Tigers

The tiger (also known as Panthera tigris) is the most well-known jungle cat in the world. Besides being the most famous cat around, the tiger is the largest cat species. Its body length can reach up to about 3.3 meters or 11 feet long. They can also weigh up to 306 kilograms or 675 lbs. The Guinness World Record for the biggest tiger is a Bengal tiger weighing in at approximately 858 lbs. The bodies of tigers are usually muscular with large heads and large forelimbs. The male tigers have longer whiskers than the female tigers. The eyes of the tiger have circular pupils and yellow irises. The pattern of stripes on each tiger is unique to that specific tiger. Researchers usually look at the stripes to identify the tiger just like we use our fingerprints to identify other humans. The stripes also act as a camouflage so that it is easier to follow their prey.

The locations of tigers used to range across Asia, from Turkey to Russia. But over the past century, the range decreased by 93%. Central and Southwest Asia has completely lost their populations of tigers. Tigers are currently endangered and extremely threatened of extinction. Today, most tigers are located in the zoos around the world. The tigers that live in the zoos have a life expectancy of between 20 to 26 years. The tigers that actually live in the wild mostly live in Siberia, some open grasslands, and tropical swamps. There are only six subspecies of tigers living today. Three of them are the Bengal tiger, the Caspian tiger, and the Siberian tiger.

The Bengal tiger is the most numerous of the six subspecies. The population of the Bengal is between 1700 and 1910 tigers in India. Throughout the world, the total population is estimated at fewer than 2500 Bengal tigers. It has been classified as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) since 2010.

The skull of the tiger is very similar to a lion’s. The only difference is that the frontal region of the skull is not as flattened out as a lion’s. Tigers can be one of three colors (unless incomplete dominance is showing). These colors are orange, tabby cat color (golden), or white. The orange is the most common and is the dominant trait when it comes to tiger reproduction. The white color is the second-most common color and is the recessive trait. The golden color is the rarest of the three and is caused by a color inhibitor gene called the chinchilla gene.

The behaviors of tigers can vary based on where they are and what the weather is like. Male tigers often like to have lots of home space. The males have territories that range from 60 to 100 sq km while the females or tigresses only have 20 sq km of territory space. Tigers will usually have a water source in or near their territories. In their water source, they will clean themselves, cool off from the heat, or hunt for fish in the water.


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