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West of India (Bengal tiger country), did the Asiatic lion meet the Caspian tiger?

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Mar 11 17 5:16 AM

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There is information about Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers in places like Iran.

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Mar 11 17 5:23 AM. Edited 1 time

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#2 [url]

Mar 12 17 9:35 PM

West of India (Bengal tiger country), did the Asiatic lion meet the Caspian tiger?

Yes,

1) Humphreys and Kahrom, (1999). Lion and Gazelle: The Mammals and Birds of Iran: https://books.google.ae/books?id=esV0hccod0kC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA77&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false 

2) Firouz, E. (2005). The complete fauna of Iran: https://books.google.ae/books?id=t2EZCScFXloC&pg=PA66&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false (This one contains a picture of the skin of an Iranian tiger) 

3) Heptner and Sludskij: (1972). Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Vysšaia Škola, Moskva. (In Russian; English translation: Heptner, V.G., Sludskii, A. A., Komarov, A., Komorov, N.; Hoffmann, R. S. (1992). Mammals of the Soviet Union. Vol III: Carnivores (Feloidea): https://books.google.ae/books?id=UxWZ-OmTqVoC&lpg=PA636&ots=RCsYKk2xt4&pg=PA83&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=true 

4) The National Museum of Ireland in Dublin has the skin of a Persian lioness called 'Shirea': http://www.museum.ie/The-Collections/Documentation-Discoveries/July-2013/A-Persian-Lioness 

5) 19th / 20th Century: Persian photographer Antoin Sevruguin's photo of a lion: http://www.asia.si.edu/iran-in-photographs/sevruguin-negatives.asp 

6) Tigers in Azerbaijan and Iran: http://www.tigers.ca/Foundation%20overview/caspian2.htm

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Mar 13 17 8:33 AM. Edited 5 times.

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#5 [url]

Mar 14 17 2:02 AM

Some images of the lions and tiger, including from Iran:

1) Iranian photographer Antoin Sevruguin, who lived from the 1830's to 1933, took a photo of a lion (http://www.asia.si.edu/iran-in-photographs/sevruguin-negatives.asp):
image

2) Skin of Shirea the Persian lioness in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, July 2013 (http://www.museum.ie/The-Collections/Documentation-Discoveries/July-2013/A-Persian-Lioness). The register says "1910.250, Persian lioness (Felis leo), bought from R.Z.S.I. (Royal Zoological Society of Ireland) From the Roy. Zool. Garden (Dublin Zoo) where it had been deposited by his majesty King Edward VII; purchase price: £2; From: Persia; named 'Shirea', deposited by the King Edward VII 11,VII,02. Sent to Williams to be skinned. Skull put into pit marked B. Received back 20.05.10. Died May 5th 1910."
image

3) Tiger killed in northern Iran, early 1940's (http://www.tigers.ca/Foundation%20overview/caspian2.htm): 
image

4) Preserved Caspian tiger at the Medical College in Baku, Azerbaijan, Trans-Caucasus. Photo taken in 2000 by Farrokh Mostofi (http://www.tigers.ca/Foundation%20overview/caspian2.htm): 
image

5) Tiger skin in Iran (https://books.google.ae/books?id=t2EZCScFXloC&pg=PA66&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false): 
image

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Mar 15 17 2:02 AM. Edited 7 times.

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#7 [url]

Mar 14 17 5:43 AM

Putting together maps of the distributions of Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers suggest that their ranges overlapped, or that they were at least close to each other, in Turkey, the Trans-Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), Iran and Afghanistan. Sources also state that they occurred in Iraq, particularly the vicinity of Mosul, and Heptner and Sludskii said that it is possible that lions also occurred along the Amu Darya, or in southern Turkestan, which had tigers, considering that the word 'Shir' (Persian word for lion) is used here, like the Sherabad Darya, a tributary of the Amu Darya, and that it's close to Iran:

1) Lion:
image

2) Caspian tiger:
image

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Mar 15 17 12:49 AM. Edited 3 times.

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#9 [url]

Mar 14 17 3:46 PM



Yeah you're right, it looks like for sure they did overlap and no doubt had conflicts or maybe the lions even pushed the Caspian out a bit, if the lion's weren't there the Caspian's range would probably be bigger.  So it isn't just in India where they had shared the same territory its now also in parts of the Middle east great job figuring that out.  I think its legit, and Iranian cultures certainly both talked of the tiger and lion.

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#10 [url]

Mar 14 17 8:27 PM

Thanks, but I don't think that Asiatic lions necessarily pushed out Caspian tigers, or restricted their range, because, even if Asiatic lions shared habitats with Caspian tigers, like with Bengal tigers, they would have still been used to different conditions. I can see that lions can tolerate the heat, like those in the Gir Forest and Kalahari Xeric Savannah, but tigers don't always tolerate the heat that well. Gir is said to be too hot or dry for the tigers, and even Siberian tigers may cool off in water when they feel too hot, and their habitat is cold, compared to Gir, Kalahari, and Tropical Asia, and humans reportedly drove lions to extinction in places like the Trans-Caucasus, before the tigers. Lions were apparently extinct there by the end of the 10th Century, whereas tigers were still there in the 20th Century.

Bengal tigress taking a dip in Ranthambore National Park, India:
image

Kalahari lion in the heat, ​Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa:
image

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Mar 15 17 1:42 AM. Edited 5 times.

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#11 [url]

Mar 15 17 9:48 AM




Well its possible that there may have been some conflicts over bodies of water like the Caspian sea, not sure but wherever there is good prey source these bigcats both would by vying for those territories.  But yeah, that's true you're right about that, the lions certainly can handle the heat better and seem to have less fat in the skin, where as the tigers seem to have skin that is a little more thicker and has fat in it that can repel water and even sit in cold water, after emerging from the pool  they keep warmer when wet better than a lion because of that added insulation. 


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#13 [url]

And obviously, for prey to have been more abundant in the past, the vegetation or conditions would have been better, like fewer people around, which is what H and S said. Page 94: "Not only rivers like Kur’ and Araks, but also small streams had rich forests along their banks ..." 

Araks River (https://www.flickr.com/photos/australiansstudyingabroad/5194351616):image

Last Edited By: Ligerrules . Edited 5 times.

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#14 [url]

And yes, if natural prey ran out, then they would have fed on livestock, like lions, whether African or Asiatic (http://www.indianaturewatch.net/displayimage.php?id=98811), and tigers would do today. The last Caspian tiger in Georgia, which was believed to have come from Iran, was killed in the village of Lelobi near Tbilisi (roughly where Asiatic lions used to occur, according to H and S) in 1922, after targeting domestic livestock. Heptner and Sludskii mentioned it, and its stuffed body was placed in the Georgian National Museum (http://kavehfarrokh.com/iran-and-central-asia/turan-tiger-hunted-in-central-asia-in-the-1930s/, http://kavehfarrokh.com/heritage/the-last-iranian-tiger-in-georgia/):

image
image

Last Edited By: Ligerrules . Edited 7 times.

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#16 [url]

That's right. According to recent studies, Amur and Caspian tigers are genetically different only by one nucleotide, so some would say that they're actually the same subspecies, despite the great distance between their territories. It would appear from H and S that they mingled roughly in the area of Lake Baikal, that is, if the reported movements into that place are correct, and so, never mind the interactions between Asiatic lions and Bengal tigers in Everland Zoo, Korea, I suspect that there's something symbolic in interactions between the former and Siberian tigers in Everland Zoo, for Southwest Asia, in the past. By the way, I know that Wikipedia isn't always reliable, but this thing about Asiatic lions coexisting not just with Bengal tigers, but also Caspian tigers, is already mentioned in the article "Tiger versus lion".

​Everland Zoo, Korea.
image 

A Caspian tiger was shot in Uludere, southeastern Anatolia in 1970 (http://s942.photobucket.com/user/broekhuijsen/media/Virgata/Uludere19702.jpg.html). Before the end of the 19th Century, Asiatic lions had been throughout much of Turkey, including the eastern region, according to Heptner and Sludskii. 
image

Last Edited By: Ligerrules . Edited 7 times.

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#17 [url]




I gut a hand it to you that's some pretty amazing information for sure.  I wasn't sure of the total geographical range of the Caspian tiger, I did not know they were that far into Turkey.  And there is also a big body of water right there in Anatolia, which would be probably great for prey source again.  For a Caspian to be killed there as late as 1970 is pretty unbelievable, the range they give does not show them that far into Turkey.  And I agree for sure the lions were definitely in Turkey and surrounding areas, going way back they were into Greece I believe. 

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#18 [url]

It was even reported in a newspaper that a tiger was killed in Afghanistan in 1997, and there were others reported sightings in its border with former USSR, even these have been mentioned on Wikipedia, with references, though I'm not sure if they could have been Persian leopards, since they occur in that region, and their footprints may be confused with those of tigers, they are big cats afterall. That said, I'm not really sure if the Caspian tiger, or as some may say, the Western population of the Siberian tiger, is extinct, or if tigers are hidden in Turkey or Afghanistan, in such low numbers that we wouldn't know of it.

Last Edited By: Ligerrules . Edited 3 times.

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#19 [url]




I mean I never heard that, one was killed in 97 wow that's pretty astounding.  When you think about it, and I don't know the terrain really for that area, but from what Ive heard here about the war over there and the American troupes fighting.  They said Afghanistan was extremely rugged and quite frankly I believe they said it was horrible terrain.  Just really difficult to maneuver through, cliffs and mountains and rocky formations with a real depth to it.  Just not something a human being can at all really get through.  I could totally believe that now that I think about it that they might of lasted till the late 90s still, and what you're saying, that maybe they could even still be there now, that's very very interesting, man if that were true that would be incredible, the discovery of a life time.  The terrain is extremely dense, there's caves all over the place, maybe its possible some are still out there. Great thought.

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#20 [url]

The info was posted in the Wikipedian articles "Caspian tiger", "Asiatic lion" and "Tiger versus lion". The latter article has become much bigger and better than how I remember seeing it at first, it now even has information on Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers having possibly coexisted. Heptner and Sludskii's work was referenced in the other 2 articles before, but the idea of these 2 big cats occurring in some of the same areas was only recently recognised in Wikipedia.

Last Edited By: Ligerrules . Edited 5 times.

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