40+ Interesting Facts About Tigers

  1. Tiger is the largest extant member of big cats. They initially appeared on earth around 2 million years ago. 
  2. Tiger is an apex predator that likes to eat medium-sized animals such as deer and wild pigs. They also consume small animals, like porcupines. Occasionally, they also hunt and eat large animals: bears, leopards, buffaloes, and calves of rhinos and elephants. After eating, they hide their remaining prey to use later.
  3. There are six subspecies of tigers: the Siberian (or Amur) tiger, the Bengal tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the South China tiger, and the Malayan tiger. The Siberian tiger is the largest that can weigh 300 kg or more. The smallest is the Sumatran tiger, which can weigh around 100 kg. The three extinct subspecies are the Caspian tiger, the Bali tiger, and the Javan tiger. (Source)
  4. Amur, or Siberian tiger, is the largest feline (cat) on earth. Male Siberian tigers can reach more than 3.3 m (10 ft. 9 in.) in length and gain over 300 kg of weight. The largest recorded captive tiger is a male Siberian tiger with a length and weight of 3.32 m (10 ft. 11 in.) and 432 kg. The Bengal tiger is the second-largest tiger subspecies. (Source)
  5. Tigers are not only bigger but also far stronger than lions. Their forelimbs and hind limbs are 30% and 34% stronger than that of lions. (Source)
  6. Tigers are currently present in the eastern and southern parts of Asia. They have lost more than 90% of their historic range due to extensive hunting and habitat loss.
  7. The highest numbers of wild tigers are present in India. The USA has the highest population of captive tigers, mostly kept as exotic pets in homes and backyards.
  8. The tiger population at the start of the 20th Century was around 100,000. The current estimated wild population of tigers is nearly 4,000. There are more tigers in captivity than in the wild. The Bengal tiger has the highest population among all subspecies.
  9. Tiger is the national animal of India, Bangladesh (Bengal tiger), Malaysia (Malayan tiger), and South Korea (Siberian tiger).
  10. According to a genetic study, the closest relative of the tiger is the snow leopard. Both these animals separated 3.9 million years ago. Tigers and snow leopards are the most endangered big cats. (Source)
  11. Apart from the body size, there are other differences between male and female tigers. Male tigers have longer tails and larger front paws compared to female tigers.
  12. Tigers are primarily nocturnal animals. However, they can hunt during the daytime. Tigers usually prefer nocturnal activity in areas with human presence.
  13. Tigers have excellent night vision due to a high number of rods (used for visual acuity) than cons (color vision), the presence of tapetum lacidum (reflects light and glows eyes), and large lenses and pupils.
  14. Like other big cats, tigers can also swim efficiently. They swim to retreat from the heat, cross rivers, and chase their prey in water.
  15. Like other cats, tigers can climb trees. However, adult tigers rarely climb due to their mass. Tiger cubs can climb trees easily.
  16. Adult male tigers are solitary animals that live in large home ranges. They mark their territories using their urine, feces, and secretion from the anal glands. Mothers live with their cubs in small areas.
  17. Tigers hunt alone. However, they can share a meal with other tigers. They can eat up to 90 lbs (40 kg) of meat in a sitting.
  18. Like other felines, tigers also sometimes eat grass. The chief purpose of consuming vegetation is to improve digestive health.
  19. Humans are the main threat to tigers. Dhole (Asian wild dogs), elephants, rhinoceroses, and crocodiles can also kill tigers.
  20. The gestation period of a female tiger is around 100 days. On average, there are three cubs in a litter. The cubs open their eyes after 6 to 12 days of birth. Young tigers start hunting at ten months and become independent within 24 months of birth.
  21. Tigers can live for 12 years in the wild and 15 to 20 years in captivity. The longest-lived tiger in captivity is a female Bengal tiger aged around 26 years. (Source)
  22. The most prominent feature of tigers is their orange coat with black stripes. These stripes are present on both fur and body. It provides camouflage because deer and other hoofed animals are color-blind that see orange as green. Stripes’ patterns are different in all species and unique in every tiger, similar to fingerprints in humans. White tigers are the result of genetic mutation in Bengal tigers. (Source)
    A white tiger in a zoo
    Genetic mutation in Bengal tigers produces white tigers

  23. Breeding of several tiger hybrids is possible. These include white tigers, ligers (male lion and female tiger), tigons (male tiger and female lion), etc. These unnatural animals suffer from several diseases and complications that can result in premature deaths. (Source)
  24. Female tigers alone raise their cubs. Male tigers do not participate in this process and sometimes may eat their cubs. However, a male tiger in India was seen taking care of two cubs after they lost their mother. (Source)
  25. According to available information, the population of tigers is either increasing or remains stable in India, Russia, China, Bhutan, and Nepal.
  26. During the 1950s, campaigns against tigers started in China to protect cattle in rural areas. It resulted in the elimination of thousands of tigers.
  27. Tiger hunting was famous as a “royal sport” in India during the 19th Century. The British rulers of India also enhanced the popularity of this sport.
  28. The body parts of tigers are used as amulets in some Asian countries. It is also a reason for illegal tiger hunting.
  29. Despite harsh punishments for tiger trafficking, there is a large black market for tiger products in China. This illegal trade provides tiger skin to Tibet, and bones in the Eastern provinces for Chinese traditional medicines. (Source)
  30. According to estimates, tigers attack and kill up to 250 people annually. These attacks happen in the wild and in captivity. These predators eat many of their human victims. (Source)
  31. A tigress killed more than 400 humans in Nepal and India before its hunting by a British colonel in 1907. It is one of the highest confirmed human kills by any individual animal.
  32. A poll in 2004 by Animal Planet declared the tiger the favorite animal in the world. Around 53,000 people from around the world participated in this poll. (Source)
  33. Tigers use their sight and hearing for hunting. They come as close to the prey as possible from the rear by walking slowly with padded feet. Then they try to reach the prey quickly and take it down with a powerful bite and strong claws.
  34. Like other cats, tigers have their unique scents. The scent glands are in their tails, heads, toes, and other body parts.
  35. Tigers can imitate the sounds of other animals. This mimicry assists the mammal in capturing its prey.
  36. Tigers can also roar like a few other big cats and other mammals. Their roar is audible up to 3 km away.
  37. The low frequency and loudness of the tiger’s roar can paralyze animals and humans, including experienced trainers. The infrasound below 20Hz assists the roar in reaching a long distance. (Source)
  38. Tigers have exceptional strength and can carry the carcass of large animals like buffalo and horses. Tigers have the strongest swipe and the largest canines among big cats.
  39. Tigers have two spots at the back of their ears. These spots look like eyes and can confuse the prey.
  40. Tigers live in several environments. Their habitats include taiga, rainforests, grasslands, and swamps.
  41. Despite having heavyweight, tigers can reach a speed of up to 65 km/h (40 mph) for short distances. They also have one of the longest jumps among big cats, with a leap up to 10 m (33 ft.). (Source)
  42. Tigers have one of the lowest hunting success rates among carnivores. They succeed in 5 to 10% of their attempts. The success rate of Siberian tigers is higher compared to other tiger subspecies.
  43. Tiger sleeps for more than 15 hours daily. It is one of the longest sleeping durations among animals. They usually sleep after eating their prey.

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