Could tigers have survived in Sub-Saharan Africa assuming no/minimal human interference?

Could tigers have survived in Sub-Saharan Africa assuming no/minimal human interference?
Why weren't tigers as widespread as lions historically? The two species co-existed in India for millennia so it can't be that lions notably suppress tiger numbers.

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  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Should be noted that I meant "tigers as they are now, physically and psychologically", not a speculative tiger.

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Tigers
    4,500 left
    >Lions
    35,000 left

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    The farthest tigers had spread out was to the shores of the Caspian and the Caucasus. That they hadn't spread to Africa was likely due to the timing of humans arriving on the scene more than anything. A couple million more years and there probably would have been African tigers.

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Why do people assume that tigers are going to remain solitary in their new environment? Felines are very quick to evolve social behaviour. Lions and cats have evolved it very recently, historically speaking.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      because tigers are solitary animals, like leopards. theyre not lions or cheetahs

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Guess who also was a solitary animal historically? The lion. The older, solitary subspecies of lions are all extinct, leaving only the more recently evolved social lions.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Guess who also was a solitary animal historically? The lion. The older, solitary subspecies of lions are all extinct, leaving only the more recently evolved social lions.

      Then why haven't leopards evolved to form groups? Why do you think tigers would when leopards don't?
      >The older, solitary subspecies of lions are all extinct
      What subspecies are you referring to?

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        European lion
        Barbary lion
        American lion
        etc.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          All of those likely lived in groups. Smaller groups than modern lions, but not solitary

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          A few things. First European and American lions diverged from African lions 0.5-2 million years ago so they're pretty much different species from African lions, not subspecies. Some scientists don't even consider them true lions, never mind a lion subspecies. American/European lions were likely a sister clade to African lions. Plus we don't even have evidence of their social dynamics so saying they were solitary is by no means a fact. Second, barbary lions did still live in prides, some groups of them may have lived more somewhat solitary lives because of a variety of different reasons like lower populations or environment, but evidence suggests they preferred to live in prides.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      social animals have to share food which means it's harder to keep a large size and have to fight in group which means evolving toward group fighting and away from individual fighting instincts and abilities.
      So they would have to become lions.
      but lions are already there

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I suppose, also, tigers and lions may develop a relationship that allows them to tell yeens to frick off.

    > Yeah, I know. Probably never. But ... over a lot of years there may well be viable hybrids. Eventually maybe even stable enough to become a new species. Anyone familiar with coywolves in the North American North East? They have established themselves as a genetically stable new species, very, very well-adapted to living among humans..

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous
  7. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    More proof that tigers would wreck ass in Africa as far as predator competition goes. And this isn’t even the most impressive sub-species

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      damn that poo nearly lost his life
      this thread has opened my eyes to the tiger truth

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >the tiger truth

  8. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    In a densely wooded jungle with few other predators and an abundance of prey? They might have a chance. In the open savanna, competing with lions, hyenas, leopards, wild dogs, etc. and having to deal with huge herds of prey animals on their own? Frick no. Tigers are barely hanging on in Asia alone

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      I didn't think about the mountainous jungles.
      They would displace leopards in those areas and probably cause migrations in chimp troops to avoid total eradication. Gorillas would be absolutely fricked, cause they currently only have to worry about leopards taking babies while a tiger would just thug on a full grown silverback.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Poaching and habitat shrinkage are their man threats in Asia, they compete with other animals just fine. Not just in a dense jungle, but also in sparse Siberian woods filled with wolves, lynxes, bears and leopards.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        I think hyenas and lions would cause them more trouble in a savanna ecosystem than the competition they experience in Siberia. However, there is a hell of a lot more food in Africa (the natural areas with minimal human tampering). Tigers could take down animals that even single lions can't (I'm thinking buffaloe & crocs here, as examples).

        Anyway, to answer OP's question, they may not thrive in the African savanna as much as elsewhere, like water-rich jungles, but I still think they would do alright and a balance would eventually be achieved. I suspect their cubs would be (more) vulnerable to hyenas, lions, painted dogs, etc. and that might be one of the greater stresses on their population, especially during the dry season between herd migrations. In Asia their cubs face fewer direct threats, apart from humans.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          African jungles have an abundance of basically everything that bengal and sumatran tigers eat already, and chimps and gorillas are just big versions of the monkeys they eat.
          They would be in paradise in the congo, if the villagers wouldn't chimpout and exterminate them(they would, tigers are maneaters, will kill far more people than leopards).

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >they may not thrive in the African savanna as much as elsewhere, like water-rich jungles, but I still think they would do alright and a balance would eventually be achieved
          The impression I get is that tigers can't tolerate heat and arid conditions like lions have. There are no desert tigers like there are Saharan or Namib lions and they're always soaking in water.

          African jungles have an abundance of basically everything that bengal and sumatran tigers eat already, and chimps and gorillas are just big versions of the monkeys they eat.
          They would be in paradise in the congo, if the villagers wouldn't chimpout and exterminate them(they would, tigers are maneaters, will kill far more people than leopards).

          Congo jungle would be ideal. No hyenas, no wolves, no lions, no dholes, huge primates that their claws can easily shred, they could maybe even start taking forest elephants and buffaloes. Tigers (like all big cats) can trend towards macropredation given enough time to adapt.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            You were making sense till you mentioned they could they take down Elephants.

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              I'm not talking tuskers, I'm talking juveniles and subadults at max, and forest elephants are significantly smaller than savanna elephants.

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              Tigers hunt and eat elephants in Asia. It's dangerous and not common, but well-documented. Lions hunt & eat cape buffalo, and tiger are seriously larger than lions, so those are definitely on a tiger's dinner plate. Something as huge and dangerous as a croc (SEE

              I think hyenas and lions would cause them more trouble in a savanna ecosystem than the competition they experience in Siberia. However, there is a hell of a lot more food in Africa (the natural areas with minimal human tampering). Tigers could take down animals that even single lions can't (I'm thinking buffaloe & crocs here, as examples).

              Anyway, to answer OP's question, they may not thrive in the African savanna as much as elsewhere, like water-rich jungles, but I still think they would do alright and a balance would eventually be achieved. I suspect their cubs would be (more) vulnerable to hyenas, lions, painted dogs, etc. and that might be one of the greater stresses on their population, especially during the dry season between herd migrations. In Asia their cubs face fewer direct threats, apart from humans.

              webm) is dinner for a tiger, and lions pretty much never attempt that shit, even prides. They'd have to be pretty desperate to take that risk.

              I think hippos would be the one and only animal that tigers wouldn't frick with, unless desperate. Even then, knowing they do hunt crocs and elephants, I can see a full grown tiger in his or her prime developing the skills necessary to take out baby & young hippos, given the opportunity away from a herd and deep water.

              Again, though, the topic was the African savanna rather than jungles & rivers. Tigers in Africa are a no-brainer because they would dominate in a forest or water-rich environment. It's the savanna that would slow them down, and they'd adapt to the edges of a savanna in a few, short generations. Adapting to the deep savanna I think is more a matter of the competition they'd encounter (lions, hyenas, etc.). Lacking those apex competitors, I'm very certain tigers would adapt in short order, perhaps hundreds of years rather than tens of thousands.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >tigers can't tolerate heat and arid conditions like lions have
            Not if you take a modern day tiger out of a Vietnamese jungle and drop them into an African savanna (although, I think that says a lot about how much heat they can take in a water-rich environment). The discussion is more about why tigers aren't in Africa now, meaning they would have evolved and adapted over the course of a few hundred thousand years. I specifically gave a nod to the arid conditions being a problem, maybe even a serious problem. However, there is a broad spectrum of ecosystems in and around a savanna. Tigers would find a niche and, eventually, the survivors would occupy a much broader range of conditions. In one or two generations? They'd struggle (probably). After ten or a hundred generations? Pretty certain they'd be doing just fine. Apart from advanced monkeys.

            One interesting adaptation is that tigers might become more social, like lions. Even cheetahs are fairly social, when they aren't experiencing other stresses like predation and food insecurity. In fact, looking at many African animals (including monkeys), it should be noted that there is an unusual occurrence of highly social species (birds, meerkats, hyenas, etc.) to the point it is probably a significant survival adaptation. Tigers might not evolve into prides (or, maybe they might), but they might be less openly hostile to each other than is expected in Asia. Cooperation in numbers is almost necessary when your enemies are using that strategy.

            Tigers, at first, probably would be more water-stressed than they would in their native habitat, but that's not a show stopper, just a game-changer. The heat is probably far less of a problem, there are many ways to get out of the Sun and wait for cooler nights and seasons.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            You do realize that India is really fricking hot still, right?

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              But it's much more humid and tigers spending large amounts of a day soaking in water has been noted repeatedly and AFAIK there's no desert tigers like there are lion or leopards. I don't see tigers surviving in their current form in the savannas. Even if a tiger is stronger than a single lion, male and female lions move in coalitions/prides specifically to counter other pack animals and would probably be a serious threat to tigers of all ages. It doesn't even mean that they'll kill them, it could just mean they displace them from their kills and pressure them to get smaller or make them rare in the savannas.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                fair

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                >AFAIK there's no desert tigers like there are lion or leopards. I don't see tigers surviving in their current form in the savannas

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >tigers can't tolerate heat and arid conditions like lions have
            Not if you take a modern day tiger out of a Vietnamese jungle and drop them into an African savanna (although, I think that says a lot about how much heat they can take in a water-rich environment). The discussion is more about why tigers aren't in Africa now, meaning they would have evolved and adapted over the course of a few hundred thousand years. I specifically gave a nod to the arid conditions being a problem, maybe even a serious problem. However, there is a broad spectrum of ecosystems in and around a savanna. Tigers would find a niche and, eventually, the survivors would occupy a much broader range of conditions. In one or two generations? They'd struggle (probably). After ten or a hundred generations? Pretty certain they'd be doing just fine. Apart from advanced monkeys.

            One interesting adaptation is that tigers might become more social, like lions. Even cheetahs are fairly social, when they aren't experiencing other stresses like predation and food insecurity. In fact, looking at many African animals (including monkeys), it should be noted that there is an unusual occurrence of highly social species (birds, meerkats, hyenas, etc.) to the point it is probably a significant survival adaptation. Tigers might not evolve into prides (or, maybe they might), but they might be less openly hostile to each other than is expected in Asia. Cooperation in numbers is almost necessary when your enemies are using that strategy.

            Tigers, at first, probably would be more water-stressed than they would in their native habitat, but that's not a show stopper, just a game-changer. The heat is probably far less of a problem, there are many ways to get out of the Sun and wait for cooler nights and seasons.

            Tigers hunt and eat elephants in Asia. It's dangerous and not common, but well-documented. Lions hunt & eat cape buffalo, and tiger are seriously larger than lions, so those are definitely on a tiger's dinner plate. Something as huge and dangerous as a croc (SEE [...] webm) is dinner for a tiger, and lions pretty much never attempt that shit, even prides. They'd have to be pretty desperate to take that risk.

            I think hippos would be the one and only animal that tigers wouldn't frick with, unless desperate. Even then, knowing they do hunt crocs and elephants, I can see a full grown tiger in his or her prime developing the skills necessary to take out baby & young hippos, given the opportunity away from a herd and deep water.

            Again, though, the topic was the African savanna rather than jungles & rivers. Tigers in Africa are a no-brainer because they would dominate in a forest or water-rich environment. It's the savanna that would slow them down, and they'd adapt to the edges of a savanna in a few, short generations. Adapting to the deep savanna I think is more a matter of the competition they'd encounter (lions, hyenas, etc.). Lacking those apex competitors, I'm very certain tigers would adapt in short order, perhaps hundreds of years rather than tens of thousands.

            But it's much more humid and tigers spending large amounts of a day soaking in water has been noted repeatedly and AFAIK there's no desert tigers like there are lion or leopards. I don't see tigers surviving in their current form in the savannas. Even if a tiger is stronger than a single lion, male and female lions move in coalitions/prides specifically to counter other pack animals and would probably be a serious threat to tigers of all ages. It doesn't even mean that they'll kill them, it could just mean they displace them from their kills and pressure them to get smaller or make them rare in the savannas.

            There are already tigers living semi wild in the African savannah. There’s a game reserve called tiger canyon that has released a whole bunch of mutt tigers to fend for themselves and they do just fine. The only big thing is that there’s no lions or spotted hyenas, and the tigers are living in unnaturally high population densities so are seen hanging around together a lot

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              https://i.imgur.com/r6aoEw0.jpg

              This is fricking cool as Hell. Thank you. I hadn't heard about that yet.

              But it's much more humid and tigers spending large amounts of a day soaking in water has been noted repeatedly and AFAIK there's no desert tigers like there are lion or leopards. I don't see tigers surviving in their current form in the savannas. Even if a tiger is stronger than a single lion, male and female lions move in coalitions/prides specifically to counter other pack animals and would probably be a serious threat to tigers of all ages. It doesn't even mean that they'll kill them, it could just mean they displace them from their kills and pressure them to get smaller or make them rare in the savannas.

              >pressure them to get smaller
              Or larger. Evolution can work in either direction for different reasons. Lions might have to get faster, for example.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                This guy is playing with his life but damn that’s impressive

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                Slow the vid down and watch carefully at the 0:20-0:23 mark. The look on his face is worth remembering. It's probably just a normal facial expression, but without the context of the rest of the vid if you saw only those couple of seconds ... he really looks worried about his chances right there.

                But, yeah. Living the dream right there. Something that could go horribly wrong just real fast ... but I would/10 given the chance with some hand-raised & "tame" kitties like that.

                >Jaguars have the strongest bite of any cat, even beat out tigers by a clear margin
                Strongest for their size, lions and tigers both have stronger bite forces overall
                >I'd have to look it up, but I think jags also compare to tiggers in total body mass, with lions coming in at #3 for general size of all the big cats
                Jaguars are number 3. The biggest pantanal males are slightly smaller than a lioness, and about half the size of the biggest lions or tigers
                >I think the difference here may be that the big gators & crocs don't inhabit the same territories as jags (that I know of)
                Black caimans, American crocodiles and Orinoco crocodiles are all found in the same places as Jaguars
                >the big salt water alligators
                Those are American crocodiles, there’s no saltwater gators

                Never wise to argue with digits like that. I was typing from memory, so gladly will take the corrections under advisement. Thanks for the info.

                One thing I'll note (and could still be wrong) is the bite force. I watched a nature documentary last year some time. They were specifically measuring the bite force, and went into some detail about comparing jaguars with the saber-toothed cats, right down to comparing the skull structure. It's possible they did claim that jaguars had the strongest bite even outside scaling it to their size. Or maybe it was scaled "for their size." Now I doubt which way it went, because I was also certain jaguars were #2 among the big cats and I got that wrong.

                I'm not looking it up right now, but the thread should be around for a bit. I could certainly be remembering that wrong. If I remember to search it up while the thread is still running later in the week, I'll post back on it. I'm real interested to be sure of this now. I love all cats, but jaguars are right up there with my top favorites and I need more jaguar lore. Always.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                >I would/10 given the chance with some hand-raised & "tame" kitties like that.
                I'm choosing to believe this isn't a bestiality post.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                He's right about the panthera sizes, but you were correct about jaguar bite force. IIRC, jaguars have a bite force almost 50% larger than tigers

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                Jaguars have a higher bite force relative to size, but a lower bite force overall
                >80 kg jaguar had a bite force of 1014 newtons
                >180 kg tiger had a bite force of 1525 newtons
                >290 kg lion had a bite force of 1768 newtons
                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1564077/

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                My apex predator can't be that cute!

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              https://i.imgur.com/r6aoEw0.jpg

              Holy shit, they can actually run down ostriches

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Holy shit, that video is surreal. Even lionesses are unable to do much damage to crocs, the fact that this one was able to kill one is proof that only elephants and hippos would be a problem for it, the latter basically being irrelevant with how much time they spend in bodies of water.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            I wouldn't go that far, there's plenty of reports of tigers getting taken by crocs while crossing swamps/rivers. Hippos and large Nile crocs would absolutely still be factors, especially given that tigers seem more inclined to swim than lions.
            Lions do also sometimes prey upon Nile crocodiles using similar techniques to that tiger, namely getting them away from the water and exhausting them. Though due to their smaller size they tend to only succeed vs. females and subadults. And even then...
            The video is still insane and tigers definitely have the best odds against large crocodilians of any big cat.

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              >tigers definitely have the best odds against large crocodilians of any big cat
              Maybe. Jaguars have the strongest bite of any cat, even beat out tigers by a clear margin. Something about the shape of their skull and how the jaw muscles attach to it, including the entire geometry of their jaw-skull configuration. I'd have to look it up, but I think jags also compare to tiggers in total body mass, with lions coming in at #3 for general size of all the big cats. Individual outliers notwithstanding. I think the difference here may be that the big gators & crocs don't inhabit the same territories as jags (that I know of). Or, jags ate them all to extinction before men discovered the Americas.

              Jags used to range up through Texas and the Rockies up to Canada, not sure if they were ever in Louisiana & Florida to directly confront the big salt water alligators. Just a few years ago a jag was confirmed spotted in Arizona, something that had been reported before in the Southwest but rarely (if ever) confirmed in the last century. Original Mexicans & other Native Americans from that region have old stories about them.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                >Jaguars have the strongest bite of any cat, even beat out tigers by a clear margin
                Strongest for their size, lions and tigers both have stronger bite forces overall
                >I'd have to look it up, but I think jags also compare to tiggers in total body mass, with lions coming in at #3 for general size of all the big cats
                Jaguars are number 3. The biggest pantanal males are slightly smaller than a lioness, and about half the size of the biggest lions or tigers
                >I think the difference here may be that the big gators & crocs don't inhabit the same territories as jags (that I know of)
                Black caimans, American crocodiles and Orinoco crocodiles are all found in the same places as Jaguars
                >the big salt water alligators
                Those are American crocodiles, there’s no saltwater gators

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                Jaguars kneel to adult black caiman and Orinoco crocs. Maybe even American crocs. All the videos of them killing crocodilians are shitter sub 10 foot long caiman.
                Not the same ballpark as tigers.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                Slow the vid down and watch carefully at the 0:20-0:23 mark. The look on his face is worth remembering. It's probably just a normal facial expression, but without the context of the rest of the vid if you saw only those couple of seconds ... he really looks worried about his chances right there.

                But, yeah. Living the dream right there. Something that could go horribly wrong just real fast ... but I would/10 given the chance with some hand-raised & "tame" kitties like that.

                [...]
                Never wise to argue with digits like that. I was typing from memory, so gladly will take the corrections under advisement. Thanks for the info.

                One thing I'll note (and could still be wrong) is the bite force. I watched a nature documentary last year some time. They were specifically measuring the bite force, and went into some detail about comparing jaguars with the saber-toothed cats, right down to comparing the skull structure. It's possible they did claim that jaguars had the strongest bite even outside scaling it to their size. Or maybe it was scaled "for their size." Now I doubt which way it went, because I was also certain jaguars were #2 among the big cats and I got that wrong.

                I'm not looking it up right now, but the thread should be around for a bit. I could certainly be remembering that wrong. If I remember to search it up while the thread is still running later in the week, I'll post back on it. I'm real interested to be sure of this now. I love all cats, but jaguars are right up there with my top favorites and I need more jaguar lore. Always.

                [...]
                [...]
                [...]
                There are already tigers living semi wild in the African savannah. There’s a game reserve called tiger canyon that has released a whole bunch of mutt tigers to fend for themselves and they do just fine. The only big thing is that there’s no lions or spotted hyenas, and the tigers are living in unnaturally high population densities so are seen hanging around together a lot

                https://i.imgur.com/r6aoEw0.jpg

                This is awesome and could actually help the tiger population overall.

              • 3 months ago
                Anonymous

                >This is awesome and could actually help the tiger population overall
                The tigers there are mutts and have next to no conservation value sadly

                [...]
                Holy shit, they can actually run down ostriches

                Apparently the ostriches had been run to exhaustion by people in vehicles to stage the hunts and the people running the place have done this multiple times, which wouldn’t be surprising given how shady they are. Realistically a tiger would never be able to run one down in an open area

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              There’s a video somewhere of the South African game reserve tigers interacting with a nile croc but the link is broken

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Btw, that Tiger got two canines broken while trying to kill a dehydrated mugger crocodile for 16 hours straight.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Any source?

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              >She was known for her hunting skill and strength, in particular in an incident in 2003 when she fought with and killed a 12-foot-long mugger crocodile.[11] As a result of the fight, she lost two canine teeth.[12]

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          they would also have trouble taking on large prey because they tend to be more aggressive and congregate together. So in the end they would either adopt the lion strategy and form packs or shrink down like leopards

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Tigers are barely hanging on in Asia alone
      That's due to human persecution, that's not due to their inability to compete as they're traditionally the apex predator.

      I didn't think about the mountainous jungles.
      They would displace leopards in those areas and probably cause migrations in chimp troops to avoid total eradication. Gorillas would be absolutely fricked, cause they currently only have to worry about leopards taking babies while a tiger would just thug on a full grown silverback.

      They wouldn't displace leopards completely but they would force them away from their apex predator niche and create a relationship seen in India where leopards are subordinate to tigers.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      The Siberian Tiger is going to ward off and take down anything and everything short of maybe a hippo and an elephant in Africa, other predators barring lion prides shouldn’t be an issue, it should do just fine even in the Savannah

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        a siberian tiger would have died of heat stroke in Africa

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          *assuming it was capable of surviving there

  9. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I think Africa has too many dangerous factors for a solo large cat.
    Leopards make it because they're tree climbers and smaller, more stealthy. Tiger's bigger than the lions, but all alone, he is in danger from hyenas and lions.

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