Tiger

Tiger

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Panthera tigris
Population size
2,154-3,159
Life Span
10-15 yrs
TOP SPEED
96 km/h
WEIGHT
65-306 kg
LENGTH
200-390 cm

Tigers are the biggest cats in the world. Their coat is a reddish-orange coat and there are vertical black stripes on the shoulders and flanks that vary in size, spacing, and length. Some subspecies have fur that is paler, some being almost completely white with either dark brown or black stripes along their flanks and shoulders. The muzzle, throat, chest, belly, and underside of the limbs are white or light. Above the eyes, of these beautiful animals, there is a white color that extends to the cheeks. On the back of their ears, there is a white spot. Their tail is reddish-orange in color and ringed by several dark bands.

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Cu

Cursorial

Te

Terrestrial

Am

Ambush predator

Al

Altricial

No

Nomadic

Te

Territorial

Vi

Viviparous

Ap

Apex predator

Po

Polygyny

So

Solitary

Do

Dominance hierarchy

No

Not a migrant

T

starts with

Ca

Camouflaged Animals
(collection)

Da

Dangerous Animals
(collection)

Gi

Giant Animals
(collection)

Distribution

Geography

Tigers live in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and also the Russian Far East and China. They inhabit pine and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, where riparian forests provide food and water. On the Indian subcontinent, these animals live mainly in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, moist evergreen forests, tropical dry forests, and the swamp forests of the Sundarbans. Tigers can also range from lowland peat swamp forests to rugged montane forests and in tall grass jungles.

Tiger habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Tigers are solitary animals, except during the mating season and when the females give birth. They like to be mostly alone, roaming their huge territories in search of food. They are territorial, marking their territory with scratch marks on trees. These animals are most active during the night when their prey is most active. They can, however, be active at any time. They prefer to hunt within dense vegetation, using routes where they are able to move quietly. They knock prey onto the ground with the weight of their body and kill their catch by biting their neck. They are very good swimmers and often bathe in ponds, lakes, and rivers, thus keeping cool in the heat of the day; they can even kill prey while swimming. Tigers communicate through facial expressions and vocally. The most common facial expression includes the "defense threat", where an individual bares its teeth, flattens its ears and its pupils enlarge. Like other members of their family, tigers roar, particularly in aggressive situations, during the mating season, or when making a kill. They will also chuff which is a soft, low-frequency snorting similar to purring in smaller cats. Other vocal communications include grunts, woofs, snarls, miaows, hisses, and growls.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

All tigers are carnivores, eating mainly sambar deer, water buffalo, wild pigs, and antelope. They sometimes hunt sloth bears, dogs, monkeys, hares, leopards, pythons, and crocodiles.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
November-April
PREGNANCY DURATION
103 days
BABY CARRYING
1-7 cubs
INDEPENDENT AGE
18 mos-3 yrs
BABY NAME
cub

Tigers are polygynous animals. They have no association with mates aside from mating. Males within one area may compete for access to a female in estrus. November to April is the most common time for breeding. Gestation lasts for about 103 days, and 1 to 7 cubs can be born. They weigh from 780 to 1,600 g (28 to 56 oz) each at birth and are born with their eyes closed. The cubs open their eyes when they are 6 to 14 days old. During the first 11 to 14 days following the birth, the mother tiger spends the majority of her time nursing her young. Weaning takes place at around 90 to 100 days. Cubs remain with their mothers until they reach between 18 months and 3 years of age. They are not reproductively mature until about 3 or 4 years old for females, and for males, it is about 4 to 5 years old.

Population

Population threats

Major reasons for tiger population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, and poaching. Tigers are also victims of human-wildlife conflict, particularly in range countries with a high human population density.

Population number

According to the Defenders Of Wildlife resource, the total population size of the Tiger is around 3,000-4,500 individuals. There are estimated to be less than 2,000 Bengal tigers, 750 to 1,300 Indochinese tigers; 450 Siberian tigers, 400 to 500 Sumatran tigers, and 600 to 800 Malayan tigers. According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of this species is around 2,154-3,159 mature individuals. Overall, currently, tigers are classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List and their numbers today are decreasing.

Ecological niche

Tigers help control the populations of their large herbivorous prey, which all put pressure on various plant communities. Due to their role as top predators, they are considered keystone species.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The tiger is the national animal of India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and South Korea.
  • Did you know that a tiger's coat pattern is still visible when it is shaved. This is not due to skin pigmentation but to the stubble and hair follicles embedded in the skin.
  • Tigers also have a prominent white spot on the back of their ears, surrounded by black. These spots are thought to play an important role in communication between individuals.
  • Tigers can cross rivers up to 7 km (4.3 mi) wide and can swim up to 29 km (18 mi) in a day.
  • When tense, tigers will moan; this sound is similar to a roar but more subdued and made when the mouth is partially or completely closed. Their moaning can be heard 400 m (1,300 ft) away!

References

1. Tiger Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger
2. Tiger on The IUCN Red List site - http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15955/0

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