The liliger; a hybrid of a lion
and a liger (a lion-tiger
hybrid), it helps us
understand how all living
cats are related—but to
each other, and not to dogs,
horses, etc. as evolution
would have it.
■ Joel Tay
THE WORLD’S biggest cat is the liger, the offspring of a male lion and female tiger. Though ligers were previously
thought to be sterile, there have been at
least ten documented cases since 2012
where female1 ligers have successfully
mated with lions to produce what are
known as liligers. 2
Liligers rank second among the large
cats for their size; smaller than a liger,
they are bigger than both lions and tigers.
Like both the lion and liger, the liliger
has a light yellowish-brown fur, but it
also has light spots on its body that somewhat resemble those of a leopard. These
spots are inherited from its lion father.
Baby lions are also born with spots, but
they lose those spots as they get older
(whereas a leopard normally does not—
cf. Jeremiah 13: 23). Liligers, however,
maintain their spots throughout their life.
Of the ten documented liliger occurrences, only one is a male. The male
liliger is slightly larger than the females,
and also sports a mane, a characteristic
it shares with male lions.
Breeding across boundaries
There are 39 living cat species in
the world. Many cats are able
to interbreed (hybridize) with
other species of cats, as in
the case of tigers and lions.
And also, on occasion,
they can interbreed with
cats of another genus—
another subfamily. 3
studies have now
allowed scientists to
categorize all extant cat
species into seven major
some cat species are
able to breed across these
lineages, while being unable
to breed with other species in
the same lineage.
Hybridization, of which liligers are just one example,
shows that domestic cats descended from the same
ancestral kind as the world’s mightiest jungle cats.
A TESTIMONY TO THE CREATED KIND