Do Ligers Grow all their Life?
The scientists confirm that ligers lack growth inhibiting gene. This is the core reason, which allows the ligers to grow bigger, stronger and weigh more than their parents, either lions or tigers. However, the question remains still, that if the ligers lack growth inhibiting gene, do they grow all of their lives?f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK
From the growth patterns of the ligers from the previous articles, it can be concluded that ligers do not grow all of their life. Then the question remains why do they grow that much? If we take into account the studies of liger cubs, their growth was relatively higher as compared to the lion or tiger cubs. For example a 50 to 60 day old tiger cub was around 9 pounds. On the other hand at the same time, the liger cub was about 16 pounds. Similarly, a 3 months or 90 days old liger was around 36 pounds, whereas; it takes 130 days for the tigers to reach this much weight.f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK
The figure above specifically shows that it takes just 90 days for the liger cubs to reach the weight of 36 pounds. On the other hand for the tiger cubs it took about 130 days to reach this much weight.f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK
Therefore, right from the beginning the growth in the liger cubs is higher as compared to the growth in the lions and tiger cubs. This growth continues in the same fashion, until they reach such a stage at maturity where; their growth finally stops. By this time, they already grow much bigger than the lion or tiger.f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK
A 4 year old lion or tiger weighed around 500 to 600 pounds respectively. A 4 year old liger named as Hercules at the same stage weighed more than 900 pounds. Therefore, the percentage growth rate among the ligers is very high as compared to the percentage growth rate of the lions. This causes the liger to grow beyond the ages of the lion and tigers during the same time period.f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK
Evidence which proves that ligers do not grow throughout their lives can be established by the fact from the weight records of different ligers. The ligers at the ages near 20 were weighed less as compared to when they were weighed 10 years back. Take an example of Shasta the liger, the longest lived liger in the world for 24 years, it weighed much less in its 20s as compared to when it was in 10s and in the more than 5 years old.f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK
Therefore, the lacking growth inhibiting genes within ligers does not mean that ligers grow all of their lives. It means that the growth rate during the growing years is much faster as compared to the growth rates during the growing years of tigers and lions. The assumption is created by the individuals who want to malign the cross breeding of ligers e.g., so called animal rights activists etc.f-Share Tweet Linkedin Google+ Pinterest VK