Tigers' Weight vs Lions' Weight
When Do They Weigh the Same? ~by AnudeepD
What We Are Going to Examine
Siberian tigers and African lions are two of the largest big cats in the world, and Siberian tigers usually tend to be larger and heavier than lions, but is there a point in their lives when they are the same weight and the same age at the same time? This experiment aims to find out what point in their lives do tigers and lions(in zoos) weigh the same and at what age this happens. Linear growth rates of lions and tigers will be plotted on the same scatter plot and the point of intersection(solution to the linear system) will be found in order to answer our question of when do these two cats weigh the same.
Refer to the Diagram Above
For example, the 2.41kg data value was decreased to 2.3kg because in the real world, lions don't follow exact growth rates, the weight will always be off by a small amount. This was done for each hypothesized value.
Step1) First, The data must be plotted and the line of best fit for the tiger data and lion data must be found. This line will show the trend in which the the tiger weight and lion weight is increasing by and should pass through most of the points. The lines of best fits, will help to find, approximately when lions and tigers weigh the same and have the same age.
Data points for lion: (0days, 2.1kg) and (1day, ~2.25kg)
Data points for tiger: (0days, 0.68kg) and (2.5days, ~2.5kg)
Rate of Weight Change for Lion= (2.25kg-2.1kg) / (1day-0days)
= 0.15kg / 1 day
The rate of weight growth for African lion is 0.15kg per day.
Rate of Weight Change for Tiger= (2.5kg-0.68kg) / (2.5days-0days)
= (1.82kg) / (2.5days)
=0.728kg per day
The rate of weight growth for Siberian tiger is 0.768kg per day.
tiger's weight= (rate of weight change per day) X (# of days) + weight at birth
lion's weight= (rate of weight change per day) X (# of days) + weight at birth
Each animals weight is the rate of change at which the weight is increasing by daily, multiplied by the number of days that the animal has existed. This value is added to the weight at birth because animals' total weight is always how much it has grown so far+how much it weighed at first.
This can be seen mathematically as y=mx+b where y is the animal's total weight, m is the rate of growth, x is the number of days lived, and b is the weight at birth.
The equations for each animals are, officially:
Lion: W=0.15d+2.1 (W is dependent variable because it depends on d's value)
(d is independent variable)
W=total weight(kg)= y
d=# of days lived =x
0.15(kg)= growth rate per day =m
2.1(kg) = weight at birth =b
Tiger: W=0.728d+0.68 (W=dependent variable, d=independent variable)
W=total weight (kg)
d=# of days lived
0.728(kg)= growth rate per day
0.68(kg)= weight at birth
The Final Graphs and Point of Intersection
Significance of Solution, Discussion, Accuracy and Conclusion
We have found the point of intersection for both animals to be (2.298, 2.445). This means that African lion and Siberian tiger weight is the same at the same age of 2.298 or at approx. 2-3 days, when they are both 2.445kg heavy. Mathematically, the two lines representing the growth rates intersect at the point (2.298,2.445). This is the solution to this linear system. Also, it is important to note that before 2 days, African lion cubs tend to be heavier, but after 2 days, Siberian tigers tend to be heavier.
Although, to the normal person, this is not an extremely crucial piece of information to know, but there are many instances where a person may use this information. For example, if a biologist was studying African lions and Siberian tigers and needed test subjects that were the same weight and same age, then this data can help them find out what age lion and tiger they would need in order to have two subjects with the same weight and same age. Also, an average person who is curious about when a tiger and lion will weigh the same and have the same age will use this data. People might also use this information if they wanted to see which of the two animals will end up being bigger in the end. According to the graph, lions are heavier before the second day and tigers are heavier after the second day. On the second day(approximate), they weigh the same, as was discovered. Biologists in the future can even use this information to see how the growth rates of tigers and lions have changed over time.
Although this find seems reasonable, there are a few inaccuracies in this conclusion. First of all, even though the growth rate of the tigers and lion is quite accurate, not every lion or tiger growth pattern will follow this graph. Each Siberian tiger and African lion is different, and so each animal has different growth patterns. Also, the lines representing this data is currently linear, but this data will not stay linear for too long because the weights of the animals can decrease and fluctuate at different times in their lives, and eventually they will stop growing. Also, this data was taken in a zoo, and tigers and lions in the wild will have different growth patterns as they are not fed everyday. Also, some of the lion data was hypothesized and wasn't experimentally collected, so that leads to a few inaccuracies.
However, this solution still does make sense because all the data was collected from reliable sources( zoo websites) and the lines of best fit have strong correlations. It is also sensible to think that African lions and Siberian tigers weigh the same when they are very young because these lions and tigers usually have a lot of difference in weight when they are older, but as cubs they are both small and are similar size and so they can have the same weight. Along with that, the graph shows that the Siberian tiger will end up being the bigger animal in the end which agrees with the true fact that Siberian tigers tend to be larger than African lions. On top of that, even though lions and tigers will stop growing at one point in their lives, when they are young, they are growing at a steady rate. This means that we are able to represent their growth as a linear relation. Also, this data represents the growth rates of African lions and Siberian tigers IN ZOOS, and in zoos these animals are fed everyday so it is logical to believe that they grow by significant amounts each day just as the graph shows.