Our Beautiful World

Tiger ~ Panthera tigris

Malayan Tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, swimming.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tiger_in_the_water.jpg

Genus Panthera
Tiger, Panthera tigris
   Siberian tiger, Panthera tigris altaica
       Currently, there are about 400–550 animals in the wild.
   South China tiger, Panthera tigris amoyensis
   Panthera tigris balica (Balinese tiger) †
       Last one probably killed on West Bali in 1937
   Indochinese tiger, Panthera tigris corbetti
   Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni
   Panthera tigris sondaica (Javan tiger) †
        After 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†
        Has 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.

Range 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
is Sumatra.

A Bengal tiger in the wild in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India.
Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen [2]

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 the water.

ARKive video - Female bengal tiger grooming cub
Female 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.

Siberian Tiger
Photo: Mila Zinkova [4]

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 white.

A tiger with cub at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, 2008 [3]

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 communication.

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.

ARKive video - Bengal tiger hunts a chital through grass, catches and kills chital   
Bengal tiger hunts a chital through grass; kills chital [7]
ARKive video - Bengal tiger chases swamp deer through water
Bengal tiger chases swamp deer through water [8]

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 fish.

Bengal Tiger from the Detroit Zoo [5]
text also said Siberian Tiger??

Adult elephants are too large to serve as common prey, but conflicts between tigers and elephants do sometimes take place.
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 descend
to the rivers to drink and on occasion were seized and killed by the muggers, though more often the tiger escaped and the reptile
was disabled.

ARKive video - Bengal tiger fighting with sloth bear that emerges from her cave den
Bengal tiger fighting with sloth bear that emerges from her cave den [9]

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 5–8% 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.

Sumatran tiger, Panthera tigris sumatrae, in Diergaarde Blijdorp
Photo: Dick Mudde [6]

India is home to the world's largest population of tigers in the wild.[84] 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

Country Estimate
Bangladesh Bangladesh 440
Bhutan Bhutan 75
Cambodia Cambodia 20
China China 45
India India 1,706
Indonesia Indonesia 325
Laos Laos 17
Malaysia Malaysia 500
Myanmar Myanmar 85
Nepal Nepal 155
North Korea North Korea n/a
Russia Russia 360
Thailand Thailand 200
Vietnam Vietnam 20
Total 3,948

may be its good they are so few....[1]

Most text on this page from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tigergebiss.jpg
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tiger_in_Ranthambhore.jpg
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A_tiger_in_Pilibhit_Tiger_Reserve.jpg
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Siberian_Tiger_sf.jpg
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tiger_in_the_snow_at_the_Detroit_Zoo_March_2008_pic_2.jpg
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sumatraanse_Tijger.jpg
BBC Natural History Unit, , BBC Natural History Sound Library , http://www.arkive.org
BBC Natural History Unit, BBC Natural History Unit & Granada Wild, http://www.arkive.org
BBC Natural History Unit, http://www.arkive.org


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