Tigers are not runners and rarely pursue prey more than 150 meters, but rather, they rely on explosive acceleration.
Tigers are not runners and rarely pursue prey more than 150 meters, but rather, they rely on explosive acceleration. The tiger’s lithe body, flexible spine, and well-muscled hind limbs all combine to give it quickness, agility, and power.
Tigers often ambush their prey as other cats do, (including the domestic cat,) overpowering their prey from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock prey off balance. A short, thick neck, broad shoulders, and massive forelimbs are ideal for grappling with prey while holding onto it with the long, retractive claws on the broad forepaws. Once prone, the tiger bites the back of the neck. For large prey, a bite to the throat is preferred. After biting, the tiger then uses its muscled forelimbs to hold onto the prey, bringing it to the ground. The tiger remains latched onto the neck until its prey dies.
• Image | © Mathias Appel, Public Domain, (CC0 1.0)
• Sources | (Tilson & Nyhus, 2010; World Animal Foundation, Tiger, Tiger Fact Sheet)