A tiger will defeat a lion
Debate Rounds (5)
I will be selecting a male lion for the purposes of this debate. With a male lion the point I made earlier is far exaggerated as the male lion does not hunt the evolutionary advantage would to me more effective in fighting other big cats as a male lion that could more effectively fight other lions would get more mates and therefore produce more offspring.
My point is that a male lion is more adapted to fighting other large cats than a tiger which is more adapted to taking down prey.
In Khana National Park 25% of tiger deaths are from other tigers and only 5.5% of lion deaths are from other lions.
Out of 21 lions monitored by scientists, only three of them were killed by fighting, in five years. Lions also avoid fighting through bluffing. "Since a fight usually hurts both the attacker and defender, they mostly use other methods of dissuasion - particularly bluffing. The male may stand broadside to a stranger displaying his mane and making himself appear large and impressive. Such bluffs usually succeed." (Page 60, Wonders of Lions. George & Kay Schaller).
If a lion is adapted to fighting then why do they have a terrible fighting style. A tiger can rear up on its hind legs only making both front paws available. A lion must stand on three legs an maul with the fourth. In the documented fights, in most of the cases where there are details of the fight, the tiger seemed to gain advantage for this reason. The tiger's fighting style not only theoretically doubles the number of swipes, it increases the reach, increases the force, and allows a tiger to defend/block a swipe and make an offensive swipe at nearly the same time.
"I may add that five men can easily hold down a lion, while it requires nine men to control a tiger."
I would like to bring up strength now. A tiger is stronger by -
30.10% in shoulder joints
34.7% in hip joints
31.91% in forelimbs
34.91% in backlimbs
A tiger has 72.6% muscle mass and a lion has 58.8% muscle mass. A tiger also has 7.7% body fat while a lion has almost double at 13.7% but it doesn't end here.
The lion's humeroradial index (measure of its limb proportions), at 98.3, is closer to that of the cheetah (101.3) than to that of the tiger (89.8).
S. fatalis (78.9) - P. tigris (82.4) - 3.5
S. fatalis (78.9) - P. leo (89.5) - 10.6
A. jubatus (100.1) - P. tigris (82.4) - 18.7
A. jubatus (100.1) - P. leo (89.5) - 11.6
The tiger is closer to S. fatalis (smilodon) and the lion is closer to A. jubatus (cheetah).
"In Khana National Park 25% of tiger deaths are from other tigers and only 5.5% of lion deaths are from other lions."
This doesn't actually show anything, more evidence is required to make any accurate conclusions from this, from this you could conclude that tigers fight with each other more than lions or you could conclude that lions are better adapted for the reasons I showed last time. More evidence is required and this statistic alone is next to meaningless. Also this statistic is probably offset by male lions being the only ones fighting and both male and female tigers fighting. Actually if we were going to compare the rates of death from fighting as a percentage of those who fight you would come up with 25% of tigers and 11% of lions there is still a significant difference but not as much.
Furthermore I question the reliability of the results from Khana National Park as it is a semi controlled environment and thus not entirely the same conditions as a wild one.
A bluff requires that the threat be existent otherwise the bluff will be called. This kind of mutually assured destruction is at the core of a bluff. As you said "a fight usually hurts both the attacker and defender", this is not the same with tigers as they are not as adapted to fighting.
A lion is a social organism unlike a tiger. Lions have a social hierarchy in which the lion at the top gets the most mates and therefore passes on more of its genes, this hierarchy is based on the best fighter being at the top.
If a tiger was more adapted to fighting other tigers there would be more reluctance.
Lions "terrible fighting style"
You claim "A lion must stand on three legs an maul with the fourth." this is simply not true  .
Furthermore I am not convinced of the truth of your claim "The tiger's fighting style not only theoretically doubles the number of swipes, it ... increases the force" I don't see why biped fighting provides more force than quadrupedal fighting, in physics force is defined as mass multiplied by acceleration. In a situation where both creatures are fighting bipedally the mass would remain the same and only the acceleration could differ and I am not convinced it would. In a situation where one creature was fighting bipedally and another was fighting quadrupedally the one fighting bipedally could use its entire mass to hit both paws down on the head of the the quadrupedal fighter increasing the mass but decreasing the acceleration an easy way to test this is to punch something with one hand and then fall hand first onto the same object it should have a similar effect (depending on weight and strength) as both a lion and a tiger are stronger than a human for their weight.
So a lion is perfectly capable of fighting bipedally and while bipedal fighting does have some advantages they come in the form of an increased number of views not increased power.
Number of People Taken to Control the Animal
"I may add that five men can easily hold down a lion, while it requires nine men to control a tiger."
One well trained man can single handedly control a crocodile  but one man can't control a basking shark, does that mean the basking shark (that would only hurt a person if it accidentally swallowed them)?
As I have already said the tiger has an advantage on paper, just as the soviets had an advantage on paper in the Afghan war.
Two paws is definitely better than one otherwise a martial artist would use one hand to punch with and one leg to kick with. Most experts favour the tiger just for this reason. You should try getting on all fours and imitate a swipe then you will notice how weak a lion must be. They are also built closest to cheetahs, while a tiger is built towards jaguars and smilodon which are the strongest cats. Balancing on the hind legs also means gravity is on the tigers side, if you watch a fight between tigers and lions you can see the tiger controls the fight.
Lions aren't capable of standing on their hind legs, they can only do that if their front paws are holding on to something like a wall or cage. Their backlimbs are not strong enough, that is why you've never seen them leap six meters horizontally or jump five meters veritcally like a tiger can. I would like you to show me a video where the lion uses both front paws.
You can't compare a crocodile to a tiger or lion, they are already on the ground and can't try to stand up. It's actually called alligator wrestling where the man is trained to smack it on the nose, put his hand and head in its mouth all while not being attacked. Same goes with a shark, being underwater is completely different than being on land. If you compared controlling a big cat to a bear or gorilla I could understand but you're doing no favours for yourself.
I don't actually understand what your argument is, you've tried using long words but it doesn't do anything for me.
"How does a lion having more mates make it a better fighter?"
It's the other way around. A lion that is a better fighter will be able to have more mates which means that it will pass on its genes to more individuals than a lion that is not a good fighter. This means that because this kind of sexual selection is stronger in social species male lions will become better at fighting other large cats.
Using Two Paws
"I would like you to show me a video where the lion uses both front paws."
For a start I have already shown that you have overplayed the significance of using two paws. In the first 30 seconds of this video especially between 10 and 15 seconds you will see a lion using two paws both while on its hind legs and after being wrestled to the ground .
The Number of People Taken to Hold Down an Animal
"You can't compare a crocodile to a tiger or lion"
The reason I was using the examples of a crocodile and a basking shark was to show how the number of people taken to hold the animal down is not a good way to determine how effective its fighting style is I was not comparing my examples of a basking shark and a crocodile to a lion and a tiger.
"I don't actually understand what your argument is, you've tried using long words but it doesn't do anything for me."
My main argument is that because of sexual selection which is more active in lions than tigers traits which make an animal a better fighter would more selected more often in lions than tigers.
My opponent hasn't given me much to respond to.
There is no hierarchy in a pride, and there is usually more than one male lion in a pride. Where did you get information from that the best fighting lion gets more mates, did you read that from a ridiculous post by an amateur on Wiki or Yahoo Answers. Females are attracted to males with darker manes, the mane is simply an attraction which shows the females who has more testosterone. Lionesses don't have a super power to identify a single male lion to be the best fighter out every male in the African grasslands, and then all try it on with him. The only group of animals that have a leader is a wolf pack.
"You will see a lion using two paws both while on its hind legs"
I've seen that fight before and it's probably one of my favourites. However, they did not balance themselves for over a second on their hind legs. They were both grappling and between 10 to 15 seconds they were holding on to each other for balance, which is why their were no swipes being thrown. Like I said before, a horse can balance on its back legs for 2 or 3 seconds and then must return to all fours. The same with dogs which some can also balance on their back legs but not for as long as they please.
The number of people to hold down a tiger or lion wasn't about their fighting style, it was about their strength. If a group of men held down a raging lion it would be using its strength to get up and escape the hold, not its fighting style. The point I was trying to make about you comparing a crocodile or shark to a four legged mammal is not right or accurate. Wrestling a crocodile or alligator doesn't take a powerful human, a female could do it if they were trained. The croc also can't try to stand back up like a tiger or lion would.
A fish is so much weaker out of the water, a shark could easily be held down if you dragged it onto land but in the water is another story.
I actually don't recall you replying to what I wrote about their strength comparisons and I'm not too happy about you dodging it as I straight away debated what you first brought up. Should we use Round #5 to close the debate?
"I actually don't recall you replying to what I wrote about their strength comparisons and I'm not too happy about you dodging it as I straight away debated what you first brought up."
I acknowledged at the start of this debate that the tiger has the advantage on paper, I didn't avoid the question I accepted you were correct.
"The number of people to hold down a tiger or lion wasn't about their fighting style, it was about their strength. If a group of men held down a raging lion it would be using its strength to get up and escape the hold, not its fighting style. The point I was trying to make about you comparing a crocodile or shark to a four legged mammal is not right or accurate. Wrestling a crocodile or alligator doesn't take a powerful human, a female could do it if they were trained. The croc also can't try to stand back up like a tiger or lion would."
My comparason still works here, just because the shark is much much stronger and takes more people to control there is no way it would win in a fight.
"There is no hierarchy in a pride, and there is usually more than one male lion in a pride. Where did you get information from that the best fighting lion gets more mates, did you read that from a ridiculous post by an amateur on Wiki or Yahoo Answers. Females are attracted to males with darker manes, the mane is simply an attraction which shows the females who has more testosterone. Lionesses don't have a super power to identify a single male lion to be the best fighter out every male in the African grasslands, and then all try it on with him. The only group of animals that have a leader is a wolf pack."
This is from an article on save-wildlife.com:
"Battles among a pride occur for the sake of the hierarchy. It is rare that they result in death. Yet, if a male
outside“ tries to take over the pride a violent power struggle does arise. In the event that the intruder wins the fight, all
the pride’s cubs are killed. This way, the female lions are willing to mate quicker so the new pride leader can spread his
That basically backs up everything I have been saying so far.
 http://www.save-wildlife.com... (page 5)
There are fights to be the males of the pride and there is usually two lions in that place, there is no hierarchy, just that males are more important than the females. Wolves like I said before has an alpha male and alpha female in each wolf pack.
Your source is from one page, you should be using multiple studies and be researching more than one website. That was not even written by an expert, just someone that wants to brag and make the lion sound mighty in order to save it. Just like they do when they refer to the 'Royal Bengal tiger' so people are more interested in it.
I have a lot of respect for you and my comparison was purely on strength, when you look at tigers and lions they both look similar in characteristics. Both powerful, and both armed with large paws, claws, and sharp canine teeth. But when a tiger is over 30% stronger in multiple joints with more robust arms and able to fight with double the paws it's going to easily take control of the fight and deal out more damage.
I've come to the final conclusion that you already knew the tiger is the true winner in this debate. However, the point you tried getting across was that females mate with the strongest males, I'll give you credit where it's due. Lions with larger manes are the ones that win the fights most of the time, as the losers lose hair a lot of the time, meaning they have smaller manes. Bigger and darker manes do attract females, although Asiatic lions generally have small manes and it doesn't affect mating. But I must also say that any tiger automatically has the better fighting style, this is evident in any video you watch.
You put up a good argument and I really appreciate it. I have to give you much respect for having a quick Google search and then accepting the debate. Thank you!
Hierarchies and Mates
"Your source is from one page, you should be using multiple studies and be researching more than one website."
So if I find more reliable sources then my central point carries through unchallenged? Here are some contributing sources   (both from scientific peer reviewed journal's).
Yes I have said tigers have the advantage on paper.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: If a tiger is a better fighter on paper, and there are no actual tiger-versus-lion fights to source, that means that within acceptable probability, the victor would be the tiger. Con conceding that the appears more impressive on paper negated almost all of con points.
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