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Facts about Tigers (Panthera Tigris) - Physical Characteristics and Behavior

Updated on May 30, 2016
Tiger roaring face
Tiger roaring face
Tiger is the biggest cat in the world
Tiger is the biggest cat in the world

Tiger is the largest member of the felid family. In other words, they are the biggest cats in the world.

Tigers originate from the Asian continent, they are not native to Africa as many people believe.

The oldest fossil remains of tigers are known to be about 2 million yrs old, and they were found in various areas of China.

A female tiger is called a tigress (they are smaller than the male counterparts).

You can hear a tiger roar over a mile away.

Only four cats are capable of roaring – the tiger, jaguar, leopard, and the lion.

All tigers have round pupils.

The eyes of tigers are known to be the brightest compared to any other animal in the world.

Tigers can see in the dark about six times better than we do.

White tigers have blue eyes (others have yellow).

Tigers have color vision like humans.

Tigers have antiseptic saliva, this is why they often lick their wounds to disinfect them.

Tigers are an endangered species – only about 5000 – 7500 tigers are left in the wild.

There were once nine subspecies of tigers – Sumatran, Malayan, Indochinese, Siberian, Bengal, South China, Caspian, Javan and Bali. Three tiger subspecies, the Javan, Caspian, and Bali tigers have become extinct in the past 70 years.

All subspecies of tigers are extremely territorial.

Siberian tiger, an endangered species
Siberian tiger, an endangered species
tiger eye round pupil shape
tiger eye round pupil shape
Tiger swimming underwater
Tiger swimming underwater

The patterns on tigers are unique (like a human’s fingerprints) to each animal and can be used to identify individuals.

Most tigers have over 100 stripes.

The Siberian tiger has the fewest stripes of all the tiger subspecies while the Sumatran tiger has the most stripes.

The striped pattern can also be found on the skin of a tiger. Therefore if you shave the tiger, its unique camouflage pattern would remain.

Like domestic cats, tiger claws are retractable.

A tiger’s paw prints are called pug marks.

The tiger is a solitary hunter.

A group of tiger is called a streak or an ambush.

Tigers mainly eat ambar deer, water buffalo, antelope and wild pigs. They are also known to hunt dogs, sloth bears, crocodiles, leopards and pythons as well as hares and monkeys.

Like most cats, the tiger is an ambush predator. They kill their preys by locking their jaws around the prey’s neck until it dies of strangulation.

Less than 10% of hunts end successfully for tigers.

Tigers dont like to get too hot.

Of all the big cats, only the jaguar and tiger are strong swimmers. These incredible cats can swim up to 4 miles and have been known to kill prey while swimming.

Tigers spend really hot days lying in pools and streams.

Siberian tigers are the heaviest subspecies whereas the lightest subspecies is the Sumatran tigers.

Tigers can reach speeds of up to 49-65 kmph (35-40 mph).

They often carry the Chinese mark of Wang (meaning King) on their forehead.

Tigers dont purr.

Various tiger subspecies are the national animals of India, Bangladesh, South Korea, North Korea and Malaysia.

In the wild, tigers’ lifespan is between 10 to 15 yrs, and up to 20 yrs in captivity.

Tiger cubs will leave their mother when they reach about 2-3 yrs of age.

Tigers rarely fight or argue over a kill and simply wait turns. When several tigers are present at a kill, usually the males will wait for the cubs and females to eat first, unlike lions, which do the opposite.

Their muscular legs are so powerful that tigers can remain standing even when dead.

Liger is a cross betwen a tigress and a male lion. Tiger is the reversed.

Ligers can be over 4m long and are the world’s largest cats.


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