On the "Crater Lion average weight" thread, I read Guate, Asad, and several other posters arguing about which big cat is taller at the shoulder, Tiger or Lion. I have to say, I had my head in my hands for some time because it is easy enough to understand that height is a disadvantage in a fight, not an advantage.
Let's just assume we have two 200 kg felines - one a Tiger and one a Lion - which feline is taller at the shoulder, and how would that affect it in a fight?
Male African lions:* 101 cm (n=50). Range: 86-109 cm. Stevenson-Hamilton (1947) – South Africa.* 96.2 cm (n=14). Range: 81.3 cm-107 cm. Meinertzhagen (1938) – Kenya, East Africa.* 107.1 cm (n=42) Ferreira & Funston (2010) – Location?
The average shoulder height of the Lion, including sample size effect, is 102.8 cm.
Male Bengal tigers:* 109.3 cm (n=6). Range: 104-114 cm. Brown (1893) – Purneah, India.* 103 cm (n=2) Range: 102-104 cm. Meinertzhagen (1938) – Southwest India.* 100 cm (n=43). Range: 88-114 cm. Cooch Behar (1908) – Northeast India.* 99 cm (n=42). Range: 91-112 cm. Brander (1923) – Central India.
The average shoulder height of the Tiger, including sample size effect, is 100.2 cm.
Now, take into consideration that the average weight of African Lions is 186 kg, and the average weight of Bengal Tigers is 200 kg. What would happen if you proportionally scale up the size of the Lion up to the Tiger?
200 / 186 = 1.075...
3√Ans = 1.0244852...
102.8 * Ans = 105.317 cm
Now, that would put the average height of the male Lion at roughly 105 cm, as opposed to 100 cm for the male Tiger. The Lion is about 5 cm, or 2 inches taller when both animals weigh the same.
Height does matter, the less of it, the better.
"Functional trade-offs in the limb bones of dogs selected for running versus fighting", by Carrier, et al.
The position of the center of gravity of an object affects its stability. The lower the center of gravity (G) is, the more stable the object. The higher it is the more likely the object is to topple over if it is pushed. Racing cars have really low centers of gravity so that they can corner rapidly without turning over.
This video explains it beautifully;
So explain to me, how exactly is the Lion's greater height an advantage against the Tiger?