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.
The stripe pattern is found on a tiger’s skin, as well as on the fur.
The tiger has a coat pattern of black stripes against a dark gold background. The stripe pattern is found on a tiger’s skin, as well as on the fur. If you were to shave a tiger, you would find that its distinctive camouflage pattern would be preserved. The stripes of most tigers vary from brown or hay to pure black. The form and density of stripes differs between subspecies, but most tigers have in excess of 100 stripes.
The Indian subcontinent is home to more than 80% of the wild tigers in the world.
The Indian subcontinent is home to more than 80% of the wild tigers in the world. Breeding populations of tigers are currently found in eight range states: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, and Thailand.
There is evidence of breeding in China and Myanmar between 2009 and 2014, though these populations are likely dependent on immigration from neighbouring countries. Tigers may still persist in North Korea, although there has been no recent confirmed evidence.
Sources: (Goodrich et al., 2015), (Nowell & Jackson, 1996), (Sanderson et al., 2006), (Walston et al., 2010), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger Fact Sheet)
Image: Mathias Appel
Nine subspecies of the tiger are recognized.
Nine subspecies of the tiger are recognized. Three, P.t. sondaica, Javan tiger; P.t. balica, Bali tiger; and P.t. virgata, Caspian tiger, became extinct in the mid- to late-twentieth century. P.t. amoyensis, South China tiger, exists only in captivity. Four, P.t. altaica, Amur tiger; *P.t. corbetti, Indochinese tiger; P.t. sumatrae, Sumatran tiger; and P.t. tigris, Bengal tiger, survive in a much reduced and fragmented range relative to one century ago. A final peninsular subspecies, P.t. jacksoni, Malayan tiger, was named for the renowned tiger conservationist, Peter Jackson.
Traditionally, these subspecies were defined by their geographic distribution combined with morphological traits such as body size, skull traits, coat color, and striping patterns. Later, several lines of evidence suggested that the classical subspecies designations were not reliable.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the WWF Wild-Livestream these past few weeks! FaunaFocus collectively raised $750.00 to help increase the population of endangered tigers!
The month’s not over yet and there’s still ways to help. Help further support the World Wide Fund for Nature’s vital work by donating your finished wildlife art: photographs, artwork, media, etc.
All animal works are welcome, especially those featuring this month’s FaunaFocus, the tiger!
If you would like to go one step further, provide WWF with a digital copy of your art/photo(s) to use free of charge. Please consent and allow WWF the right to use the image you have supplied by completing and submitting the following form:
Tiger cubs are born blind, deaf, and helpless.
Newborn tiger cubs are blind and helpless, weighing from 780 to 1600 grams. The eyes do not open until 6-14 days after birth and the ears from 9 -11 days after birth. The mother spends most of her time nursing the young during this vulnerable stage. Weaning occurs at 90-100 days old.
Only Bengal tigers have been found with a white coat, which has far fewer apparent stripes than an orange coat.
Only Bengal tigers have been found with the white color coat. It has been determined that some individuals carry a recessive gene for a white coat color. White colored tigers are not albinos.
White tigers have far fewer apparent stripes than orange tigers. The form and density of stripes differs between subspecies, but most tigers have in excess of 100 stripes. The now extinct Javan tiger may have had far more.
The tiger is the largest and most powerful of all living cat species.
The tiger is the largest and most powerful of all living cat species. Variation in the body sizes of tigers and other morphological cahracteristics follows a gradient, rather than being discrete to subspecies.
Although different subspecies of tiger have different characteristics, in general male tigers weigh between 200 and 260 kilograms, (400-715 pounds.) Adult females are slightly smaller and lighter, weighing 100-160 kilograms, (220-400 pounds.) The males are between 5 feet 10 inches to 9 feet 1 inch in length, and the females are between 7 feet 6 inches and 9 feet in length.
Tigers have the longest and biggest canine teeth of all the wild cats.
Tigers have the longest and biggest canine teeth of all the wild cats. A tiger’s canines are larger and longer than those of a similar-sized lion. The reason for this is likely due to the habit of preying on large herbivores in its habitat whose bones are thick and large; the tiger’s canines have to be strong enough to break the bones of their prey. Moreover, as tigers hunt alone to bring down their prey, they have to work harder than lions, which hunt in groups.
Tigers are tolerant of an unbelievably wide range of habitat conditions from dry forests to steamy jungles and even freezing temperatures.
Part of the tiger’s ability to persist in current and changing landscapes is its flexibility. Tigers are tolerant of an unbelievably wide range of habitat conditions. They are at home in the hot, dry thorn forests of Rajasthan and the steamy tidal mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans. They can live in tropical forest, or pine, oak, and birch woodlands of the Russian Far East, surviving in temperatures of -34° Celsius. That they can persist in such vastly different and diverse environments is an affirmation of a relatively low-energy-expenditure lifestyle that features fairly high success rates in capturing prey, short chases of prey, and long intervals between kills of large prey.
Tigers are digitigrade and walk on their toes to distribute their weight and walk fluidly and silently.
Like other cats, tigers are digitigrade, that is, they walk on their toes. The soft toe pads distribute the weight over the balls of the feet, giving tigers not only a fluid walking motion, but also a silent one.
The FaunaFocus 24-Hour Charity Host Train has come to an end! FaunaFocus partnered with the WWF-Australia‘s Wild-Livestream event and featured 11 different artists on Twitch Creative over the course of 24 hours spanning the entirety of Tuesday, October 12th. Each artist created artwork inspired by the endangered tiger species and several different media and styles were represented.
Together, viewers and artists were able to surpass the original goal of $200 and raise $601 to help re-populate the threatened tiger species. That’s more than triple the original goal! The campaign doesn’t officially end until September 15th, so there’s still time to make a donation on the FaunaFocus Tiltify page!
Thank you to the moderators that helped organize this event, the artists that volunteered their time and creative skills, and the viewers who attended the event and donated to the cause. Seeing as this event was a success, FaunaFocus would love to host similar events in the future!
Poaching of tigers for the use of their bones in traditional Asian medicine may drive the tiger to extinction.
In the early 1990s, it was feared that poaching of tigers for the use of their bones in traditional Asian medicine would drive the tiger to extinction. Despite strong international action to eliminate it, illegal trade persists.
Tiger bone has long been considered to hold antiinflammatory properties for a range of purported uses including pain killers and aphrodisiacs, with some support from Chinese medical research, but many consider the effect to be more psychological than pharmacological.
Although all countries have banned use and manufacture of tiger bone, illegal production persists in several Asian countries, especially in China, Malaysia, and Viet Nam. In China there are several operations engaged in intensive breeding (“farming” of tigers), with the captive population reportedly reaching over 6,000. They are pressuring the government to allow them to produce tiger products, and several have already engaged in illegal production of tiger bone wine. Market surveys indicate that medicinal use of tiger bone has decreased since China banned tiger bone in 1993. Tiger farming perpetuates and threatens to re-ignite consumer demand. In 2008 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, (CITES,) adopted a Decision stating that “Tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives.”
Sources: (Goodrich et al., 2015), (Larson, 2006), (Nowell, 2000), (Nowell, 2007), (Nowell & Ling, 2007), (Tilson & Nyhus, 2010), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger Fact Sheet)
Image: Mathias Appel
Tiger cubs are raised solely by their mothers until they embark for their own territories at around 2-2.5 years of age.
Tiger cubs are raised solely by their mothers until they embark for their own territories at around 2-2.5 years of age.
Cubs start following their mothers out of the den at about 2 months old and begin to take some solid food at that time.
From 5-6 months old, the cubs begin to take part in hunting expeditions and start learning to hunt and kill.
Cubs stay with their mother until they become independent at 18 months to 3 years old. It is not until they are around 2-2.5 years old that they leave their mother. Female tigers generally own territory near their mothers, while males tend to wander in search of territory, which they acquire by fighting and eliminating a territorial male.
Young tigers do not reach sexual maturity until around 3-4 years of age for females and 4-5 years of age for males.
Tigers are one of the highest-jumping mammals, perhaps second only to the puma.
In the wild, tigers are one of the highest-jumping mammals, perhaps second only to the puma. Their forelimbs, massive and heavily muscled, are used to hold tightly onto the prey and to avoid being dislodged, especially by large prey such as gaurs. A single tremendous blow of the paw can kill a full-grown wolf.
FaunaFocus is hosting its first charity event on Tuesday, September 12th, a 24-Hour Charity Host Train taking place on Twitch!
FaunaFocus is teaming up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help save the endangered tiger species. The event will start Tuesday morning at midnight Central Daylight Time and continue for a full 24 hours. 11 different artists will be featured, each creating artwork inspired by the tiger and helping to bring awareness to this threatened species. As the day progresses, each artist will host the next in a host-train fashion.
WWF Wild-Livestream 2017
The FaunaFocus 24-Hour Charity Host Train will coincide with the WWF Wild-Livestream 2017 campaign on Tiltify, taking place from September 1st to September 15th, 2017. Donations can be made on the FaunaFocus Tiltify page and all proceeds will benefit the World Wildlife Foundation’s tiger saving endeavors. FaunaFocus has already reached its original goal of $200, but stretch goals have been added to help the tiger species even further.
Tuesday, September 12th, Central Daylight Time
|12:00am – 04:00am||NoelleMBrooks|
|04:00am – 06:00am||PrendorianCrab|
|06:00am – 08:00am||Ennayelsel|
|08:00am – 10:00am||SonneArt|
|10:00am – 12:00pm||AdorisArts|
|12:00pm – 02:00pm||clarrydoll|
|02:00pm – 04:00pm||Razzitron|
|04:00pm – 06:00pm||gifyourselfahighfive|
|06:00pm – 08:00pm||cassydraws|
|08:00pm – 10:00pm||IPaintCreatures|
|10:00pm – 12:00am||DeniseThePleb|
Of the living tiger subspecies, Sumatran tigers are the smallest, and Bengal tigers are the largest.
Of the living tiger subspecies, Sumatran tigers are the smallest, and Bengal tigers are the largest. Surprisingly, while Siberian or Amur tigers have long been thought to be the largest of the subspecies, measurements of tigers from the Russian Far East show they are currently no larger than the Bengal tigers of the Indian subcontinent.
An average Bengal tiger is about 3 meters from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Females are usually 8-8.5 feet, while males can grow to slightly over 10 feet. The average weight of Bengal females is 220-350 pounds, while males weigh about twice as much at 420-750 pounds.
Tigers from Sumatra and other Indonesian islands are smaller and darker with shorter hair than tigers from more northern areas. Adult males in tropical areas average 2.2 to 2.5 meters in total length (nose to tip of tail,) which is about a half meter shorter than males from northern areas, and weigh only 100 to 140 kilograms. Adult females in tropical areas weigh 75 to 110 kilograms, or roughly as much as a large leopard (Panthera pardus) or jaguar (Panthera onca.)
The smaller body size of tigers from southern latitudes is likely to be due to an adaptation to the higher temperatures where heat must be dissipated, as well as a way to reduce energy needs in an environment where large ungulate prey are not readily available. Tigers in northern latitudes are larger cats and often deal with seasonally high temperatures by spending most of the day-time hours lounging half-submerged in shaded pools or streams.
Wandering male tigers may kill cubs to make females receptive.
Wandering male tigers may kill cubs to make females receptive.
Males show a behavior called flehmen, a grimacing face, when identifying the condition of a female’s reproductive condition by sniffing their urine markings. Females come into estrus every 3-9 weeks and are only receptive for 3-6 days. As such, mating is frequent during that time period. A pair will copulate frequently and noisily, like other cats.
Many tigers are conflict-killed, harmed by people seeking to protect life and livestock.
Many tigers are conflict-killed, harmed by people seeking to protect life and livestock. Conflict-killed tigers can also feed into the illegal trade.
Of all the land carnivores, the tiger is the only species known to take down a full-grown male elephant, one-on-one.
Of all the land carnivores, the tiger is the only species that has been known to charge and take down a full-grown male elephant, one-on-one. However, due to the depletion of both species, these extraordinary confrontations become exceedingly rare and are hardly ever witnessed by humans in the wild.
A tiger’s gestation period is 96-111 days and 1-5 cubs are born.
A tiger’s gestation period is 96-111 days and 1-5 cubs are born. On average, tigers experience a gestation period for 103 days and birth a litter of 2-3 cubs. In Siberian tigers the average litter size is 2.65 (n=123;) similar averages have been found in other tiger subspecies.
The thirteen Tiger Range Countries pledged to double the world’s tiger population by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger on the Asian lunar calendar, with a goal of achieving at least 6,000 tigers.
The thirteen Tiger Range Countries came together in an unprecedented pledge to double the world’s Tiger population by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger on the Asian lunar calendar, with a goal of achieving at least 6,000 Tigers. This figure was based on a baseline global population of 3,200, agreed upon at a preparatory workshop held in Kathmandu, Nepal in October 2009; 3,200 Tigers was the IUCN Red List population estimate at that time. Since then, Tiger Range Countries have adjusted their baseline national Tiger estimates, finalized in the Global Tiger Recovery Program adopted at the International Tiger Forum in St Petersburg, Russia in November 2010
Tigers can take ungulate prey at least five times their weight, including large bovids, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and bears.
Physically, tigers are powerful, burly animals, well equipped to single-handedly capture and subdue prey at least fives times their own weight. The skull is large and foreshortened, which increases the bite strength on a formidable set of canine teeth.
Tigers can take ungulate prey much larger than themselves, including large bovids, such as water buffalo, gaur, and banteng, and even elephants, rhinos, leopards, and bears.
Tigers are generally solitary, maintaining exclusive territories, or home ranges, and only interacting for mating.
Tigers are generally solitary, with adults maintaining exclusive territories, or home ranges. They do not maintain strict territories, but their home ranges are often maintained unless threatened by other tigers. They follow specific trails within their ranges.
Adult female home ranges seldom overlap, whereas male ranges typically overlap from 1–3 females, a common felid pattern of social organization. Males are intolerant of other males within their territory. Because of their aggressive nature, territorial disputes are violent and often end in the death of one of the males. To identify his territory, the male marks trees by spraying urine and anal gland secretions on trees as well as by marking trails with scat.
Tiger home ranges are small where prey is abundant. Female home ranges in Chitwan averaged 20 km², while in the Russian Far East they are much larger at about 400 km². Similarly, reported tiger densities range from a maximum of 17-19 Tigers per 100 km² where prey are abundant, such as India’s Kaziranga and Corbett National Parks, to as low as 0.13–0.45 per 100 km² where prey is more thinly distributed, as in Russia’s Sikhote Alin Mountains.
Sources: (Goodrich et al. 2010), (Goodrich et al., 2015), (Jhala, Qureshi, & Gopal, 2015), (Larson, 2006), (Soutyrina, Riley, Goodrich, Seryodkin, & Miquelle, 2012), (Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger Fact Sheet)
Image: Mathias Appel
Tigers need to kill 50-60 large prey animals per year.
Tigers need to kill 50-60 large prey animals per year. Availability of a sufficient prey base of large ungulates is the tiger’s major habitat requirement. Wild pigs and deer of various species are the two prey types that make up the bulk of the tiger’s diet, and, in general, tigers require a good population of these species in order to survive and reproduce.
Tigers are opportunistic predators, however, and their diet includes birds, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians, reptiles in addition to other mammals such as primates and porcupines. Tigers can also take ungulate prey much larger than themselves, including large bovids, such as water buffalo, gaur, and banteng, and even elephants and rhinos. However, like many large carnivores, preferred prey are key to successful reproduction and are those species that are approximately the same weight as tigers, themselves.
Sources: (Karanth, Kumar, Nichols, Link, & Hines, 2006), (Goodrich et al., 2015), (Hayward, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzewska, 2012), (Larson, 2006), (Miller et al., 2013), (Nowell & Jackson, 1996), (Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger Fact Sheet)
FaunaFocus is hosting its first charity event during the first half of September! FaunaFocus is teaming up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help save the endangered tiger species.
WWF Wild-Livestream 2017
FaunaFocus will be participating in the WWF Wild-Livestream 2017 campaign on Tiltify from September 1st to September 15th, 2017. Donations can be made on the FaunaFocus Tiltify page and all proceeds will benefit the World Wildlife Foundation’s tiger saving endeavors. To join the campaign yourself, visit the WWF’s website.
FaunaFocus Charity Host Train
To coincide with the campaign, FaunaFocus will be hosting its first major event, a Charity Host Train on Twitch. Viewers will be able to tune in on Twitch to watch creative livestreaming content inspired by the tiger. Throughout the day, various artists will be featured, each one hosting the next in a host-train fashion as the day progresses.
We are in the process of building the host train schedule. If you are interested in broadcasting creative content inspired by the tiger on Twitch on Tuesday, September 12th, please submit the following form by Friday, September 8th. Also, make sure to join the FaunaFocus Discord Server to stay updated.
Sign Up for FaunaFocus Tiger Host Train
Applications are due Friday, September 8th at 11:30pm Central Daylight Time. Applicants will receive an email afterward with their assigned time slot(s) and further instructions if accepted.
This month’s featured animal species is the Tiger, a member of the Felidae family and part of the larger mammalia class.
Learn more about the endangered Tiger. Watch videos, view images, and read through publications and other resources all about this cat on the September 2017 FaunaFocus page, a hub for tiger research, media, and discovery. Learn even more about this incredible feline by checking FaunaFocus.com and @FaunaFocus on Twitter daily for bite-sized FaunaFacts.
Let inspiration strike! Create something with the tiger in mind, whether it be a fictional story, simple poem, layered watercolor, interpretive dance, whatever medium you most resonate with! Do you see abstractions in the tiger’s stripes? Does the tiger’s rain forest habitat inspire you? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, everyone has the ability to create. Try something new or hone your craft. Just let the tiger spark your imagination!
Let’s focus on the tiger together! Find a family of wildlife-lovers on the FaunaFocus Twitch Stream Team or in the FaunaFocus Discord Server, or browse the hashtag #FaunaFocus to find more animal-themed content! Livestream your creative process or record it in a video. Tweet about your own research and findings, or discuss and identify in the Discord channels. Post your sketches, works-in-progress, and final creations on the social media of your choice. Don’t forget the hashtag!
FaunaFocus will also be hosting it’s first ever Twitch charity host train to benefit WWF and their endeavors to help the endangered tiger on Tuesday, September 12th! To participate please apply by Friday, September 8th.
- Request an invite in a comment if you are interested in joining the FaunaFocus Twitch Stream Team.
For an extra challenge, enter the Fauna Free-For-All! Submit your best tiger-inspired creation to be live-judged on Twitch at the end of the month. Allow your artwork to be critiqued to find your strengths and weaknesses and improve your work in the future. All artists, artforms, and media are eligible, just don’t miss the deadline!
- FaunaFocus needs 2 Guest Judges! Apply to judge this month’s Fauna-Free-For-All.
Tigers are opportunistic predators and their diet includes birds, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and even other mammals such as primates and porcupines.
Tigers are opportunistic predators and their diet includes birds, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and even other mammals such as primates and porcupines. Wild pigs and deer of various species are the two prey types that make up the bulk of the tiger’s diet, and, in general, tigers require a good population of these species in order to survive and reproduce.
Tigers can also take ungulate prey much larger than themselves, including large bovids, such as water buffalo, gaur, and banteng, and even elephants, rhinos, leopards, and bears. However, like many large carnivores, preferred prey are key to successful reproduction and are those species that are approximately the same weight as tigers, themselves.
Sources: (Goodrich et al., 2015), (Hayward, Jedrzejewski, & Jedrzewska, 2012), (Larson, 2006), (Nowell & Jackson, 1996), (Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger), (World Animal Foundation, Tiger Fact Sheet)
Tigers once ranged widely across Asia, but now inhabit less than 6% of their historic range.
The tiger once ranged widely across Asia, from Turkey in the west to the eastern coast of Russia. Over the past 100 years, tigers have disappeared from southwest and central Asia, from two Indonesian islands, Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast and Eastern Asia. Tigers inhabit less than 6% of their historic range, with a 42% decline since 2006.
Breeding populations of tigers are currently found in eight range states: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, and Thailand. There is evidence of breeding in China and Myanmar between 2009 and 2014, though these populations are likely dependent on immigration from neighboring countries. Tigers may still persist in North Korea, although there has been no recent confirmed evidence.