Information On Tigers

 

Tiger Information
planet tiger

The Tiger is the largest member of the cat family, Felidae, Panthera tigris. It lives in Asia and belongs to the same genus, Panthera, as the lion, leopard, and jaguar. Two major subspecies exist: the Siberian (also called the Manchurian) tiger, Panthera tigris altaica, and the Bengal tiger, Panthera tigris tigris.

The modern tiger is thought to have originated in northern Asia during the Pleistocene epoch and spread southward thereafter, crossing the Himalayas only about 10,000 years ago.

The very rare Siberian tiger ranges as far north as the Arctic Circle. A big male measures 13 feet (4 m) long, including the tail, and weighs 700 pounds (300 kg). It has thick yellow fur with dark stripes.

The Bengal tiger, which is about 10 feet (about 3 m) long, including the tail, and usually weighs no more than about 500 pounds (about 230 kg), is found on the mainland of southeastern Asia and in central and southern India. Its coat lies flatter than that of the Siberian tiger, the tawny color is richer, and the stripes are darker. The tigers on the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Bali are even smaller and darker.

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The young remain with their mother until their third year.

The tiger is a solitary animal, males and females coming together only at mating time. The litter usually numbers two or three cubs, which stay with the mother into their second year. The gestation period is from 98 to 110 days.

Tigers prefer damp, thickly overgrown places such as dense jungles and river banks covered with reeds or brush where they are well camouflaged by their coloration.. In such localities they stalk their prey at night. If necessary, they prowl about during the day.

Unlike most members of the cat family, tigers are good swimmers. They cross rivers readily in search of prey. Occasionally, to escape a flood or some other pressing danger, they even climb trees.

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They prey upon many other wild animals. The diet is varied, ranging from deer and cattle to snakes and termites; carrion is also eaten. Wherever humans have domestic animals, tigers destroy a large number of cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. A cattle-eating tiger will kill an ox about every five days, or from 60 to 70 a year. Unless it is cornered or greatly provoked, the tiger avoids the elephant, and it rarely attacks a large buffalo or bear. In battles with these animals the tiger is frequently beaten.

The Future of the Tiger

In 1972 it was determined that the Bengal tiger numbered less than 2,000. It was then that the Indian Government initiated Project Tiger to save its own tigers from extinction. Even though Project Tiger was designed to save the Bengal Tiger, the whole species must be considered in danger. Those living on islands have almost disappeared. All subspecies of tiger were declared as endangered species in 1987. Although tigers are successfully bred in zoos, in the wild they only survive in reserves and parks, despite now being protected throughout their range.

TIGER ALERT: There is a tiger poached (killed) every 18 hours in India. Almost all of these tigers are smuggled to China.

 


 


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