Scientific Name: Panthera tigris tigris
Bengal Tiger Description
One of the largest land animals out there is the Bengal Tiger and they are also one of the most feared. There is no denying that they are large and powerful animals. 500 pounds is about the size of an adult male with 400 pounds being the size for an adult female. They feature very large heads and tails which future differentiates them from other types of wild cats.
The colors of the Bengal Tiger though have to be appreciated. They have black stripes that form a different pattern for each of them. They also have a coloring orangish red under it. They can have areas of white on their coat but mainly it will be towards the ends of their paws and around the face.
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Bengal Tiger Anatomy
They have a body that is designed to give them the advantages in the wild. This includes the ability to run fast, powerful teeth in a jaw that can take down prey quickly, the ability to blend into their surroundings, and the ability to easily adapt to a variety of different elements that can take place all around them.
Bengal Tiger Evolution
The fact that the Bengal Tiger has shown us that they can adapt to different environments is likely why they have evolved over time. Research indicates that they came to the area of India approximately 12,000 years ago. They likely can to that area in search of food and an environment where they would be able to successfully live.
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Bengal Tiger Behavior
The Bengal Tiger lives a live that is on their own. It is only seldom that they will interact with others. The females are more likely to socialize and to tolerate sharing their territories. Males will fight to the death if they have to in order to keep other males out. They may be willing to allow females to overlap their area as long as they aren’t desperately trying to find enough food.
From time to time the males will give off loud roars that can be picked up by human ears about two miles away. They also continually leave markings of their urine on trees. This way there is no mistaking that they are committed to that territory. It can be very hard for the offspring that venture out on their own to find a good location as more of the open area is taken away for human needs all the time.
Bengal Tiger Habitat
It is the location around Bangladesh and India where you will find them still in the wild. However, there are only about 1,400 of them left and that is a very serious concern. While they are able to adapt to any environment the fact that they are running out of space and that they are being killed is causing them concern. They do prefer the warmer climates but they do just fine in the cooler weather as well.
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Bengal Tiger Feeding Habits
The Bengal Tiger has to plan to find prey about every three days. It depends on the size of what they take down. On average they can consume up to 60 pounds in a given day. That means they won’t need to feed again for a few days. However, if they only get 20 pounds of food then they have to hunt again soon. This is why they try to get average sized or large sized kills each time.
They have the speed for short periods of time that allows them to outrun their prey. Even so, the goal is to get as close as they can. They move effortlessly and quietly through the environment and their stripes help them to nicely blend in. What the feed upon depends on what is offered. Sometimes it is deer or antelope. Other times it is buffalo or monkeys. Birds make very easy but also very small meals for them.
Many people wonder if it is true that the feed upon humans or if that is just a myth. The truth is that they do hunt for humans when food is scarce in their natural environment. They will also hunt for livestock which creates friction between them and ranchers. It is usually the older Bengal Tigers that hunt for humans. They have to in order to survive be because they have lost their speed and they have worn down most of their teeth. Many villagers in the area die due to this type of hunting.
Bengal Tiger Reproduction
The males become even more aggressive when it is time for them to mate. They pick up on the additional scents in the urine of the females. As a result they will call out to them and they will also go in search of them. They will travel long distances and go without food in order to mate. They may find they have some competition and the strongest Bengal Tiger will win.
They are able to mate throughout the year instead of only at particular times. They do seem to mate more often when there is plenty of food for all of them though. The males aren’t limited to mating with only one female, so he can become quite the explorer to mate many times. The females carry the cubs in their bodies for about three months. During that time she will prepare a den for them.
The young cubs are blind at birth so they rely upon her to fully care for them. The mothers are very dedicated to making sure the needs of the young are met. After they are a few weeks old the eyes open and she will take them out into the world. They are often seen playing as well as being taught how to hunt.
The cubs will stay with their mother for about one year and then they have to move on to find their own territories. It can be extremely hard for them to do so though as they don’t want to get into battles with stronger males. Poachers find it is easier to kill the younger ones and so many of them fall victim to such a fate.
Bengal Tiger Predators
As far as we known humans are the only predators out there that bother the Bengal Tiger. They are often killed due to the fact that they do pose a threat to the villagers as well as to their livestock. They are also competing for the same sources of food. Villagers often lead hunting expeditions too for those that wish to get themselves a trophy hunt with an exotic animal.
Many Bengal Tigers end up killed so that their coats can be sold for high profits. It is also a symbol of great prestige among the villagers to be able to claim to have killed on of the amazing man eaters. Today there are many conservation groups out there that are doing all they can to educate people about these tigers. By doing so they can help to save them from extinction.
The fact that they don’t have such a wide difference in their genetics to begin though is also a huge problem. It is expensive to do profiling and to try to breed them in captivity. However, this process does seem to help ensure that the genetics of offspring won’t be more closely related than it has to be.