail (usually)
  • Tiger: Dark yellow or orange color with brown/black stripes.


  • Lion: 59 miles per hour.
  • Tiger: 37 miles per hour.

Litter Size:

  • Lion: 1 to 2 cubs at one time.
  • Tiger: 2 to 4 cubs at one time.

Brain size:

  • Lion: Lions have a larger skull size than tigers, but their brain size is relatively smaller compared to tigers.
  • Tiger: The relative brain size of tigers is much larger than that of lions when compared to their body size.

Sexual Maturity:

  • Lion: 24-28 months in captivity and 36-46 months in the wild.
  • Tiger: 22-26 months in captivity and 36-46 months in the wild.


  • Lion: 2.2 – 3.0 meters.
  • Tiger: 2 – 3.3 meters.

Bite Force:

  • Lion: Lower bite force of 112.
  • Tiger: The bite force quotient (BFQ) of tigers, adjusted for their body mass, is 127.

Hunting Style:

  • Lion: They hunt larger prey in groups.
  • Tiger: Tigers have long and big canines, measuring from 7.5 to 10 cm, which they use to hunt larger prey as they hunt alone.

Life Span:

  • Lion: 12-18 years in the wild. In captivity, lions have a similar lifespan to tigers.
  • Tiger: 8-10 years in the wild. In captivity, they may live around 20-26 years.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4