Believe it or not, it is a simple accident of genetics. Even though tigers and lions are close enough to mate there are some important differences. Many hybrid breeds display ‘hybrid vigour’ in which the offspring grow larger than either the mother or the father. Another interesting thing happens since ligers have lion fathers and tiger mothers. In tigers the gene that inhibits growth is found in the male and in lions it is found in the female. This means that there is no dominant growth inhibitor in ligers, allowing them to reach enormous size.
UrbanUrsine has a great point! You can also think about it this way, why are some children much taller than their parents (and grandparents)? Genetics is quite an interesting thing.
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