Difference Wiki

Lion vs. Tiger: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 11, 2023
Lions, social big cats with a tawny coat and males having manes, differ from tigers, which are solitary and have a coat with dark stripes.

Key Differences

A lion, known for its magnificent mane (in males), radiates an aura that is synonymous with royalty and courage in various cultures. Tiger: The tiger, recognized for its striking orange coat peppered with black stripes, is often associated with power and fierceness across different traditions. Both have seeped into cultural, spiritual, and communal symbols, yet hold distinct places in mythology and symbolism.
Naturally sociable creatures, lions often form prides, which are groups that incorporate numerous related females, their cubs, and a few males. Tiger: Contrarily, tigers are fundamentally solitary animals, usually hunting and living alone, except during mating season or a mother raising her cubs. Their societal structures bring about contrasting interaction behaviors and hunting methods between the two species.
Generally, lions inhabit the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, illustrating a preference for open plains where their prey is visible. Tiger: Tigers predominantly dwell in Asia and demonstrate a fondness for varied habitats, such as grasslands, swamps, and dense forests, adapting to diverse environments with aptitude. The geographical locales of these magnificent creatures profoundly influence their hunting styles, prey, and overall lifestyle.
While male lions are predominantly responsible for defending their pride's territory, it's the female lions (lionesses) that undertake the hunting. Tiger: In stark contrast, tigers - regardless of gender - are solitary hunters, navigating their surroundings with stealth and utilizing their striping as camouflage. The gender roles within the species, particularly in hunting and territory guarding, vividly diverge in lions and tigers.
Human encroachment and conflict continue to menace lion populations, pushing them towards vulnerability, despite their symbolic representation of strength. Tiger: Tigers, too, are beleaguered by poaching and habitat destruction, being categorized as an endangered species, even with their image of ferociousness and majesty. Preservation efforts for both these splendid creatures underline a critical need for conservation consciousness among humans.

Comparison Chart

Social Structure

Group-oriented, live in prides
Solitary, prefer isolation

Physical Appearance

Tawny coat, males have manes
Orange coat with black stripes


Primarily African grasslands
Diverse habitats in Asia

Hunting Behavior

Females mainly hunt, in groups
Solitary, stealthy hunters

Conservation Status


Lion and Tiger Definitions


In astrology, “Leo”, symbolized by a lion, represents individuals born between July 23 and August 22.
As a Leo, she found her likeness to a lion in her leadership qualities and vibrant personality.


A tiger is a large, carnivorous feline with a distinctive orange coat and black stripes.
The tiger stealthily moved through the jungle, its eyes fixed on its prey.


In literature and symbolism, the lion often represents courage, strength, and royalty.
In numerous fables, the lion, as the king of the jungle, embodied majestic authority.


In various cultures, a tiger symbolizes strength, power, and bravery.
The ancient warriors revered the tiger, wearing its image as a token of fearlessness in battle.


"Lion" can also metaphorically depict a brave or dominant person.
In the business world, he was considered a lion due to his formidable and fearless persona.


"Paper tiger" is an idiom used to describe something or someone that appears threatening but is ineffectual in reality.
Despite its aggressive stance, the opposing team was merely a paper tiger, easily defeated and harmless.


A "lion's share" is an idiom meaning the largest portion or majority of something.
He claimed the lion's share of the profits, leaving little for the other investors.


In a metaphorical context, a tiger can represent a fierce, determined, or ambitious individual.
With her relentless pursuit of justice, the attorney was often referred to as a tiger in the courtroom.


A lion is a large, tawny-coated carnivorous cat that typically lives in prides.
The lion roared, its powerful sound echoing across the savannah.


"Tiger mom" is a term often used to describe a strict or demanding mother who pushes her children to high levels of achievement.
Under the stringent guidelines of her tiger mom, she practiced violin for hours daily, aiming for perfection.


A large carnivorous feline mammal (Panthera leo) of Africa and northwest India, having a short tawny coat, a tufted tail, and, in the male, a heavy mane around the neck and shoulders.


A large carnivorous feline mammal (Panthera tigris) of Asia, having a tawny coat with transverse black stripes.


Any of various similar wild felines, such as the jaguar, mountain lion, or lynx.


Are tigers larger than lions?

Yes, tigers are generally larger than lions.

Where are lions predominantly found?

In the grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa.

Why do male lions have manes?

Manes protect their neck during fights and make them appear larger to deter rivals.

Do lions climb trees?

Yes, some lions climb trees, although it’s relatively uncommon.

What is a group of lions called?

A pride.

How do tigers communicate?

Through vocalizations, scent marking, and body language.

How long do tigers usually live in the wild?

Approximately 10-15 years.

Which lion subspecies is known as the Asian lion?

The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica).

What is the typical social structure of tigers?

Tigers are generally solitary animals.

Is the Siberian tiger the largest tiger subspecies?

Yes, the Siberian tiger is the largest.

What is the habitat of a tiger?

Diverse habitats across Asia, including forests, grasslands, and swamps.

What role do lionesses play in the pride?

Lionesses are primarily responsible for hunting and rearing cubs.

How fast can a lion run?

Up to 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), in short bursts.

Why are tigers endangered?

Major reasons include poaching, habitat loss, and human-wildlife conflict.

What is the primary diet of tigers?

Typically large ungulates.

What function do a tiger’s stripes serve?

They provide camouflage in varied habitats.

What challenges are lions facing in the wild?

Key threats include habitat loss, human conflict, and poaching.

How many subspecies of tiger are there?

Six extant subspecies.

Are lions endangered?

Lions are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

What is a liger?

A hybrid offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons