Tiger Fact File
Max - 300kg
Wild 14 years
Captive 20 years
Tigers are the world's largest cats. They are recognizable for their orange and black striped coats which cover their body. This coloration gives them camouflage when hunting at night.
To assist with hunting at night they have night vision which is six times better than that of humans.
A small spot of white fur is present on the back of the ears. The purpose of this is much debated. Some believe its represents eyes to discourage other animals from attacking them while others believe they help cubs to follow mom through the tall grass.
These animals are solitary outside of the breeding season. Males have an exclusive home range which takes in the range of between 1 and 3 females. The females do not have any overlap in their ranges. Their range is marked by scent marking and scratching trees.
In captivity tigers have been bred with lions to create a hybrid known as a liger or tigon.
The size of their range is determined by the availability of prey. When hunting they seize the prey around the neck and wait for it to suffocate.
Across all of the subspecies males are larger than females.
Tigers are one of the few cats which enjoy swimming and will bathe in rivers or lakes on days of warm weather.
A female tiger will give birth to multiple cubs at a time. An average litter includes two to four cubs. As many as half of the cubs born will not make it to two years old.
Tigers are threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. They are subjecting to heavy hunting to obtain their skin, bones and meats which are used in traditional medicines.
Significant human population growth across their range has led to increasing amounts of habitat destruction to provide room for housing, agriculture and as part of commercial logging operations. These have also brought humans and tigers in to contact more often which can lead to retaliatory killings if they attack livestock.
Less than 4,000 tigers are currently thought to remain in the wild. It is thought that around half of these live in India and are considered Bengal tigers.
In parts of the United States tigers are kept as pets. More tigers are thought to live in captivity in America than survive in the wild.
An Amur Tiger and it's Cub (Panthera tigris altaica)
When they take down a large prey item they cannot eat it all in one go. As such they will drag food to a hidden spot and cover it with leaves then return to finish it later.
Asia is the native home of the tiger. Previously tigers could be found from Turkey in the West to the coast of Russia in the East. Over the last 100 years their range has been significantly reduced.
Most of them make their home in topical rainforests though the Amur tiger is found in cold areas of the Russian Far East.
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World's largest Tiger
The world's largest species of tiger is the Amur or Siberian tiger. These reach a length of 4m (13ft) long with a weight of up to 300kg(660lbs).
World's smallest Tiger
The world's smallest species of tiger is the Sumatran tiger. They have an average length of 2.4m (8 feet) long with an average weight of 120 kilograms (265 pounds).
In both the Amur and Sumatran tigers the males are significantly larger than females with the figures above for males.
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
Tiger Sub-Species - A full list of the 9 Sub-species
Tiger subspecies are often debated and a range of different authorities list a different number of subspecies.
Species Profiles - A detailed fact file on some of the world's Tiger species
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