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Wanhsien tiger ~

Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#31

(08-25-2016, 05:06 AM)peter Wrote: GENAO


One has to see a 450-pound lion or tiger up close to get an idea of its size. Dunbar Brander (regarding tigers in the Central Provinces a century ago) and Stevenson-Hamilton (regarding Kruger lions in the same period of time) both underlined the impressive size of an average adult wild male tiger or lion. 

When reading articles or stories about the average weight of wild big cats, you always have to remember three things:

a - Many samples are smallish;
b - individual variability, as Tigerluver underlined in his post, is pronounced, especially in tigers, and
c - there are significant differences between age groups.

I'm not saying we know next to nothing about the size of wild lions and tigers, but small samples and significant individual (age-related) variation usually are good friends. Not seldom, they produce deception when cooperating. It wouldn't be difficult to get to a table that would even baffle those interested in big tigers. Although the table would be correct in itself, it would be a selection of large animals only. 


a - tigers

Reliable data on the size of tigers provided by experienced forest officers a century ago suggest that most wild male Indian tigers ranged between 350-550 pounds. These weights were not adjusted, but it most probably had little effect on the average because of the size of the samples (a large sample has small and large and gorged and non-gorged individuals).

It wouldn't be easy to describe an 'Indian tiger'. Tigers shot in the Sunderbans and the Naga Hills (very close to Myanmar) were decidedly smaller than elsewhere, whereas Himalayan tigers (Terai Arc, Nepal and Bhutan) were large. As a result of the pronounced local differences, many decided to use tigers shot in the former Central Provinces as 'typical Indian tigers'. In the days of Dunbar Brander, an average male in that region was 440 pounds and 9.4 'between pegs', but the 42 males of Dunbar Brander averaged 9.3 and 420 pounds. I prefer to use the information of Dunbar Brander because he provided details in his book, but his average could have been a bit low. The average I found after reading dozens of books is closer to 440 pounds, with some individuals well past that mark.  

Although I'm not aware of reliable information on the size of tigers in that region today, those who had the opportunity to see them think they could be a bit heavier than a century ago. If so, it's likely the range is a bit wider as well. Some of the males who featured in documentaries bottomed a 500-pound scale, but the exact weight wasn't known. Same in Nepal, where two males bottomed a 600-pound scale. This in particular is remarkable, because Nepal only has about 200 tigers.       

All in all, I get to unclear. It's not likely the situation will change in the near future. One reason is every capture is risky. You don't want to take risks when the number of tigers is as limited as it is today. 


b - Lions

You wrote wild male lions average about 385 pounds, which could be close to the mark. If you want to compare lions and tigers at the level of species, however, you'd have to find the average of (all) wild male tigers (of all subspecies) first. Not easy, but don´t worry as some gave it a try. They concluded lions are a bit heavier at the level of species. The reason is no small subspecies. At the level of subspecies, averages of male lions range between 360-430 pounds, whereas averages of male tigers range between 280-460 pounds. The deficit was reduced when four tiger subspecies disappeared, but Sumatran and Malayan tigers are quite a bit smaller than Indo-Chinese, Amur and Indian tigers.    

Male lions in southwest Africa are larger than male lions in other parts of Africa, but the differences are limited. In maximum size, they even overlap. The longest skull I measured belonged to a male from Ethiopia. At the level of subspecies, however, the differences are quite distinct. Skulls of male Kruger lions, averaging very close to 380,00 mm. in greatest total length, top the list, whereas the average greatest length of skulls of male Indian lions is closer to 340,00 mm. The average of both, just below 360,00 mm., could be very close to the real average of all wild males.

The average weight of Ngorogoro male lions could exceed 430 pounds, but there's no information on size. There's no doubt, however, that they're larger than other lions in Tanzania. Packer was sure. 


c - Pleistocene big cats

Many thousands of years ago, lions were common in most parts of Europe, parts of Russia and the USA. The fossils found strongly suggest they were 10-20% larger than lions today (referring to total length and skull length). If they had similar proportions as todays lions, they would have disproportionally heavier (well over 20%). I'm not so sure about the estimates I read, but there's no question that the difference in weight would have been significant. 

In his great book 'Der Tiger' (1983), Mazak concluded that most Pleistocene tigers were a bit smaller than Amur tigers. Although he based his conclusions on the size of Amur tigers a century ago (when males averaged 475-490 pounds), the fossils found suggested he could have been right. At that time. Trinil tigers (Java), however, were exceptional. Based on what was found, they compared to the largest Pleistocene lions.

The ideas about the size of Pleistocene tigers, however, could change in the near future. The reason is quite many tiger skulls have been found in central and northern parts of China in the last decades. Based on the photographs posted by Grizzly, they, to put it mildly, seemed to compare to the largest skull Mazak measured (383 mm. in greatest total length). Apart from length, they seemed (much) more robust.  

Mazak could have been right in that tigers seem to have developed in size in the last part of the Pleistocene and the early part of the Holocene, though. Although there's no direct and clear proof to get to this conclusion, tigers seem to respond faster to circumstances than, for example, lions. When faced with difficult conditions, they rapidly adapt by losing size. Sunderban tigers, for example, are tigers from central India. In a few centuries only, they, sizewise, developed into a cat not much larger than a Bali tiger. Tigers living in hotspots, on the other hand, could be even larger than Amur tigers seen a century ago. 


d - About lions and tigers in Asia

All in all, there are many unanswered questions on the development of both big cats. When reading everything I have on lions and tigers, I noticed something not discussed before.  

It´s a fact that lions occupied large parts of Asia not so long ago. According to Baryshnikov, lions resided near the Pacific coast of Russia. This is the same region now occupied by Amur tigers. The fossils found leave no doubt as to the general size of both big cats in that lions most probably were a bit larger. They also live in a pride.

As a result of their size and their way of life, it´s more than likely that lions would have pushed other big cats towards the fringes when they entered a region occupied by other cats. When they disappeared, other big cats got a new opportunity. Tigers responded by adding a bit of size. It is remarkable they, most likely, developed in this respect in the last part of the Pleistocene (and not before). Trinil tigers are the exception to this rule, but lions, as far as I know, never reached the region they occupied.

After reaching the size they have today (or, more accurate, a few centuries ago), tigers, perhaps, would have been able to defend the territory conquered, provided they would have been able to avoid the brotherhood. Forests and hills would do very nicely. It also is remarkable that lions, on the other hand, seem to have lost a bit of their size during this development (perhaps because large herds with large bovines were on their way out in that period and perhaps because of climat change). This perhaps is the reason why tigers making their home near the western and northern fringes of tigerland are decidedly larger than tigers living in regions without large competitors.

If true, new ideas about the size of stripes need to be developed. Sexual drive is important and so are climate and (the availability of) food, but tigers in Indian reserves suggest competition can´t be eliminated as a factor out of hand. When reading the reports and articles posted in the thread started by Apollo (´Big cats news´), one at times gets the idea it´s close to a battlefield in some Indian reserves.   

Anyhow. It´s just an idea, but I wouldn´t mind starting a debate.


Both tiger and lion remains from Manchuria, and they do resemble their modern relatives.



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author
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United States genao87 Offline
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#32

Man reading Peters and Tigerluvers posts is like a shot to my heart....the size that I was expecting on average was nothing like what I imagine.   So now we cant conclude that the Wanshien was even more robust than todays tigers?   The Amur Tiger of today wasnt that much larger 35,000 years ago,  just slightly above 500 pounds/230kg.   However Pete mentioned there are still some more data to be collected involving Pleistocene Tigers.   

Kind of interesting that Tigers adapt to environmental changes faster than lions...reminds of the Wooly Mammoth where it shrunk like crazy in order to survive extinction. 

This is kind of full circle to me,  when I first heard about past Pleistocene cats,  it was calculated that they just grew only 15-25% larger...then hearing all these giants possibilities only to realize that they average not much larger and just again 15-25% compare to their modern relatives.   Who was that guy who even came up with the 15-25% to begin with anyway?

Machairodus giganteus?  Grizz,  didn't they just grew only 170kg on average?  Is that to help show that Amur's canines were very thick at least compare to other species of cats?   From your second post of canine teeth,  which ones are Tigers and which ones are Lions?
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United States Pckts Online
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#33
( This post was last modified: 08-25-2016, 11:17 PM by Pckts )

If you look at the 3rd picture, the one on the left is a lion, the middle is a jag and far right is a South China Tiger

Its hard to tell on the two Manchuria canines because the root is blurry and the dark tooth makes it hard to distinguish for me at least.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#34
( This post was last modified: 08-25-2016, 11:28 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

@genao87 Amur canine is extremely thick on those exceptional specimens, the lateral diameter can reach 2 inches which is comparable to the Smilodon populator, but thicker on the anterior width.

The first one is a tiger, and the second one is a lion.


@Pckts the second one has the narrowing root at the end, so it clearly points toward a lion.
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United States Pckts Online
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#35

Thats what I thought but the shadow made it harder for me to tell. Thanks Grizz
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#36
( This post was last modified: 08-25-2016, 11:32 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

(08-25-2016, 11:27 PM)Pckts Wrote: Thats what I thought but the shadow made it harder for me to tell. Thanks Grizz

Here is a better view, the root looks relatively smooth, quite typical for a tiger.



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United States genao87 Offline
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#37
( This post was last modified: 08-26-2016, 12:23 AM by genao87 )

Grizz,  what type of Tiger and Lion are we looking at?  I am assuming that the Tiger tooth is from an Amur 35,000 years ago?


Also, the 3rd picture and the 3rd tooth/far right is from a South China Tiger???  the faq..how,  arent they the smallest species in Asia and consider extinct in the wild...these suckers grew big in the past.
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United States Pckts Online
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#38

(08-26-2016, 12:21 AM)genao87 Wrote: Grizz,  what type of Tiger and Lion are we looking at?  I am assuming that the Tiger tooth is from an Amur 35,000 years ago?


Also, the 3rd picture and the 3rd tooth/far right is from a South China Tiger???  the faq..how,  arent they the smallest species in Asia and consider extinct in the wild...these suckers grew big in the past.

Take a look through the big cat canines and claws thread when you get a chance, you'll enjoy it.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#39

The tiger tooth is probably around 10,000 - 8,000 years old, since it is not fully fossilized yet, definitely belong to something post-Pleistocene.

The lion tooth could be older around 100,000 - 12,000 years old. Since lions only existed in the eastern part of Asia prior to 12,000 years ago.

BTW, about the modern teeth, the left one is a large male African lion, and the right one is a South China tiger. The tiger tooth is always proportionally larger than the lion tooth regardless the smaller subspecies.
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United States genao87 Offline
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#40
( This post was last modified: 08-26-2016, 11:55 AM by genao87 )

The tooth is from a Cave Lion or just a regular one? Kind of interesting that a little South China Tiger has bigger claws than a prehistoric Cave Lion if true.


Pckt,  checking out the Freak Felids and Largest Individuals  and Largest Individual Threads.   Curious is there a thread showing the largest Panthera Cats in order from Large to Small?....Subspecies of each cat included as well.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#41

The lion tooth belongs to a Cave lion.
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United States genao87 Offline
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#42

Have we finally got more fosslis of the Northern Wanhsein Tiger to see how large did the Northern Wanhsien tigers grew compare to the Southern version?   seems the Northern were massive but could not confirm an average size for them.
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tigerluver Offline
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#43

@genao87 , nothing other than lose late Pleistocene tiger fossils. It's been a bit of a quite year in paleontological expedition and tigers don't bring in much interest.
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United States genao87 Offline
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#44

So those Private collectors have not shared anything then yet.  Well I shouldnt say anything.
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Canada Wolverine Away
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#45
( This post was last modified: 09-07-2018, 11:52 PM by Wolverine )

Face of between ancient Sunda tiger and Gigantopithecus by Roman Uchytel
https://www.newdinosaurs.com/gigantopithecus/


*This image is copyright of its original author


Gigantopithecus was the largest ape ever to exist and had significant weight advantage to the tiger.


*This image is copyright of its original author
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