Tigers are predatory mammals, representatives of the cat family, the genus panther, the subfamily big cats. The name of the animal "tiger" is of ancient Persian origin and translates as "sharp and fast."
Tigers are the largest land predators that are second only to white and brown bears in weight. There are 9 subspecies of the tiger, of which only 6 survived in the 21st century. The total population is 4,000–6,500 individuals. Tigers are listed in the Red Book of IUCN and many countries of the world, and hunting for them is prohibited everywhere.
The largest are the Bengal and Amur tigers. Males in length from 2.3 to 2.5 m, with a body weight of about 300 kg. The height at the withers reaches 1.15 m. Females are usually inferior to males in size.
Tigers have a massive, elongated, muscular, flexible body. The tail is long, pubescent. The front legs are five-fingered, the hind legs are four-fingered, the claws are retractable. The head is round, the forehead is convex. The ears are small, rounded in shape. On the sides of the head are tanks. White vibrissae are arranged in 4-5 rows. The animal has well developed fangs, up to 8 cm in length. Tigers have well developed night vision, there is color vision.
The coat is low, sparse, dense and low in the southern subspecies, high and fluffy in the northern. Coloring from rusty red to rusty brown, belly, chest and paws inside are light. Light marks are also visible on the ears. The body is covered with stripes painted in brown or black. The muzzle is below the nostrils, the vibrissae region, the chin are white, there are black spots around the mouth. The tail has a black tip and transverse strip-rings. The shape and distance between the strips are diverse among the subspecies, but their number is on average about 100. The arrangement of the stripes in tigers is unique for each individual.
The diet of tigers mainly consists of hoofed animals: Bengal tigers prey on zambara, axis, wild boar and nilgau, Amur tigers hunt red and sika deer, wild boars, roe deer and musk deer, Sumatran tigers - sambara, wild boars and black tapir. Among the prey of tigers, there are also large herbivores, for example, Indian buffalos, haurs and moose. Monkey, pheasant, hare, reptiles and fish fall into their diet. Sometimes tigers also hunt pets: dogs, cows, horses and donkeys. Plant foods, nuts, herbs and fruits can be enjoyed in the summer.
Nutrition for the tiger is 50-70 ungulates per year. At one time, a meal is 30-40 kg of meat. The lack of food the tiger tolerates relatively easily due to the presence of a subcutaneous layer of fat about 5 cm thick.
Where does it live?
The tiger is an Asian animal. Its historical range included the Russian Far East, Iran, Afghanistan, China, India and the countries of Southeast Asia.
Where does the tiger live on the map
Today, in most of these territories, the tiger is exterminated, large populations survived only in India and Indochina and in the Far East (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan , Russia, Thailand).
Tigers live in a wide variety of landscapes: in tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps and bamboo thickets in the tropics, in dry savannas, semi-deserts, bare rocky hills and taiga in the north. In the mountains they are found at altitudes of up to 3000 m above sea level.
Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
Known as Ussuri, Siberian, Manchurian or North Chinese, distributed in the Amur Region, in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories of Russia. The population reaches about 500 individuals.
Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
The Amur tiger is a large subspecies. It is distinguished by a thick, long and fluffy coat, light color and many stripes.
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
Nominal subspecies that live in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar. The population is estimated at 3100-4500 animals, but it is still at risk due to poaching. The average weight of males is 205-227 kg, for females - 140-150 kg.
Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)
Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)
Distributed in Cambodia, Myanmar, southern China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. The number of individuals is 1200-1800. This subspecies features a darker color. The average weight of males is from 150 to 190 kg, for females this indicator is in the range of 110-140 kg.
Malay Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni)
Malay Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni)
Distributed only in the south of the peninsula of Malacca. Previously, the population of this subspecies was attributed to Indochinese tigers, but according to genetic studies at the beginning of the 21st century, it was isolated as an independent subspecies. Its number is estimated at 600-800 individuals, that is, it is the third largest in nature.
Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis)
Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis)
This small subspecies is under the greatest threat of extinction. Body length 2.2-2.6 meters, males weigh 127-177 kg, females 100-118 kg. Now 59 individuals are kept in captivity in China, and they are trying to introduce them into natural conditions.
Tigers are most active in the morning, evening and night. They usually spend the day in lairs. Move in large steps. They do not climb trees. The waters do not shun and swim well, and the inhabitants of the southern regions even bathe regularly. Hardy tigers and to low temperatures. Shedding twice a year: in March and September.
Tigers are mostly silent and rarely voice. Only during the mating season, males begin to roar dullly, and when they are angry or attack prey, they growl. An adult tiger is a territorial animal that leads a solitary lifestyle and violently protects its site. The tiger marks its personal territory in different ways, leaves urine marks on tree trunks, rocks, bushes, loosens snow or soil, rubs against trees and leaves scratches on the trunks. The size of personal territories is determined by habitat, amount of prey, and the presence of females (for males). Tigresses usually cover an area of about 20 km², and males - 60-100 km². Females can live on the territory of the male.
The territorial behavior of males is very aggressive, they do not let strangers into their territory and engage in serious fights with them, they get along only with tigresses. In turn, the females normally get along with each other and can put up on intersecting sites.
Tigers hunt only alone, either sneaking up to prey (in winter), or trapping it in ambush (in summer). Their victims are often tracked near ponds. Production can be chased by 100-150 m, developing a speed of up to 60 km / h.
Tigers are polygamous animals. Their mating season falls on December-January. At this time, males often fight for females. Since the tigress is able to fertilize only a few days a year, mating occurs at this time many times. The first offspring of females is observed at the age of 3-4 years. The tigress gives birth usually once every 2-3 years. The duration of pregnancy is 97-112 days.
The mating season of tigers
To breed offspring, the female arranges a lair in an inaccessible place: in crevices among stones, in a cave, windbreak. Cubs are born in March-April, there are 2-4 of them, they are blind, helpless, weigh 1.3-1.5 kg, their eyes open after 6-8 days. The first 6 weeks are breastfeeding. Only a female takes care of them, and does not admit males. At 8 weeks, the cubs leave the den and follow their mother. They begin independent life at 18 months, but can remain with the female until they reach puberty.
Tigress and cubs
Females become sexually mature at 3-4 years old, males at 4-5 years old. For life, the female brings 10-20 cubs, but half dies at a young age. In nature, tigers live for about 25 years.
Throughout its range, the tiger is the top of the food chain and other predators do not attack it and do not compete with it. On the contrary, tigers attack wolves, leopards and pythons. Amur tiger and brown bear pose a danger to each other. Crocodiles are potentially dangerous for tigers.
The main factor that limits the population of tigers is the economic activity of people and hunting with trophy (for hunting skins) and for therapeutic purposes (use in traditional oriental medicine).
Due to hunting and destruction of the natural habitat, the number of tigers is rapidly decreasing. A hundred years ago, the population was estimated at 100,000 wild tigers, and now there are about 5000 left. About 20,000 animals are kept in captivity, which prevents the complete destruction of the species. In addition, tigers are under international protection, are included in the IUCN Red List, hunting for them is strictly prohibited.
Interesting facts about the tiger:
- July 29 is International Tiger Day.
- The destruction of tigers was associated with the use of their organs and tissues in traditional eastern (Chinese) medicine. The most famous medical products of this type are painkillers and aphrodisiacs. Now such use is prohibited and criminally punished, but illegal traffic is still preserved.
Tiger. All subspecies of the most beautiful cat
The bear is firmly entrenched in our minds and the minds of foreigners as one of the symbols of Russia. I do not mean United Russia, but our beautiful country. But if the bear is animal number one, then which animal is number two? I would put the tiger in second place. Yes, we were lucky to live in a country where this amazing animal is found. Moreover, of all the cats on earth, our Ussuri tiger is the largest and, in my opinion, the most beautiful.
Tigers are an exclusively Asian species. They once lived throughout India, in most of eastern China, on the Korean Peninsula, throughout Southeast Asia, on the islands of Sumatra and Java, in eastern Russia from Lake Baikal to the Sea of Okhotsk, in the southern Caspian region of Iran and Azerbaijan, as well as in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia.
Today tigers live in 16 countries - Russia, Thailand, China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
The number of tigers in the wild has fallen sharply over the past 100 years. Basically, the reason was man. Three of the nine tiger subspecies were completely exterminated, and four of the six surviving subspecies are on the verge of extinction. Especially many tigers were killed in India at the beginning of the twentieth century by the British colonialists, in whom it was a favorite pastime.
Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) Is the rarest subspecies. Moreover, presumably this is the rarest wild cat found in nature. According to the most optimistic forecasts in the wild, there are no more than 30 individuals left. Most likely, in the coming years, this cat will completely disappear.
Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) Is the smallest subspecies. Its weight does not exceed 120-130 kg, which is two times less than, for example, our Ussuri tiger. This subspecies lives on the island of Sumatra, which is obvious from the name. The number of Sumatran tiger is 400-500 individuals and continues to decline. The main reason is poaching.
Ussuri or Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) - as you probably know - the largest is not only a tiger, but also a representative of the cat family. It mainly lives on the territory of Russia (Amur Region, Jewish Autonomous Okrug, Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories), where a great deal of work is being done to preserve the subspecies, and is also found in northeastern China and North Korea. In the wild, there are about 600-700 of them left, and about 500 live on a single (not divided) area, which can help maintain the subspecies.
Malay Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) - is found only in the southern part of the Malaysian Peninsula of Malacca. It is considered the third largest subspecies - about 800 individuals.
Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) A fairly large subspecies living in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, Laos and Vietnam. To date, there are about 1300-1500 individuals.
Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) Is the only subspecies that is not threatened with extinction. Their number is about 2500 individuals, which is slightly less than half of all tigers living in the wild. Although, according to reports of the Indian government, there may be more than 4000. These tigers live in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
Hunting tigers is prohibited in all countries where they live. However, poachers still manage to kill them. Alas, the demand for skins, stuffed animals and some organs of the beast is still high in China.
Interestingly, three times more tigers live in captivity than in the wild. In the United States alone, more than 10,000 individuals live as pets, in zoos and circuses.
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Tiger: description, structure, characteristic. What does a tiger look like?
Tigers have a flexible and muscular body with a round head and a convex forehead. The eyes of the tiger are expressive, in addition, they are able, like people, to distinguish colors (in general, the ability to distinguish colors is very rare in the animal world) and even see in the dark. In addition to good vision, tigers also have excellent hearing and smell (as, however, many cat predators), are able to pick up the slightest sounds and subtle smells. All this turns the tiger into one of the most dangerous predators of our planet.
As we wrote at the beginning of the article, tigers reach sizes up to 3 meters in length and weigh up to 300 kg, although their sizes may vary depending on the type of tiger. The largest are the Bengal and Amur tigers, whose weight can reach even 380 kg. Female tigers are usually slightly smaller than males.
On the face of the tiger there is an elastic white mustache. Also, an adult tiger has 30 teeth (with which they survive food) + four sharp fangs, two from above and below, with their help, predators deal with their victims.
The front legs of the tiger have five toes, the hind legs have only four, on each of the tiger's toes there are extension claws, which are also used during tiger hunting.
The hair cover of tigers depends on the species and habitat, so in southern tigers the hair cover is short and dense, while in northern tigers, it is more fluffy.
The tiger skin is yellow or brown with signature black stripes located throughout the body. Tiger stripes have characteristic pointed endings, sometimes parted and connected again. On average, about 100 stripes are located on the tiger body. The long tail of the tiger is also covered with rings of stripes.
Remember that the word "tiger" is translated from the Persian language as "sharp, fast," so it is really fast, and despite its impressive weight, this predator is capable of speeds up to 60 km per hour.
And tigers have an impressive roar, the tiger roar can be heard at a distance of 3 km.
Where do tigers live
Tigers live mainly in Asia, but it is practically throughout Asia, in its most diverse climatic zones, from the Siberian taiga to the South Asian jungle of Sumatra. Many tigers live on the territory of such Asian countries as China, Korea, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia.
As habitats, tigers prefer forest terrain, tropical rainforests, bamboo thickets or the harsh Siberian taiga. In any case, they adapt perfectly to the environment. Tigers like to arrange their dens in reed thickets near ponds.
Tiger lifestyle and habits
Possessing such powerful power, it is not surprising that the tiger feels itself as the sovereign master of the forest.Males mark their territory with special tags that make urine and protect from the encroachment of other tigers.
In natural conditions, tigers live either singly or in small families (something in the manner of prides among lions) and, very interestingly, the relations of tigers from one family are always friendly, sometimes they behave amusingly during communication, touching each other with their faces in contact. But if an alien tiger accidentally wanders into their territory, then he will not be greeted.
What do tigers eat?
Needless to say, tigers are notorious predators, and by no means suffer from a lack of appetite. So an adult tiger at a time can eat 30-40 kg of meat, and if it is also a very hungry tiger, then all 50 kg. The main source of their food is ungulates and large herbivores: wild, tapirs, roe deer. And the tiger is a wonderful swimmer and always does not mind eating not only meat, but also fish. Sometimes even a small elephant calf can get to the tiger for lunch, who has come off its parents, but tigers are already afraid of attacking adults (as well as).
Tigers hunt at different times, when they feel hunger, then they go hunting, and this can be either day or night, morning and evening. They always hunt alone, using two methods: either they are sitting in ambush, patiently waiting for a potential victim, or they carefully creep up to it. One way or another, both of these tricks end with a rapid cast of the tiger, during which he catches up with his prey. Small animals, the tiger immediately gnaws the throat, larger ones, it first knocks to the ground and then gnaws the cervical vertebrae.
An interesting fact: if it so happened that the victim was stronger and was able to escape from the tiger, then he will not attack again.
Enemies of tigers
Since the tiger is literally at the top of the food chain, in natural conditions it has no enemies. Including other predators: leopards and even flocks are afraid of tigers and prefer to bypass them. (No wonder the English writer Kipling chose a tiger named Sharkhan as the main negative hero of his cult book Mowgli, and even wolves who sheltered a human cub were afraid of Sharkhan in the book).
Nevertheless, of course, man became the main enemies of the tiger, moreover, the extermination of tigers by hunters led to the fact that many species of these striped “cats” were on the verge of extinction. Now tigers are listed in the Red Book of the planet, and hunting for them is strictly prohibited.
Types of tigers, photos and names
There are 9 species of tigers, though 3 of them: the Balinese tiger, the Caspian tiger and the Javan tiger, unfortunately, have disappeared from the face of the earth forever. And then we will describe in detail the remaining species that have been preserved. So.
He is the Ussuri tiger, one of the largest and at the same time small representatives of the tiger family. It features thick fur and a relatively small number of characteristic tiger stripes. According to the estimates of zoologists, the population of Amur tigers totals only 500 individuals that live in the Amur region of Russia. A number of these tigers also live in North Korea and northeast China. It is entered in the red book.
This species is also one of the largest in the tiger family. And unlike the Amur congener, the Bengal tiger is just the most numerous. It is interesting that in nature there are Bengal albino tigers, which are a mutated species. Bengal tigers live in a number of Asian countries: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh.
This species of tiger is characterized by a murky red color and slightly smaller sizes than their Bengal and Amur relatives, they are up to 2.85 cm in length and weighs 150-195 kg. These tigers live in southern China, as well as in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma.
The Malay tiger inhabiting the Malacca Peninsula is notable for being the smallest among tigers. Its length is only 237 cm with a weight of up to 120 kg. Also, this tiger is listed in the Red Book and is on the verge of extinction, today in nature there are only about 600-800 individuals of the Malay tiger.
This tiger, living on the island of Sumatra and a number of other islands in Indonesia, is also one of the endangered species of the majestic striped predator. About 500 Sumatran tigers living in the national reserves of about. Sumatra is what separates this species from complete extinction. The Sumatran tiger also does not shine in size (in comparison with its large relatives, of course), however, it is slightly larger than the Malay tiger, its length is 220-225 cm and weighs up to 140 kg.
Or just a Chinese tiger, is a small species of tigers living in China, which is now preserved exclusively in zoos.
Tiger hybrids are called tigers born from crossing tigers themselves with other representatives of the panther genus. Among them are:
This is a hybrid of a lion and a female tiger. It has a huge size.
Just like a liger, on the contrary, his dad is a tiger, and his mother is a lioness. It is smaller in size than its parents and has the features of both: the stripes of the father and the spots of the mother, and males have a mane, though it is several times smaller than that of real lions.
These hybrids of a lion and a tiger are born exclusively in captivity, in zoos, in natural conditions they, of course, are not found.
Who is stronger: a lion or a tiger?
For some reason, many are interested in this question. It seems impossible to give an exact answer to it, since there are very few recorded and documented fights between lions and tigers, which does not allow us to justifiably talk about the superiority of this or that animal. But there is an opportunity to compare the lion and the tiger by a number of external parameters:
- The tiger wins in the weight category, although it is not much, but it is still heavier than a lion. (This applies to large species of tigers, small species here will lose to the "king of animals").
- By the force of compression of the jaws during a bite, both the tiger and the lion are approximately the same.
- The principle of hunting and killing the victim of the lions and tigers is also the same.
- But in terms of lifestyle, tigers and lions are different, if lions still prefer to live in prides - small families, then tigers choose a single lifestyle, as well as a single hunt (lions often hunt collectively). Although tigers sometimes form small families, which could also be called prides, only in such prides they are much less likely to gather than lions.
- In terms of endurance, it is also impossible to say who is stronger, and the tiger and lion run very quickly, can overcome significant distances.
In any case, both the tiger and the lion are strong, powerful, and of course very dangerous predators, including dangerous ones for humans.
- Since ancient times, the tiger has been the hero of numerous tales, myths and legends. For example, one legend tells us about the now defunct saber-toothed tiger, as the progenitor of all predators on Earth.
- Unlike other representatives of the cat family, tigers are not afraid of water, but rather love to swim in it, especially in hot weather.