Wolves and tigers are some of the most remarkable creatures on earth. There is so much lore about these two animals in pop culture. But have you ever wondered what would happen if it came down to wolves vs. tigers? Who would win?
In pop culture, wolves are always portrayed as these strong animals, and we all hear the phrase lone wolf. In reality, wolves like to live and hunt in packs. And although they are strong creatures, a single wolf is no match for a tiger.
But things change if you pit a pack of wolves against a tiger. Here is all you need to know, starting with a comparison chart.
Wolve Vs. Tiger Comparison
|Size||Up to 6.6 ft||8.2 to 13 ft|
|Weight||30 – 80 kg||90 – 310 kg|
|Bite Force||400 PSI||1050 PSI|
|Social Behavior||Pack animals||Solitary|
|Habitat||Temperate forests, deserts, grasslands, tundra, and mountains||Rainforests, savannas, mangrove swamps, and forests|
|Lifespan||6 – 8 years||10 – 15 years|
Wolves Vs. Tigers: Know The Key Differences
There are tons of differences between tigers and wolves. Albeit there are also similarities. It makes sense to pit these two against each other. Wolves are, of course, ancestors of dogs. On the other hand, tigers are from the feline family and are also called big cats.
Wolves Family: Canidae
Wolves are in the canine family. The scientific name of which is Canidae. Similar animals like dogs, foxes, dingoes, jackals, and coyotes are also under the Canidae family.
Sense of smell is very important for canines. They use their noses to track down food, hunt, and be wary of potential predators and competitors.
There are more than 30 subspecies of wolves recognized today, including dogs. The name ‘Wolf’ comes from the English word ‘wulf.’ It is an old word and is thought to come from the Proto-Germanic word ‘wulfaz.’
Tiger Family: Felidae
Tigers are majestic creatures and one of the most powerful predators in the world. They are the largest cat species from the Feline animal family. And yes, that includes lions.
Also called the Felidae family, scientifically. They are very cat-like. The only difference is unlike a house cat, a tiger can kill a human being without much hassle.
These massive animals are well adapted to their environment. They are very masterful hunters as well.
Wolves Vs. Tigers: Habitat Differences
There are more wolves in the wild than there are tigers. Unfortunately, tigers are endangered due to poaching. Their habitats are also being rapidly destroyed, which has not done any good for the tiger population in the wild.
Tigers live mostly in the continents of Asia. They like to live in grassland areas, savannas, mangrove swamps, and forests. But the shameful thing is they are now found in only 6% of their historic habitat.
Wolves, on the other hand, are found in many parts of the world. You can find them throughout Europe and North America. In the United States, you can find them in Alaska, Wisconsin, Oregon, New Mexico, and more.
There are some similarities between wolf and tiger habitats. For example, some wolves also live in forests and grasslands. But they can also be found in the tundra and deserts.
Wolves Vs. Tigers: Diet Differences
Both wolves and tigers are carnivores. We are sure this comes to you as no surprise. Wolves usually hunt animals like moose, deer, bison, and elk. They will also hunt and eat smaller animals like hares, beavers, and rats.
Tigers usually hunt large prey. These master predators hunt prey like deer, horses, buffalos, moose, cows, and pigs. Both wolves and tigers are powerful since they can hunt large animals like Moose.
There is not much of a difference in their diets either. They are carnivorous predators that love meat. Tigers are versatile hunters and will hunt and eat whatever prey is available. Interestingly tigers will also sometimes eat plants if food is scarce.
Wolves Vs. Tigers: Behavioral Differences
A key difference between wolves and tigers is their social behaviors. Wolves like to stay in packs, which is quite unlike the popular phrase the lone wolf. They even hunt in packs.
Their pack behavior is one factor that makes them such effective and dangerous hunters. These canines also develop strong social bonds with members of their pack. They help raise their young together as a pack too.
This behavior is in stark contrast with tigers. The largest cat in the world likes to hunt solo. They are solitary predators and do not travel in packs. However, there is an exception for female tigers with their cubs.
Female tigers are very protective of their young. They keep their cubs safe from predators and other dangers. Also, they teach their cubs how to hunt and survive in the wild.
This does not last too long, though. Tigers cubs become independent and hunt by themselves between 18 and 20 months. When the little cubs reach 2 – 2.5 years of age, they will separate from their mothers, hunt, and live alone.
Wolves Vs. Tigers: Size and Weight Differences
Tigers are much larger than wolves. In fact, they are the largest of the big cats. But wolves are also the largest animal from the canine family.
However, on average, tigers are much larger than even the largest wolves. A fully grown male wolf, including the tail, can get up to 6.6 feet long. Female wolves are about 20% smaller in general compared to male wolves.
In contrast, a tiger can grow up to 13 feet long! Usually, they are between 8.2 to 13 feet. Female tigers are massive as well.
They can get between 6.6 to 9 feet long. That being said, wolves are still vicious predators. And since they mostly hunt in packs, they are a formidable force in the wild, which brings us to an interesting question. Who would win in a fight?
Wolves vs Tigers: Who Would Win?
Determining the winner of the Wolve vs. Tiger fight is tricky. There is no question that in a hypothetical solo fight, a tiger would utterly dissipate a wolf.
Tigers are much larger than wolves. Even the smallest tigers would tower over the largest wolf. They trump these wild canines without any competition.
Moreover, a tiger’s bite force is immense. They have a bit force of 1050 PSI. In comparison, a wolf’s bite force is just 400 PSI. While 400 PSI is nothing to scoff at, it is nothing compared to tigers.
Therefore, just looking at the sheer size, strength, and bite force, a tiger can easily beat a wolf in a fight. Things get interesting if you pit a wolf pack with a single tiger.
As we mentioned, wolves always travel in packs. And tigers are primarily solitary animals. Chances are, if these animals met in the wild, the wolves would be in packs. And the tiger would most likely be all by itself.
Things get interesting in this case. There have been instances where a large wolf pack can take down much larger animals. For example, bears and moose. So depending on the pack and its size, a wolf pack could take down a tiger.
Are Tigers More Dangerous than Wolves?
Both tigers and wolves like to stalk their prey. They wait patiently for the perfect opportunity to pounce and kill their prey. To us, both animals mean massive trouble.
Wolves have a great sense of smell and stamina. Tigers, on the other hand, have excellent eyesight, strength, and patience. Any encounter with these animals would not bode well for us humans.
But, just by sheer numbers, a single tiger is much more dangerous than a single wolf. This is due to how large and powerful a tiger is. They are the largest feline in the world, for crying out loud.
How Do Wolves and Tigers Get Along in the Wild?
Wolves and tigers are competitors. They have much of the same diet. Which means they are in direct competition for food. They are both strong and aggressive predators and do not get along well.
If they were to run into the wild, they would not become friends, certainly. Neither would they work together to hunt for food. However, these predators do not meet each other in the wild all too often.
Do Wolves and Tigers Hunt Each Other?
In the wild, tigers and wolves do not run into each other. It is primarily due to their habitat. Tigers are mostly found throughout Asia and like to live in hotter climates. However, some live in colder areas.
But wolves that live in Asia can come into contact with a tiger. But it is very rare for tigers to hunt wolves. That being said, it has happened. These animals are competitors.
This means there might be a clash in certain conditions, especially if food is scarce. The Siberian tiger is the tiger species that comes in contact with wolves the most.
Unfortunately, the wolves rarely survive these encounters. Siberian tigers are the largest tiger species and are very territorial. Moreover, they are known to take out their competitors mercilessly. Tigers will attack wolves in certain situations:
- If the wolves are hurting their cubs
- There is very little food around
- If wolves trespass on their territory
In areas where wolves and tigers share territory, there has been a decline in wolf population due to tiger attacks. Tigers are cunning predators. Even though wolves live and hunt in packs, tigers can stalk and single out wolves to kill them.
Can Any Animal Take on a Tiger?
Not surprisingly, few animals can take on a fully-grown tiger. However, some animals can, like elephants, crocodiles, and bears.
However, not animals who kill tigers eat them. Crocodiles and bears, on the other hand, will sometimes eat tigers after killing them. There is another surprising animal that can sometimes hunt, kill and eat a tiger – dholes.
If you do not know what dholes are, look them up. They are quite interesting. And the first question that will pop up in your head is how can dholes kill a tiger?
Dholes are wild dogs found in Asia. The ace up their hypothetical sleeves is that they work in packs and target sick female tigers and their cubs. They can hunt and kill tigers by targeting weak females and helpless cubs.
So, there you have it. In a battle between wolves vs tigers, tigers outclass wolves in every way. Tigers are larger, heavier, and more powerful. Their bite force is more than double that of a wolf.
However, an organized pack of wolves might be able to take down a tiger in some cases. Both of these mammals are amazing creatures. They are apex predators in their own right. But a single wolf is no match for a single tiger.