A liger is the product of a successful mating between a male lion and a female tiger, while a tigon is the offspring of a male tiger and a female lion. Because lions and tigers live in different parts of the world, this mating only occurs in captive animals.
Ligers, considered the biggest cats in the world, are normally larger than both parents. Their coloring is usually tawny orange, and they have light spots and stripes. Male ligers have short manes.
Tigons usually have orange fur with spots and stripes. It is not unusual for tigons to be smaller than both parents.
Both ligers and tigons are capable of making vocalizations characteristic of both lions and tigers. Ligers and tigons often have birth defects and die young.