Tiger, (Panthera tigris), the largest member of the cat family (Felidae), is rivalled only by the lion (Panthera leo) in strength and ferocity. The tiger is endangered throughout its range, which stretches from the Russian Far East through parts of North Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The Siberian, or Amur, tiger (P. Tigris altaica) is the largest, measuring up to 4 metres (13 feet) in total length and weighing up to 300 kg (660 pounds). The Indian, or Bengal, tiger (P. tigris Tigris) is the most numerous and accounts for about half the entire tiger
population. Males are larger than females and should attain a shoulder height of about 1 metre and a length of about 2.2 metres, excluding a tail of about 1 metre; weight is 160–230 kg (350–500 pounds), and tigers from the south are smaller than those of the north.
The Indo-Chinese (P. tigris corbetti), and Sumatran (P. tigris sumatrae) tigers are bright reddish tan, beautifully marked with dark, almost black, vertical stripes. The underparts, the inner sides of the limbs, the cheeks, and an outsized spot over each eye are whitish.
The rare Siberian tiger has longer, softer, and paler fur. White tigers, not all of them true albinos, have occurred from time to time, most of them in India (see also albinism). Black tigers are reported less frequently from the dense forests of Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, and eastern India.
The tiger has no mane, but in old males, the hair on the cheeks is quite long and spreading. Although most classifications separate the species into six subspecies, some merge subspecies or suggest that two tiger species exist, P. Tigris on the mainland of Asia and P. sondaica of Java, Bali, and Sumatra.
The tiger has adapted to an excellent sort of environments, from the Siberian taiga, where nights are often as cold as −40 °C (−40 °F), to the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans, where the temperatures reach quite 40 °C (104 °F).
Tigers haunt the ruins of buildings like courts and temples and are received in habitats starting from dry grassland to rainforest. Grasslands, mixed grassland forests, and deciduous instead of densely canopied forests support maximum population densities, as these habitats maintain the very best number of prey species.
Having evolved within the temperate and subtropical forests of eastern Asia, the tiger is a smaller amount tolerant of warmth than other large cats, which can explain why it’s an adept swimmer that appears to enjoy bathing. Under stress, it’s going to climb trees.
The tiger usually hunts by night and preys on a spread of animals, but it prefers fairly large prey like deer (sambar, chital, and swamp deer) and wild pigs. A special liking for porcupines, despite the danger of injury from their quills, is an exception. Healthy large mammals are generally avoided, although there are recorded instances of the tiger’s having attacked elephants and adult water ox. Cattle are occasionally taken from human habitations, and a few tigers can thrive on domestic livestock.
After making a kill and consuming what it can, it makes a deliberate plan to hide the carcass from vultures and other scavengers in order that another meal is often obtained. Tigers aren’t averse to commandeering a kill from other tigers or leopards, and they sometimes eat carrion.
\Skill in killing and obtaining prey is merely partly instinctive, maternal training being essential for proficiency. For this reason, tigers raised in captivity wouldn’t fare well if released into the wild. because the top predator throughout its range, the tiger plays a serious role in controlling not only its prey population but that of other predators like the leopard, dhole (Asiatic wild dog), and clouded leopard. No trait of the tiger has fascinated humans quite man-eating.
variety of reasons accounts for this—disability caused by age or injury, paucity of prey, acquisition of the habit from the mother, or defence of cubs or kill. With the reduction in the number of tigers, the occurrence of man-eating tigers has become rare except within the Sundarbans, the northeast Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and neighbouring Nepal in and around Royal Chitwan Park.
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As solitary animals, tigers (especially males) establish and maintain their own territories, the dimensions and nature of which vary with the amount and distribution of prey, the presence of other tigers within the area, the character of the terrain, the supply of water, and individual characteristics. Spacing between individuals and maintenance of territories are achieved through vocalization, scrapings on the bottom, claw marking of trees, faecal deposits, scent deposited by the rubbing of facial glands, and spraying of urine mixed with scent secreted from the anal glands. The solitary nature of the species also helps minimize territorial conflict. Nonetheless, confrontations do occur, sometimes leading to injury and even death.
The readiness of a tigress to mate is announced through vocalization and scent production. there’s no fixed breeding season, though the preponderance of mating appears to occur in winter, with striped cubs being born after a gestation of quite three months. the traditional litter size is 2 to four, though up to seven cubs are recorded.
they’re born blind, and, even when their eyes open, opacity prevents clear vision for 6 to eight weeks. there’s thus an extended period of weaning, tutelage, and training during which cub mortality is high, especially if food is scarce. During this point, the offspring must endure long periods of absence by the mother while she is away hunting. Weaker cubs get less food due to the aggressiveness of their stronger siblings as food is a smaller amount frequently made available.
The cubs remain with the mother until about the second year, once they are nearly adult and are ready to kill prey for themselves. Male cubs grow more quickly than females and have a tendency to go away from their mothers earlier. Though cub infanticide (mainly by males) is understood, it’s not very unusual to seek out a male with a tigress and cubs, even sharing a kill. Such associations, however, don’t last long. The tigress doesn’t breed again until her cubs are independent. the typical lifetime of a tiger within the wild is about 11 years.
Tigers And Humans
Next to the elephant and therefore the lion, no wild animal is so frequently portrayed in Asian art and lore. The persistent practices of using tiger parts as talismans, tonics, or medicine, despite all scientific evidence contrary to their efficacy, are manifestations of beliefs that emanate from the aura of the tiger and therefore the awe that it’s inspired for millennia. Certain animist communities still worship the tiger.
Every 12th year of the Chinese calendar is the year of the tiger, and youngsters born in it are considered especially lucky and powerful. In Hindu mythology, the tiger is the vahana (“vehicle”) of the goddess Durga. Tigers are represented on seals from the traditional Indus civilization. the best of the Gupta emperors of ancient India, Samudra, minted special gold coins depicting him slaying tigers. Tippu Sultan even vented his frustration at his inability to defeat the British by ordering a special life-size toy, replete with sound, of a tiger mauling a British soldier.