Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tiger vs Lion. The tigers fully retractable claws advantage. Excellent account.

“The Circus at the Edge of the Earth”, Charles Wilkins, McClelland & Steward Inc., The Canadian Publishers, 1998, p. 9

 “Even in their cages, tigers pose a formidable menace to anyone ignorant of, or careless about, their lethal temperaments and capabilities. Depending on the design of a cage, a tiger will sometimes be able to extend a forepaw as much as ten or twelve inches through an open feeding slot at floor level. ‘Because a tiger hunts alone,’ Bobby Gibbs told me, ‘every weapon it’s got has to be deadly efficient.’ Each of its retractable claws, for example, is independently articulated, so that, having grabbed its prey, it can drag it in, as if on a conveyor belt, without having to release its grip. ‘A lion can’t do that, because its claws aren’t fully retractable and because they all work together. If it grabs you through the cage bars and wants to pull you in,

it has to release its grip every time it moves farther along your arm or leg, so you have a chance to escape. If a tiger gets even a thread of your clothing, it can have your arm or leg through the slot in a instant.’

As he spoke, Bobby grabbed my arm and, with great force,

walked the fingers of his right hand from my elbow to my shoulder. ‘That’s how they do it,’ he said.”

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