The Tiger (Panthera tigris) is a member of the taxonomic family Felidae and is one of four species in the Panthera genus whose most distinguishing characteristic is its lateral stripes. It is a solitary predator that lives in forests and grasslands where its striping provides it ample camouflage. There are five living tiger subspecies, including the Bengal, the Indochinese, Siberian, South China, and Sumatra. The tiger was created along with all the other land animals on Earth on the 6th day of creation.
The tigers are the largest living species of cat. The size of a tiger can range between 4.6 ft. to 9.2 ft., which is recorded standing straight up. The Siberian male usually weighs around 397-675 pounds, the female weighs around 221-368 pounds. The Bengal tiger male weighs 397-569 pounds, and the female weighs 221-353 pounds.
The body of a tiger is mainly built for attacking and killing prey. Tigers can also leap up to 33 feet, which helps them with capturing their prey. The jaws on the tiger are very powerful. The mouth contains 30 teeth, which can shred their prey apart.
The female tigers become sexually mature at 3-4 years of age, but the males are sexually mature at 4-5 years. The mating process is usually more common during the colder months of the year, so when the cubs are born it has become warm so they are protected from freezing. The average litter is 2-3 cubs. Gestation takes approximately 103 days for the cubs to grow inside their mother before being born.
Most breeding tests are given in Europe, India, and south China. In 1995 there were 1800 tigers that were in captive environments worldwide. Currently that count has decreased, for example in the captive environments there are 348 Bengal tigers, and 336 Siberian tigers. The South China tiger is very rare. In 1998 there were only 20-30 alive, and only zoos in China have the South China tiger. The Siberian tiger is the largest of the tiger subspecies. There are more Bengal tigers than all the other subspecies (Indochinese, Siberian, South China, Sumatran) added together. All Bengal tigers are white.
Most tigers live in Asia, India, and the far eastern part of Russia. The major population of the tigers lives in forests, and in rain forests. They also like to live in areas where their major prey is. The cubs will join their mother in hunting when they are eight weeks old. At about six months of age the cubs will learn how to kill, and at about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 years old they can hunt for themselves. The tiger's diet consists of antelope, buffalo, pigs, wild boar, medium to large deer, red deer, sambar (an asian deer), and gaur (large wild asian cattle that are larger than cape buffalo). They sometimes attack cows or goats. The male tigers defend their territory from the other tigers of the same sex, but in different gangs. The main reason to fight for territory is for the food available in the surrounding area.
Most tigers usually live about 15 years, but some tigers in zoos live 16-18 years. There was one Siberian tiger that lived to be 26 years old.
(Panthera tigris corbetti)