Scientific Name: Panthera tigris altaica
Siberian Tiger Description
There are very few animals out there as distinct as the Siberian Tiger. They are very large cats and even different from the other species. They are among the largest with full grown males being close to 650 pounds. They can also be as long as 11 feet so this is definitely a predator to be reckoned with.
The coloring of the coat for them is one of the many special things about them. They have black stripes. Did you know that every one of them has different stripes? They vary in width and design. This is a great way to be able to identify them from each other in captivity or while doing observations of them. They have coloring of red, orange, and white on them.
Siberian Tiger Facts
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Siberian Tiger Anatomy
While the design of their bodies may be simple enough, they have an excessive amount of power to rely on. They are very flexible so they can leap and they can run very fast even though they are so heavy. They have very strong jaws, not to mention the sharp teeth displayed within it. They tend to be active at night and most researchers agree this is because of their great eyesight. If you have 20/20 vision consider that the Siberian Tiger can see eight times better than that!
Siberian Tiger Evolution
There have been some fossils identified as remains from about 2 million years ago. They are definitely felines but specifically to what degree related to the Siberian Tiger that we have today we just don’t know. Right now there hasn’t been too much of a focus on this aspect of things. That is because they are so close to extinction that efforts are being focused on helping them to survive.
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These are solitary animals that hunt alone. They are very careful about where they roam and they tend to have a very large home territory where they cover looking for food. The males are extremely territorial and they also have a larger area that the cover than the females. It is common enough for the land of the females to overlap with other females as well as some of the males. The only time it will become a problem is when these tigers are finding food sources very hard to come by.
Most experts believe that they are very intelligent animals. However, it is against nature to be using them to perform tricks for shows such as in Las Vegas and in the circus. They can be trained, but does that mean their natural instincts aren’t there any more? Some people want them as an exotic pet but the same type of situation applies to that.
There are many sounds that the Siberian Tiger makes in order to communicate its presence. It often has a very low purring sound that is only heard up close. They will make hissing sounds to warn intruders and often the roars are reserved for the males to make in order to attract females for mating purposes.
Siberian Tiger Habitat
The few hundred remaining Siberian Tigers are found in the area of Siberia. They used to mainly live in the forests. However, it seems that more of them are moving into the mountain areas. This is because that is where they can find food and they can find mates. It is also because their natural habitat in the forests continue to be cleared away. In order to find land where they won’t be intruding on others they have to keep on moving higher. Luckily their bodies are designed to allow them to do well in just about any type of climate or terrain.
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Siberian Tiger Feeding Habits
They are meat eaters as you may already know. What may be exciting for you to learn about though is that they can consume as much as 60 pounds of meat every couple of days. The younger ones won’t need as much so they tend to kill smaller prey. They have to be very calculated in their hunts too because they don’t want to burn up energy and not have any food to show for their efforts.
They feed mainly upon deer because there are plenty of them out there. They will also feed on the wild boards and even moose though. They select the slowest and often the young too so that they have a better chance of being able to capture them and less of a risk of any injuries to themselves in the process.
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Siberian Tiger Reproduction
They don’t have any set time to reproduce, but when the females have plenty of food they will give off more hormones in their urine. This attracts the males and they will find them for mating. They generally stay in the same area with the female for three days and mate often during that period of time.
This generally results in her giving birth to up to 6 offspring in about 3 ½ months. She will create a den for them and that is where they will stay for a couple of months. By then they will have opened their eyes and they will have had plenty of nutrition from the milk the mothers provide.
The fact that there are so few of them remaining in the wild though creates serious problems for the genetics of them. They may end up mating with one that is very closely the same to their own genetics. Research shows that there is already a very low variety among felines so this matter doesn’t make the situation any easier to deal with.
A great deal of time and money is spent in captivity to find out what the genetic markers are for each of them. This way they can ensure they are mating with those that offer the greatest variety. It is hopeful that this process will help to bring back more differences in the future populations.
Siberian Tiger Predators
These tigers don’t have predators in the wild to worry about. One may assume that they are freely roaming out there but that isn’t always the case. In many instances the males can fight to the death due to differences over females or over given territories. They males will try to eat the young if their mother can’t protect them as well.
Bears and Siberian Tigers can be quite a match. They don’t try to eat each other most of the time. However, bears are famous for trying to steal their prey and in most cases the tiger will walk away and hope that the bear leaves something behind for them. One swipe of the bear’s claws can seriously injure or kill them and they don’t want to be involved in such a conflict.
The have the biggest problem though with humans. That is because they continue to destroy the habitat where they live. They also kill them for their wonderful coats and people will pay lots of money for them. Big game hunters love the idea of taking home the head of one of these very aggressive animals as well. Today there are believed to be only a few hundred of them left in the wild. Time is running out for them though so protecting them needs to be a priority.