While both are hybrids produced by the mating of a tiger and a lion, tigons and ligers have a number of differences. Tigons and ligers differ in terms of size and coloration. These differences are caused by the different genders of their parents. Tigons are produced when a male tiger mates with a female lion, while ligers are produced when a male lion mates with a female tiger.
Ligers are more common than tigons, and they are much larger as well. In fact, ligers are known as the largest cats on Earth, as they easily surpass the average adult weight of either parent species. While most ligers weigh about 1,000 pounds — which is about 400 pounds more than either of their parents — the largest liger ever recorded weighed approximately 1,600 pounds. By contrast, tigons are usually smaller than both of their parents — few male tigons even reach the size of their mothers.
Ligers often resemble lions more than tigers, while tigons resemble tigers more than lions. This is especially true when it comes to the color of the cat, which is closer to gold in ligers and orange in tigons.
Behaviorally, both hybrids display a mix of the two species’ traits. For example, most ligers and tigons “speak” the languages of both ancestral species. Additionally, both hybrids are fond of the water, which is a tiger-like trait.