Tiger Facts

Posted by: Seema Khinnavar on

1. You can hear a tiger roar over a mile away! It is the largest member of the cat     family.
2. It is also one of the most culturally important animals on the planet.
3. According to a survey conducted by animal planet, the tiger was voted as the world's favorite animal.
4. A tiger can eat 100 pounds of meat a night which is equal to 400 hamburgers! They need a lot of food because they go days between meals.
5. Tigers have enormous strength. There was once a tiger in Burma which dragged a carcass which 13 men could not move!
6. Tigers have been called man eaters but man is not their natural prey. They eat frogs, monkeys, porcupines, fowl and tortoises when good deer is hard to find.
7. Tigers are known as umbrella species which means that if one tiger is saved, at least 50km2 area of forest is saved which automatically protects other wildlife thriving in that area too. The tiger also keeps a check on population of herbivorous animals. It is the top predator of the food chain.
8. The Tiger is an animal which has the brightest eyes in the world. At dusk, or in the beam of a torch, they blaze back the ambient light with awe-inspiring intensity. The Tiger's night vision is six times better than a human's night vision.
9. Tigers are the biggest cats in the world. They live in hot and humid jungles as well as icy cold forests.
10. The size of a tiger's territory depends on the amount of food available, and usually ranges from about 10 to 30 square miles (26-78 sq. km). Siberian tigers sometimes have really big territories (as large as 120 square miles).
11. Tigers are immensely territorial and they cannot be replaced from their territory till death.
12. Although tigers usually live alone, tiger territories can overlap. A male tiger's territory usually overlaps those of several female tigers.
13. Tigers mark their territories by spraying bushes and trees with a special mixture of urine and scent gland secretions. They also leave scratch marks on trees.
14. A tiger's tail is 3 to 4 feet long, about half as long as its body. Tigers use their tails for balance when they run through fast turns. They also use their tails to communicate with other tigers.
15. Most Tigers have more than hundred stripes. The Stripes on the Tiger's body act as camouflage, and help tigers hide in the tall grass while hunting. The Sumatran tiger has the most stripes of all the tiger subspecies, and the Siberian tiger has the fewest stripes.
16. Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints; no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. The tiger's stripes would still remain on the skin even after shaving off all the fur.
17. They often carry the Chinese mark of Wang or King on the forehead.
18. The life span of tigers in the wild is thought to be about 10 years. Tigers in zoos live twice as long.
19. A tigress gives birth to 2 -3 cubs every 3 years. If the litter dies, a second litter is produced within 5 months. The gestation period is usually 104- 106 days.
20. The birth of the cubs takes place in the safest place possible away from the hungry eyes of the male (who might just decide to eat his own cubs!)
21. Tiger cubs are born blind and weigh only about 2 to 3 pounds (1 kg), depending on the subspecies.
22. Tiger cubs live on milk for 6-8 weeks before the female begins taking them to kills to feed.
23. Tigers have fully developed canines by 16 months of age, but they do not begin making their own kills until about 18 months of age.
24. Almost half of the tiger cubs do not survive up to 2 years of age. Juvenile mortality is high. But wild tigers are known to survive for up to 26years!!
25. Tiger cubs attain sexual maturity at 2-3 years for females and 3-4 years for males.
26. A group of tigers is called a streak.
27. Though very rarely but, White Tigers have been known to exist in the wild in India. The last known white tiger was taken in 1951. He was bred with his own daughter to produce the first line of white tigers. But this resulted in various genetic problems. White tigers are bred only for entertainment purposes.
28. White tigers have blue eyes and pink noses where as the golden tiger has circular pupils and yellow irises. The tiger's eyes bulge outwards hence giving them a wide angle view.
29. The eyes of the tiger contains more rods than cones; hence giving them excellent night 3 - D vision but poor colour vision. Tiger are known to see green, yellow and blue colours.
30. The tiger can run a maximum of 100 meters with the speed of 50 - 60 km/hr.
31. Tigers are the only species of the cat family which like to cool of in the water and are excellent swimmers. But they will never let water get in their ears! Unlike other cats, the tiger does not climb trees.
32. A tiger is diurnal which means that it is most active during dawn and dusk.
33. A tiger can leap across 20 - 30 feet!
34. A tiger starts eating its prey from behind. They first bite off the animal's tail. Then they make a small hole at the spot from where they wish to start eating. Then they use their molars to chew large pieces of loose meat. They do this very slowly and deliberately because their jaw bone cannot move laterally. It makes a tearing sound which is interspersed with the sound of bones crackling. This sound is known as the masticating sound.
35. After eating its fill, a tiger will cover its prey with grass and return for second helpings over the next few days.
36. While hunting, a tiger lashes its tail sideways in violent motion.
37. Tigers are exceptionally strong swimmers - no matter how swift the current, they always keep a straight course. While swimming, they always keep their tail very rigid and straight.
38. There are six existing subspecies of the tiger: Siberian, Royal Bengal tiger, Indo - Chinese tiger, South China Tiger, Malayan tiger and Sumatran tiger. The three extinct species are the Balinese tiger, Caspian tiger and Javan tiger.
39. The Caspian tiger was said to be the largest species of all but today the Siberian tiger is the largest species of tiger. The Royal Bengal Tigers are the most numerous tigers in the world.
40. The tiger's saliva is antiseptic and the tiger uses it to clean its wounds.
41. The muscles in the tiger's legs are very strong. There was once a tiger which was still standing even after being shot dead.
42. A tiger has four canines which can grow up to 3 inches long! These canines can easily cut through thick buffalo hides and can make a crunchy meal out of the spine of any animal on Earth. A tiger has 26 smaller teeth which are used for gripping the prey and tearing flesh and chewing it. Rejoice! A human has 32 teeth!
43. Current tiger habitat extends through one of the most densely inhabited regions of the world.
44. Human populations are increasing much faster than the average global rate across the majority of tiger habitat.
45. Tigers occupy just 7% of their historic range.
46. Human-tiger conflict is particularly a problem in the Russian Far East, Malaysia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sumatra (Indonesia) and India.
47. Hunting for sport probably caused the greatest decline in tiger populations up until the 1930s. In many areas tigers were also regarded as a pest that needed to be exterminated.
48. The tiger is highly adaptable and there are different types of tigers in different types of habitats. For example: In Bhutan tigers have been found at 4,000 meters, almost overlapping with snow leopards. But in the Sunderbans, tigers swim in mangroves with bull sharks and crocodiles.
49. Several parts of the tiger's body are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Hence dead tiger bodies are stored for their body parts which increase in value as the number of tigers fall. Trade of tiger body parts is illegal.
50. The tiger is what the scientists call - the tipping point. The tiger can either survive or perish. There are only about 1400 tigers left in India.
51. According to Chinese zodiac, year 2010 is the Chinese year of the tiger.
52. WWF's Tx2 initiative aims to double the number of tigers in the wild by the next year of the tiger - 2022.
53. The Government of Nepal announced an expansion of Bardia National Park in the Terai Arc Landscape by 900 sq km, which will increase critical habitat for tigers.
54. Sixty-six people were arrested in poaching-related crimes in 2008 and 72 in 2009 in India but there were no convictions.