Tiger, Panthera tigris
Siberian tiger, Panthera
there are about 400550 animals in the wild.
South China tiger, Panthera tigris amoyensis
Panthera tigris balica (Balinese tiger)
one probably killed on West Bali in 1937
Indochinese tiger, Panthera tigris corbetti
Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni
Panthera tigris sondaica (Javan tiger)
1979, there were no more confirmed sightings.
Sumatran tiger, Panthera tigris sumatrae
Bengal tiger, Panthera tigris tigris
Trinil tiger, Panthera tigris trinilensis
Caspian tiger, Panthera tigris virgata
been recorded in the wild until the early 1970s
In 1758, Linnaeus first described the species in his work Systema
Naturae under the scientific name Felis tigris.
of the tiger in 1900 and 1990
The tiger, Panthera tigris, is the largest cat species, reaching a
total body length of up to 3.3 metresand weighing up to 306 kg.
Their most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes
on reddish-orange fur with lighter underparts.
They have exceptionally stout teeth, and their canines are the longest
among living felids with a crown height of as much as 75 mm
During the 20th century, tigers have been extirpated in western Asia
and became restricted to isolated pockets in the remaining
parts of their range. Today, their fragmented and partly degraded
range extends from India in the west to China and Southeast Asia.
The northern limit of their range is close to the Amur River in south
eastern Siberia. The only large island inhabited by tigers today
Bengal tiger in the wild in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan,
Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen 
The size of a tiger's home range mainly depends on prey abundance,
and, in the case of male tigers, on access to females.
A tigress may have a territory of 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi), while the territories
of males are much larger, covering 60 to 100 km2
. The range of a male tends to overlap those of several females.
Tigers are strong swimmers, and are often found bathing in ponds,
lakes, and rivers. During the extreme heat of the day,
they often cool off in pools. They are able to carry prey through
bengal tiger grooming cub
BBC Natural History Unit, BBC Natural History Sound Library
In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to
be their longevity in the wild. They are territorial and generally
solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas
of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with
the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated
places on earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.
Photo: Mila Zinkova 
The remaining six tiger subspecies
have been classified as endangered by IUCN. The global population
in the wild is estimated to
number between 3,062 to 3,948 individuals, with most remaining populations
occurring in small pockets that are isolated from
each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction,
habitat fragmentation and poaching.
Tigers are among the most recognisable and popular of the world's
charismatic megafauna. They have featured prominently in
ancient mythology and folklore, and continue to be depicted in modern
films and literature. Tigers appear on many flags,
coats of arms, and as mascots for sporting teams. The Bengal tiger
is the national animal of Bangladesh and India.
Tigers are muscular, have powerful forequarters, and especially in
males, a large head. The ground coloration of their fur varies
between tawny and xanthine orange or cinnamon brown in the southernmost
populations, to between ochraceous-orange
or zinc orange or capucine orange in the northernmost populations.
The face is framed by long hairs that form whiskers,
which are more conspicuous in males. The ventral parts are usually
tiger with cub at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, 2008 
The body is marked with black or chaetura black stripes of various
length, breadth and form. The pupils are circular with yellow
irises. The rather small ears are rounded and black on their dorsal
side with a conspicuous white central spot.
These spots, called ocelli, play an important role in intraspecific
The pattern of stripes is unique to each animal, these unique markings
can be used by researchers to identify individuals (both in the
wild and captivity), much in the same way that fingerprints are
used to identify humans. It seems likely that the function of stripes
is camouflage, serving to help tigers conceal themselves amongst
the dappled shadows and long grass of their environment as they
stalk their prey.
tiger hunts a chital through grass; kills chital 
tiger chases swamp deer through water 
In the wild, tigers mostly feed on larger and medium sized animals.
Sambar, gaur, chital, barasingha, wild boar, nilgai and both
water buffalo and domestic buffalo are the tiger's favoured prey
in India. Sometimes, they also prey on leopards, pythons,
sloth bears and crocodiles. In Siberia the main prey species are
manchurian wapiti, wild boar, sika deer, moose, roe deer,
and musk deer. In Sumatra, sambar, muntjac, wild boar, and malayan
tapir are preyed on. In the former Caspian tiger's range
, prey included saiga antelope, camels, caucasian wisent, yak, and
wild horses. Like many predators, they are opportunistic and
will eat much smaller prey, such as monkeys, peafowls, hares, and
Tiger from the Detroit Zoo 
text also said Siberian
Adult elephants are too large to serve as
common prey, but conflicts between tigers and elephants do sometimes
A case where a tiger killed an adult Indian Rhinoceros has been
observed. Young elephant and rhino calves are occasionally taken.
Tigers also sometimes prey on domestic animals such as dogs, cows,
horses, and donkeys. These individuals are termed
cattle-lifters or cattle-killers in contrast to typical game-killers.
Tigers may kill such formidable predators as leopards, pythons and
even crocodiles on occasion, although predators typically avoid
one another. When seized by a crocodile, a tiger will strike at
the reptile's eyes with its paws. Thirsty tigers would frequently
to the rivers to drink and on occasion were seized and killed by
the muggers, though more often the tiger escaped and the reptile
tiger fighting with sloth bear that emerges from her cave
Dhole packs have been observed to attack and kill tigers in disputes
over food, though not usually without heavy losses.
Siberian tigers and brown bears can be competitors and usually avoid
confrontation; however, tigers will kill bear cubs and even
some adults on occasion. Bears (Asiatic black bears and brown bears)
make up 58% of the tiger's diet in the Russian Far East.
There are also a few records of brown bears killing tigers, either
in self defense or in disputes over kills. Some bears emerging from
hibernation will try to steal tigers' kills, although the tiger
will sometimes defend its kill. Sloth bears are quite aggressive
and will sometimes drive young tigers away from their kills, although
it is more common for Bengal tigers to prey on sloth bears.
tiger, Panthera tigris sumatrae, in Diergaarde Blijdorp
Photo: Dick Mudde 
India is home to the world's largest population
of tigers in the wild. According to the World Wildlife Fund, of
the 3,500 tigers around the world, 1,400 are found in India. Only
11% of original Indian tiger habitat remains, and it is becoming significantly
fragmented and often degraded
The global wild tiger population is estimated at anywhere between
3,062 and 3,948 individuals. The World
Wide Fund for Nature
estimates the tiger population at 3,200.
The exact number
of wild tigers is unknown, as many estimates are outdated or come
from educated guesses. Few estimates are considered reliable, coming
from comprehensive scientific censuses.
The table shows estimates per country according to IUCN
and range country governments
be its good they are so few....
Most text on this page
Natural History Unit, , BBC Natural History Sound Library ,
Natural History Unit, BBC Natural History Unit & Granada
Natural History Unit,