by Brian Thomas, M.S.
In December 2011, a lioness at Yancheng Safari Park of Changzhou in China gave birth to twin tigons,1 and the Associated Press recently released footage of the young cats in their pen.2Tigons, or tiglons, are the rare products of tiger fathers and lioness mothers. Tigers are larger cats than lions, leading to more difficulties in pregnancy and birth with tigons than with ligers. Unfortunately, one of the featured tigons died soon after birth.
Tigons and ligers, as well as all cat varieties, are most easily explained in the Bible’s historical context.
In short, lions and tigers can interbreed because they both descended from an ancestral cat family. Scientists place different cats on a continuum of interbreeding varieties. For example, house cats can interbreed with small feral and other wild cats. They descended from the African wild cat.3 Small wild cats have, in turn, interbred with larger wild cats. Leopards and panthers can interbreed. All of this breeding potential clearly shows that different cats are varieties within the same basic cat kind.
This is exactly what one would expect from the early Genesis record. Creatures were designed to reproduce “after their kind.” Creatures were also designed to “multiply and fill” ever-changing environments. In the process of filling the post-Flood world, the cats on board the Ark rapidly diversified into the varieties known today, as well as extinct varieties like the saber-toothed cat….
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