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Tiger Gifts

Highly adaptable, tigers range from the Siberian taiga, to open grasslands, to tropical mangrove swamps. They are territorial and generally solitary animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey demands. The most numerous tiger subspecies is the Bengal tiger while the largest subspecies is the Siberian tiger.

Tiger Facts

Learn Tiger Facts

Tigers comprise a species of cat native to Asia. Tigers once inhabited a large portion of Asia, with the western boundary of their range lying in Turkey and the eastern boundary lying on the east coast of Russia. They, however, have been driven out of the majority of this region, and now exist in only 7% of their original range in grasslands, mangrove forests, evergreen forests, and the Siberian taiga. Tigers are classified as an endangered species by the IUCN.

Tigers are the largest species of cat and the third largest land predator; they can measure up to 11 feet in length and weigh up to 670 pounds. Tigers are perhaps best known for their red-orange fur, which is white on their undersides and around their eyes, and features a distinctive pattern of black vertical stripes. Rare mutations may occur that can cause a tiger to be either white with black stripes or pale gold with orange stripes and mostly white legs.

Tigers are apex predators, meaning that they reside at the top of their food chain. They feed primarily on large mammals and favor deer and pigs, but may also eat birds, fish, reptiles, and small mammals. Tigers may also feed on other large predators, such as leopards or bears. They are anatomically well-equipped for eating such animals, having powerful jaws; mostly small, stout teeth; and canines that may be up to four inches long.

While tigers are social animals, they are predominantly solitary. This principle holds true with respect to their hunting habits; tigers usually hunt alone. Tigers rely on sound and sight as opposed to smell to hunt, and hunt by stalking their prey. When a tiger is near enough to its prey, it will attack from the weak points of either the side or the rear, and aim to kill by biting their prey's neck or the back of its head. A tiger can consume almost 90 pounds of food at a time.

Tigers can mate throughout the year, but typically mate between November and April. A tiger's gestation period is about three and a half months, though some slight variation may occur. On average, a litter consists of three to four cubs, each of which weigh only two pounds when born. They are blind and entirely dependent on their mother, who raises them alone. The mortality rate of tiger cubs is high; only half of tiger cubs survive to be two years old. Cubs that have survived to this age normally separate from their mothers at the ages of two years to two years and six months.

The extirpation of wild tigers is, unfortunately, an ongoing problem. This occurs so rapidly despite the attention that the endangerment of tigers has received because tigers' ranges coincide with areas densely populated by humans and because tigers requires large, continuous regions on which to live. Tiger populations also suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation, and poaching. However, some efforts to "rewild" tigers, such as the Save China's Tigers project, have proven successful, and may at least in part help combat the loss in numbers that wild tiger populations experience because of humans.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website.

Tiger Gifts




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