The tiger is the largest member of the felid (cat) family. They sport long, thick reddish coats with white bellies and white and black tails. Their heads, bodies, tails and limbs have narrow black, brown or gray stripes. There were once nine subspecies of tigers: Bengal, Siberian, Indochinese, South Chinese, Sumatran, Malayan, Caspian, Javan, and Bali. Of these, the last three are extinct, one is extinct in the wild, and the rest are endangered.Let’s Look at the Top 10 Facts About Tigers.
Top 10 Facts About Tigers:
1) Tigers are the largest wild cats in the world. Adults can weigh up to 363kg – that’s about the same as ten-year-olds! – and measure up to 3.3m!
2) Tigers are carnivores, eating only meat. They mainly feed on large mammals such as deer, wild pigs, antelope, and buffalo.
3) Tigers are solitary hunters and generally search for food alone at night. They quietly stalk their prey until they are close enough to pounce – then they kill their victim with a bite to the neck or back of the head. Ouch!
4) Unlike almost all other big cats, tigers are adept swimmers. They enjoy bathing and often play in the water when young. As adults, they often swim several kilometers to hunt or to cross rivers, and at least one has been recorded to have swum almost 30km in a day.
5) When a tiger wants to be heard, you’ll know about it, gang – because their roar can be heard as far as three kilometers away.
6)Population, In the early 1900s, there were around 100,000 tigers throughout their range. Today, an estimated total of around 3,000-4,500 exist in the wild. Below is a breakdown of tiger numbers by subspecies.
Bengal tiger: Less than 2,000
Indochinese tiger: 750-1,300
Siberian tiger: Around 450
Sumatran tiger: 400-500
Malayan tiger: 600-800
South Chinese tiger: Extinct in the wild
Caspian tiger: Extinct
Javan tiger: Extinct
Bali tiger: Extinct
7) Tigers can bite through bones with their powerful teeth and jaws. They will break the neck vertebrae of prey simply by biting straight through them.
8) Tigers have antiseptic saliva. They lick their wounds to disinfect them.
9) Tigers can sprint at over 60km/h for short distances.
10) Tigers are the largest of all cats, but also have the most variability in size. The largest subspecies, the Siberian tiger, grows to over 3.5m long with a mass of over 300k. The smallest subspecies, the Sumatran tiger, is only around 2m long and 100kg when fully-grown.
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