The largest of the “Cat Family” and presently the most endangered species amongst the big cat, the Tiger is what we are going to explore about.
There were originally eight subspecies of tiger, the Javan, the Bali, the Caspian, the Indochinese, the Sumatran, the Bengal, the Siberian, and the South China tiger, The South China tiger being the antecedent of all tigers. And can you imagine that three of the eight subspecies are now extinct. The Bali tiger met its demise in the 1940’s, the Caspian in the 1970’s and the Javan in the 1980’s. Yes, its sad reality. Of theremaining tiger subspecies the South China tiger is the most critically endangered with only around sixty living in Chinese zoos and approximately twenty in the wild (although none have been spotted for over twenty years). This puts this subspecies at the very top of the endangered species list.
The scientific name of tiger is Pantheris Tigris and the latin names for the subspecies are:
pantheris tigris amoyensis :: The South China tiger
pantheris tigris altaicia :: The Amur (Siberian) tiger
pantheris tigris sumatrae :: The Sumatran tiger
pantheris tigris corbetti :: The Indochinese tiger
pantheris tigris tigris :: The Bengal tiger
pantheris tigris balica :: The Bali tiger
pantheris tigris virgata : :The Caspina tiger
pantheris tigris sondaica :: The Javan tiger
Here are some astonishing facts about the Tiger.
- Despite their fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans; however, a few do become dangerous maneaters. These animals are often sick and unable to hunt normally, or live in an area where their traditional prey has vanished.
- Females give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male. Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years, when they disperse to find their own territory.
- Wild tigers do not live in Africa, they are spread out across Asia and are thought to have originated from Southern China.
- A captive tiger can live up to twenty years, while a wild tiger can expect to live ten to fifteen years.
- Wild tigers are at the very top of the food chain. So, they are an umbrella species, which means to save the wild tiger we must also save its habitat and prey. Due to the cold winters of Southern Russia and Northern China the Siberian tiger is the largest of the subspecies with an average length of 9ft 8′ and an average weight of 540 pounds, it has the thickest fur and roams the largest territories.
- The Bengal tiger is found in India and around the Nepal/China border, it is the second largest of the subspecies weighing in at around 480 pounds, and is 9ft 5′ long (average).
- The Indochinese tiger is found across most of Southeast Asia, it is 8ft 8′ long and weighs in at 380 pounds (average).
- The South China tiger is found only in Southern China, it is 8ft 1′ long and weighs in at 336 pounds (average).
- The Sumatran tiger is the smallest remaining subspecies, with an average length of 7ft 8′ and a weight of 250 pounds,this is due to the fact that its small territories are restricted to the Islands of Sumatra.There are probably fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers on the island of Sumatra.
- The heaviest recorded tiger was a Siberian weighing in at an amazing 1,025 pounds.
- The Bengal tiger has the largest population with around 3000. Next is the Indochinese with approximately 1000-1500, then the Sumatran with 500-1000, then the Siberian with 230-400 and last and unfortunately least the South China tiger with around 60-80.
- Experts estimate that there are less than 6000 Tigers left.
- The tigers saliva is antiseptic and comes in handy for cleaning their wounds.
- An adult wild tiger is a solitary animal and will establish its own territory, which can cover over 100 square miles.
- A tiger marks its territory by spraying surrounding trees and bushes with urine, dropping prominently placed scat, and leaving deep scratch marks on tree trunks.
- In the scent of the tigers urine and scat is a code which can only be deciphered by other wild tigers. The message not only acts as a warning to trespassers, but will also supply all the information needed for a would be mate.
- A males territory can overlap several females territories.
- A tiger will circumnavigate its territory every few days.
Tiger stripes are individually as unique as the human finger print. Most tigers have more than 100 stripes, and no two tigers have identical stripes.
- If you were to shave the fur from a tiger it would still have stripes.
- Tiger stripes act as perfect camouflage in tall weeds and grasses.
- The tigers most developed sense is its hearing.
- A tiger can only usually expect a one in twenty success rate when bringing down prey.
The roar of a tiger can be heard more than a mile away.
- Tigers like to feed on pig, deer and buffalo, but will also eat smaller prey such as rabbit and fish. They are powerful nocturnal hunters that travel many miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals.
- Tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories to keep their rivals away.
- They lie in wait and creep close enough to attack their victims with a quick spring and a fatal pounce.
- A hungry tiger can eat as much as 60 pounds (27 kilograms) in one night, though they usually eat less. Also, A tiger can go two to three days without eating.
- After a feed, a tiger will usually bury the remaining animal carcass in an attempt to hide it from scavengers, and then exhume it for its next meal.
- In Sunderbans tigers have been known to eat man and most human killed by Tigers are in Sunderbans
- To deter these attacks villagers wear masks on the back of their heads as attacks are always from behind.
- A tiger can spend up to eighteen hours sleeping.
- Tigers can swim and like to cool down by sitting neck deep in water holes.
- Tigers reach maturity and are ready for mating at the age of three.
- A male tiger can copulate up to six times an hour.
- A female tiger will usually give birth to 2-3 cubs in the wild, unfortunately the fatality rate for cubs can be quite high.
- The gestation period can range from 102-106 days from time of conception.
- All tigers typically show a 1:1 sex ratio at birth.
- Tiger cubs are blind at birth.
- A tiger cub can gain 100 grams in weight per day.
- A cub will begin eating solid food at around 12-13 weeks and should be completely weaned around seventeen weeks.
- Tiger cubs play-fight with their siblings, which enables them to gain strength and speed.
- It is believed that the two white dots on the back of a tiger’s ears are designed to act as a visual beacon to enable the cubs to follow their parent.
- A tiger cub will make its first kill around 18 months of age.
- Tiger cubs can stay with their mother for up to 2-3 years.
- Male tigers have been known to kill and sometimes eat cubs of other males before taking the tigress as its own mate.
- All tigers have a similar marking on their forehead, which resembles the Chinese symbol Wang, meaning King.
- Tigers do not purr.
- Usually before mating, but also as a sign of affection, tigers make a kind of chuffing sound by expelling air softly through the nostrils.
- Unlike the domestic cat the tigers pupils are round.
- The tiger’s foot print is known as the pug mark, and its counting and measurement is sometimes the
only method of recording wild tigers.
- Like the domestic cat the tigers claws are retractable.
- There are five toes on a tigers forefeet and four on its hind feet. The fore limbs are more powerful than the hind limbs for grabbing large prey.
- A tiger’s night vision is six times greater than of human’s.
- A tiger’s canine teeth can grow up to three inches long and would be capable of crunching through the vertebrae of any creature on this earth.
- Adult tigers have thirty teeth.
- On average a tigers tail is around four feet long or half the length of its body.
- The tail gives the tiger extra balance when running and is also used to communicate to other tigers.
- The Sumatran tiger has the most pronounced ruff around its neck.
- The South China tiger has the fewest stripes.
- In Chinese, tiger means Wu Lao Hu. In Hindi itmeans Bagh, Sher. In Indonesian it means Harimau,Macan. In Korean it means Ho Lang-ee. In Vietnameseit means Cop. In Thai and Lao it means Seua.In Nepalese it means Bagh. In Burmese it means Kyar. And in Malay it means Harimau.
- Tigers move both legs on one side of the body almost simultaneously when they walk.
- The South China tiger has a slightly different shaped skull to the other subspecies, its eye sockets are deeper and it has a slight hump on the back of its neck.
- Most tigers are orange with black stripes and a white underbelly and jowl.
- A white tiger is not an albino, all white tigers are believed to have descended from a single white Bengal male called Mohan.
- It is said that the South China tiger is impossible to train, many Chinese circuses gave up after trying to implement them into their acts.
- The demise of the tiger is due to loss of habitat and the use of tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicines.
- Every single part of the tiger is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
- Tiger derivatives have been used in traditional Chinese medicines for over 1000 years.
- In 1959 The Siberian tiger was declared an endangered species and awarded protection.
- In 1959 The South China tiger was declared a pest and a bounty was placed on its head.
- In 1959 there were approximately 4000 South China tigers in the wild.
Between 1960 and 1984 3000 South China tiger pelts were officially recorded.
- Many so called tiger activists have given up on the South China tiger.
- Now the Chinese government is completely dedicated to saving the South China tiger. They have also planned to build Tiger farms.
- The main users of illegal animal derivatives are, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.
- There are believed to be 120 outlets selling tiger derivatives in Australia alone.
- Tiger populations are being cut off as their territories shrink and the corridors which join them together are being destroyed.
- A single brewery in Taiwan imported 2,000kg of tiger bone annually during the 1980’s, the equivalent of 100-200 tiger carcasses, to produce 100,000 bottles of tiger wine.
- There are now more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild.
- We could lose the wild tiger in as little as five years time.
- The tiger has only one predator…MAN!
- A group of tigers is called a Streak.
- There were believed to be 100,000 wild tigers at the beginning of the last century.
- There are twice as many captive tigers in the USA alone than there are anywhere in the wild.
- The tiger’s stripes form what is called disruptive camouflage, which is an illusion that appears to change their shape and blend them into their surroundings.
- A tiger is Diurnal, which means its peak times of activity are dawn and dusk.
- A tiger have separate home territory and hunting territory and generally they do not do hunting in their home territory.
- Tigers keep their claws sharp for hunting by pulling in their retractable claws into a protective sheath.
- Unusually for Cats, Tigers enjoy water and are very strong swimmer
- Only four cats are capable of roaring the Lion, Leopard, Jaguar and the Tiger
- Tigers don’t like to get too hot
- Tigers spend really hot days lying in pools and streams
- A Tigers roar can be heard over 2km away
- Tigers roar to defend its territory or to call its mate or cubs
- The Tigers striped coats camoflages it very well as it stalks through long grass
- The Tiger uses its large dagger like teeth (Canines) to stab its prey.
- One bite in the throat or the back of the neck is enough to kill a deer
- Tigers usually hunt alone and at night
- Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
USEFULL TIGER LINKS
- Tiger Facts 1
- Tiger Facts 2
- Tiger Facts 3
Holidayhomeindia intends to help saving tigers. The contents above are extracted from various sites and Holidayhomeindia express its gratitude to all of these sites and also towards every tiger lover. Any interesting information which may help this effort will be appreciated. Please consider supporting these tiger saving movement by whatever means you feel appropriate.
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