Tuesday, 31 January 2012

50 Fun Facts about Tigers


Tigers. You love them. You respect them. You Fear them. Now it's time you get to know them... Without further ado, here are fifty fun facts about tigers.

Fun Facts about Tigers in the waterPhoto: B_Cool


  • Tigers can reach up to 11ft (3.3m) in length
  • They are the heaviest cats in the wild, weighing up to 660lbs (300kg)
  • A tigers canines (sharp teeth) can reach up to 4 inches long
  • Tigers have a lifespan of 10-15 yrs in the wild and up to 20 yrs in captivity
  • A very adaptable predator, the tiger is native to various habitats, from the Siberian forests to open grasslands and even tropical swamps
  • The tiger is a solitary hunter

TigergebissPhoto: artmechanic


  • Three of the nine subspecies of the modern tiger are now extinct
  • The remaining six are all classified as endangered species
  • The name 'tiger' is taken from the Greek word tigris, a derivative of the Persian word for arrow, referring to the animals great speed
  • Though tigers rarely form groups, when they do the proper name is a 'streak' of tigers

A_tiger_in_Pilibhit_Tiger_ReservePhoto: Mayankkatiyar

  • The current range of the tiger is only 7% of what it used to be
  • Of all the big cats, only the tiger and jaguar are strong swimmers
  • They can swim up to 4 miles, and have been observed dragging their prey across lakes


  • Compared to lions, tigers tend to prefer areas of denser vegetation, better suiting their camouflage and solo hunting style
  • The oldest known tiger like cat is the Panthera palaeosinesis which lived about 2 million years ago
  • The oldest fossils of true tigers are dated at about 1.6-1.8 million years old

Panthera_tigris_sumatran_subspecies.img_assist_customPhoto: Monika Betley


  • Most tigers have over 100 stripes
  • Like a human's fingerprints, the patterns on tigers are unique to each animal and can be used to identify individuals
  • The striped pattern is also found on the skin of a tiger, thus if one were to be shaved it's unique camouflage pattern would remain
  • Like other big cats, tigers have a white spot on the back of their ears called an ocelli
  • A female tiger is called a tigress

Panthera_tigris_amoyensisPhoto: Taragui

Not cool...

  • Tigresses are smaller than their male counterparts
  • White tigers have blue eyes (others have yellow)
  • All tigers have round pupils
  • A tiger's nightvision is 6 times stronger than those of a human
  • The South China Tiger is one of the top ten most endangered creatures in the world with not a single one being sighted between 1983 and 2007
  • With only 56 known South China Tigers in captivity (all derived from only a group of six original tigers) the genetic diversity required to maintain the subspecies may no longer exist, making it doomed to extinction
  • The three extinct subspecies of tigers were all wiped out in the 20th century

Panthera_tigris_balicaPhoto: Unknown

NOT albino.

  • A white tiger will only be produced when both parents carry the rare recessive gene
  • The gene for white tigers has been calculated to occur in only one out of every 10,000 births
  • White tigers are not albinos, as they have pigmentation on their dark stripes, blue eyes and pink noses
  • All white tigers are at least part Bengal

Singapore_Zoo_Tigers.img_assist_customPhoto: nachoman-au

Strawberry fields forever...

  • The golden tabby or strawberry tiger is the only other verified color variation amongst tigers (also only found in tigers which are at least part Bengal)
  • Golden tabby tigers have much thicker fur and very faint orange stripes
  • Golden tabby tigers can carry the recessive gene for white tigers and when two such tigers are mated can produce a white stripeless cub

Golden tigerPhoto: Dave Pape

You're sitting in my spot.

  • A male tiger's territory can be five times greater than it's female counterparts
  • Though tigers tend to avoid one another, both male and female tigers have been observed sharing their kills in the wild
  • Territory disputes between male tigers are often settled by displays of intimidation rather than physical aggression
  • A subordinate tiger will give up territory to a dominant tiger by rolling on to it's back, displaying it's belly in a submissive posture
  • A male will sometimes tolerate a subordinate within it's range so long as it does not live in too close quarters

Tigers_playing_at_Pilibhit_Tiger_Reserve_areaPhoto: Mayankkatiyar


  • Forms of marking territory include spraying urine and anal secretions and marking trails with scat (feces)
  • Though tigers preferred prey includes wild boar, deer and buffalo, they have been observed preying on leopards, pythons, bears and crocodiles as well
  • Many old or injured tigers, as well as healthy tigers in some regions have been known to be man-eaters
  • Tigers will also eat vegetation for dietary fiber, with the fruit of the Slow Match Tree being a favorite
  • Like most cats, the tiger is an ambush predator
  • Tigers kill by locking their jaws around the neck of their prey until it dies of strangulation

Blesbuck.img_assist_customPhoto: Save China's Tiger

  • Tigers can reach speeds of up to 35-40 mph (49-65 kmph)
  • A tiger can leap a distance of up to 10m
  • A tiger's litter usually consists of 3-4 cubs
  • The captive population of tigers in the US rivals the population of wild tigers in the entire world.

Sources: 1, 2

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