Tiger Pictures, Information and Facts
The majestic Tiger is the largest of the big cats. Today Tigers are only found in
South and Southeast Asia, China and the Russian Far East. Once there were nine subspecies of tigers: Bengal, Siberian, Indochinese, South Chinese, Sumatran, Malayan, Caspian,
Javan and Bali. The last three of these are extinct, one is extinct in the wild, and the rest are on the endangered species list. In the Wild Tigers have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. In Captivity they have been known to live up to 20 years.
White Tiger Facts
Where do Tigers Live?
Mating Habits of Tigers
How Big is a Tiger?
What is a Caspian Tiger?
Most Tigers have long, thick reddish coats with white bellies and white and black
tails with narrow stripes of black, brown or gray on their heads, bodies, tails
and limbs. They have round pupils and yellow irises with the exception of the white
tigers who generally have blue eyes. They have powerful jaws, shoulders and legs.
Tigers range in length from 6.6 feet 2 feet of which is tail to 12.2 feet 3 feet
of which is tail. They weigh up to 700 pounds for the largest Siberian Tigers to
only 200 pounds for the smallest Sumatran Tigers.
The Tiger's stripes are a very useful camouflage, hiding the Tiger in long grass
or reeds. Tigers are mostly nocturnal, active at night, and rely on that camouflage
to ambush their prey. Tigers are the most powerful of the big cats. They can take down prey larger than themselves. They use their massive body weight to knock prey
to the ground and kill with powerful jaws to the neck. Tigers are excellent swimmers
and have been known to carry 300 pound animals with them while swimming. Depending
on their environment Tigers eat monkeys, hares, deer, wild pigs, water buffalo,
antelope, sloth bears, leopards, crocodiles and pythons. Older and injured tigers
have been known to hunt humans and domestic cattle. Does that mean healthy, full
grown tigers think humans are too easy or too dangerous?
Tigers are fiercely territorial and mark their large home ranges. Their home ranges
are often large areas of different habitats that meet the requirement of their various
prey. Since some of these ranges are also in the most densely populated areas of
the earth, this has caused significant conflict and interaction with humans.
Tigers essentially live solitary lives, except during mating season and when females
bear young. Mother Tigers can have 3-4 cubs at a time. The cubs are born in dens.
Mothers guard their young from predators and wandering male Tigers that may kill
the cubs to cause the female to mate again. The cubs follow their mother out of
the den at 8 weeks of age. They are independent at around 18 months of age but do
not leave their mothers until they are about 2 to 2 Â½ years of age.
- Can run as fast as 40mph and leap up to 30ft.
- A Tigers' night vision is six times better than that of humans.
- Tigers use their tail for communication.
- Just like the domestic housecat, tigers keep their claws sharp for hunting by pulling in their retractable claws into a protective sheath
- Where they live: The tiger's range extends from India to China and parts of Asia, and to the north into southern Siberia. Sumatra is the only large island currently inhabited by tigers.
- What they eat: An opportunist hunter, tigers tend to prey on medium to large animals. These range from wild boars and water buffalo in India to deer and moose in Siberia. They will also eat smaller prey, such as monkeys, rabbits and fish. Some other forms of prey are crocodiles, leopards, pythons and even bears.
Occasionally, young elephants and rhinos are hunted, though adult elephant and rhino are seldom hunted. Tigers that prey on cattle are referred to as cattle-killers.
There are also tigers that prey upon humans, called man-eaters. These man-eating tigers are usually too old to hunt for their natural prey or are injured and unable to hunt what they would normally eat.
While tigers mostly hunt mainly at night, in some instances for example in areas humans are absent they have been captured via remote control camera hunting during the day.
Due to the tiger's weak stamina, it must be relatively close to its prey before breaking cover, though they can reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour in short bursts.
- Family structure: Mating between tigers typically occurs from late-fall to mid-spring, though it can happen year round. With the female only being receptive for a few days, the male tigers don't waste that opportunity, mating with the females frequently during this time period. After a gestation period of three and a half months, the female delivers three to four cubs, which weigh about two pounds each. Born blind and helpless, the cubs are reared by the mother alone without the help of the father.
At the age of eight weeks, the cubs will follow their mother out of the den, though they do not hunt with her until later. Becoming independent at around 18 months, the cubs will typically stay with the mother until they are two and a half years of age. Young male tigers don't mature sexually until four to five years and females not until three to four years.
- Habitat: Tigers like to live where there is plenty of cover, a close water supply, and easy access to their prey. They prefer denser vegetation where camouflage can be utilized. Tigers range from taiga, or the more barren areas of boreal forests, to expansive grasslands and into tropical mangrove swamps.
- Endangered status: Tigers are considered endangered by the IUCN.
Muscular, tigers have powerful forequarters that allow them to kill prey with a swipe of their paws. Their preferred method of taking down prey, though, is to latch onto their target with their forelimbs and then bite the neck. The prey is then brought to the ground where the tiger remains with its hold on the neck until its quarry is dead from strangulation.
The fur of the tiger varies between orange and brown in the south to variations of orange in the north. Whisker-like long hairs frame the tigers face on its large head. The underbelly of the tiger is commonly white, and the stripes of a tiger are generally black in coloration and are found down the length of the body. The tiger's pupils are circular with yellow irises, and the ears are small and rounded.
Like human fingerprints, each tiger's stripes are unique, allowing researchers to distinguish between individual tigers. The tiger's stripes are believed to be mainly for camouflage. The stripe pattern also extends down to the tiger's skin.