The animal kingdom is full of wonderful and beautiful beings. One of the most iconic animals is the tiger, the biggest of the feline species. Known for their thick reddish coat with black, white, gray stripes, white bellies, and white black tails, tigers are truly stunning specimens. The largest of the cat species, tigers are classified in the genus Panthera alongside the lion, leopard, snow leopard and the jaguar. Tigers once spread across Eurasia with their 9 species but today three species are extinct with 6 on the endangered species list.
Tigers are found in the most beautiful of the world’s diverse habitat: rain forests, savannas, woodlands, rocky country, mangrove swamps, and grasslands. The range of tigers used to range from Turkey to South and to Eastern coast of Asia. These majestic animals lost 93% of the lands with the growth on human expansion, today they are only found in South and Southeast Asia. These Asian big cats are losing ground and numbers with each passing year as humans tear down more forests and grasslands.
As stated above there were originally 9 subspecies of tigers, these nine were: Bengal, Indochinese, Siberian Amur, Sumatran, Malayan, South Chinese, Caspian, Javan, Bali Tigers. As of today, Bali, Javan, Caspian tigers have gone extinct, and there are only about 3,000-3,890 of the remaining six subspecies left.
Tiger’s main source of nutrients come from Ambar deer, wild pigs, water buffalos and antelopes. Some tigers are known to hunt, dogs, leopards, crocodiles, sloth bears pythons, and even hares and monkeys. As the lands of the species decreased, the food source of the tigers changed as well, causing older and injured tigers to attack domestic cattle and humans.
Tigers rely primarily on sight and sound rather than smell when hunting. They are known to hunt alone and stalk their prey before striking. This stunning animal can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time.
A tiger’s size changes by each particular subspecies they belong too, depending on habitat, climate, food, prey, and other factors. A Bengal tiger can grow up 660 pounds while other another subspecies Sumatran tiger only weigh about 310 pounds. The body design of the tiger allows for them to move gracefully and incredible fast when it comes time to hunt or avoid danger.
Full grown tigers can be up to 11 feet in length. Their bodies are extremely muscular, permitting them to take down prey several times their size. The female tigers tend to be smaller in size, than the male counterparts.
Tigers are vertebrates with a backbone to support their bodies, Similar to humans the tiger’s bodies are composed of more than 200 bones and are attached by joints. There are over 600 muscles in the body of a tiger and these muscles make the tiger a strong and mobile predator.
Tiger’s Behavior and Life Cycle
Tigers are solitary animals with the exception of mothers and their cubs. Individual tigers roam in large areas, also known as home ranges. The food supply in the region determines the home range of the tiger. Tigers mark their domain with urine and feces over days or weeks.
Tigers are mostly nocturnal animals and are ambush predators who use their stripes as camouflage. They use their body weight to knock animals to the ground and kill with a bite to the neck. Great swimmers, tigers are one of the few predators who can hunt prey in land and water and do it well.
Tigers mates from November to April and the gestation period lasts about 103 days. Female tigers give birth to two to four cubs every two years. The average tiger lives to be about 26 years of age in the wild. Survival rate for cubs is about 50% over first two years of life.