Tiger: characteristics and subspecies

O tiger (tiger panther) is a mammal, carnivore and excellent predator. They represent the biggest cats in nature.

Today, tigers are found in the Asia region, but they were widely distributed across the planet. However, with the increasing destruction of their habitats and intense hunting, they were restricted to some parts of the Asian continent.

Therefore, the tiger is a species in danger of extinction, which makes its populations increasingly reduced.

Subspecies

There are several tiger subspecies, three of which are extinct, such as: Bali tiger, Java tiger and Caspian tiger.

The best known subspecies are as follows:

Siberian tiger

Siberian tiger
The Siberian tiger is nature's largest feline

The Siberian Tiger (Altaic Tigris Panthera) is the largest existing tiger subspecies, males ranging from 180 to 300 kg and 3.5 meters in length. So they are the biggest cats existing in nature.

Currently, they are found in restricted regions of Russia, in cold regions. Consequently, its coat is thicker, so it can protect itself from the intense cold.

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Animal protection organizations estimate that there are no more than 500 Siberian tigers in the wild.

Bengal tiger

Bengal tiger
The Bengal Tiger is threatened with extinction

The Bengal Tiger (panthera tigris tigris) is the second largest subspecies of tigers. An adult male can weigh up to 230 kg.

These animals are found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Myanmar. It is estimated that there are fewer than 2,500 Bengal tigers living in the wild, due to intense hunting.

Sumatran tiger

Sumatran tiger
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest tiger subspecies

The Sumatran Tiger (panthera tigris sumatrae), as its name implies, is found on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, in humid tropical forest regions.

This subspecies differs by having a darker coat and thicker stripes. There are believed to be fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers in the wild, making it critically endangered.

Habits and characteristics

Tigers are often solitary but territorial, and can compete with each other for control of space. It is essential that the area has available hunting and, in the case of male tigers, females for reproduction.

The stripe pattern is unique to each tiger, like a fingerprint.

food

tiger hunting
The wild boar is one of the main prey of the tiger

tigers are carnivorous animals and its canine teeth are well developed and the largest among felines. They can eat up to 10 kg of meat at one time!.

During hunting, tigers can imitate the sounds of other animals in order to attract them. His favorite prey are deer, wild boar and antelope.

reproduction

Females are fertile only for five days a year, this is when reproduction should take place. To ensure reproduction, the tiger couple usually mate several times during the day.

Pregnancy lasts around three months and each litter can give birth to up to three puppies.

The mother is responsible for taking care of the puppy, and does not let go of her offspring until they can fend for themselves. The father does not develop any kind of care for the offspring.

A peculiar feature is that tigers can mate with other felines. For example, crossing a tigress with a Lion, originates the ligre, a hybrid animal.

Curiosities

  • Tigers are excellent swimmers, whereas other cats are not. They can swim great distances.
  • They can also run at over 60 km/h, especially when chasing a fighter.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, there are several uses of tiger body parts for some type of recipe. For example, ingestion of an animal's eyeball is believed to treat seizures.
  • The saber-tooth tiger is an extinct species of feline, but it was not a subspecies of tiger. He belonged to the gender smilodon and subfamily Machairodontinae.
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