In our experienced tiger guide, learn around the world"s biggest cat including an essential species facts, just how they hunt and best locations to check out in the wild.

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Tigers space an above species, v their distinctive orange coats and black stripes. In fact, every tiger’s sample of stripes is unique, make it possible to identify various individuals – a handy thing for conservationists do the efforts to keep track the which many tigers live where.


These impressive felines are one of the ‘Big Cat’ varieties and are actually the biggest of the cat species, despite the prize of the the strongest bite (relative to size) belongs come the jaguar.

Here is our expert guide come tigers, feather at key species facts, how they hunt and also where lock live in the wild.


What is the scientific name that the tiger?

The scientific name that the tiger is Panthera tigris. It is among five varieties in the Panthera genus, the others are: lion, jaguar, leopard and also snow leopard. This five types are frequently referred to together the ‘Big Cats’, though periodically other cat types such together the puma (also known as cougar or mountain lion) and the cheetah are additionally included in this group.

There are 6 extant (living) subspecies of tiger:

Amur (P. T. altaica)South China (P. T. amoyensis)Sumatran (P. T. sumatrae)Indochinese (P. T.  corbetti)Malayan (P. T. jacksoni)Bengal (P. T. tigris)
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Why perform tigers have actually stripes?

Tigers room the only huge cats to have stripes and also individuals have the right to be identified by their pattern.But as soon as it comes to predatory adaptations, friend wouldn’t expect a coloration of shining orange through black stripes come be top of the perform – in fact it can not it is in on the perform at all.

However, if we generally see tigers in zoos, conspicuous versus the environment-friendly vegetation in your enclosures, their main prey is ungulates, which can not detect the selection of colour that we primates can. Come an pet with comparatively poor vision, the cat’s bold, difference colours are much harder to pick out in the long grass.


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This method of camouflage is vital predatory adaptation. Whereas some big felines rely on co-operative searching (such as lions) or explode of intense speed (such together cheetahs), tigers are semi-solitary and also depend on their cryptic appearance to ambush prey.

What carry out tigers eat?

Tigers space carnivorous mammals, and also they mainly eat big prey prefer deer, wild boar and even elephant calves. And yes, they have occasionally been known to kill and eat people, too. This usually only happens when a tiger is old, ill or injured, and therefore can not to capture their typical prey. Yet once a tiger has actually a taste for human being meat, they regularly have come be killed to protect the local people.


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How do tigers hunt?

A tiger’s favourite way of taking under its prey is to lunge at the animal’s neck and hold on tight v its an effective jaws. The food will usually die indigenous suffocation, yet some can bleed out first if the tiger’s canines sever one artery.

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Is the tiger the world’s best cat?

Tigers space the biggest cat in the wild, yes. Male tigers can flourish to more than 3m long and weigh up to 300kg, while female tigers have tendency to it is in a little smaller.

However, another huge cat has actually been bred in bondage that’s also larger. If you each other a male lion with a female tiger, you gain a liger. These truly massive cats have no equal in the modern world, farming up to 3.6m long and also being significantly heavier than also the greatest tigers – the largest living cat, Hercules the liger, weighs close to 420kg, and the document is a staggering 550kg.


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Where perform tigers live?

Tigers are reasonably adaptable and also historically lived across huge swathes the Asia. Over there are currently very couple of left in South-East Asia, however they’re doing reasonably well in India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan.

Tiger habitats vary by region, with the bigger tigers of cooler northern areas (like the Siberian tiger) living in the brutal taiga, while smaller tigers native warmer regions deserve to happily live in arid forests, tropical rainforests and flooded swamplands and also mangroves.

Researchers think that India hold around fifty percent of the world’s staying wild tigers. There are several Indian national parks that space renowned for their regular tiger sightings, including Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore and also Kanha national parks.

Here are the best places to view wild many tigers in India

Can lions and also tigers co-exist?

India is the only nation in the people that is currently home come both of this charismatic large cats, and background and biology to speak they have the right to indeed co-exist. The felines’ ranges overlapped for millennia throughout much of western Asia – in India, this was the instance into the beforehand 19th century.

Much together predators co-exist in Africa, tigers and lions can live with each other within carefully drawn boundaries. For example, they might use adjoining habitats, or the exact same habitats at various times. Behavioural adaptation is an additional strategy, an especially when it involves hunting: tigers room largelykilling food by ambush, when lions space social felids, hunting co-operatively through their prides.

The inquiry of lions and tigers as neighbors is acquiring importance in India. The Kuno Palpur Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh has been ‘prepared’ and is awaiting translocation that a number of Asiatic lions, i beg your pardon survive only in the higher Gir see in Gujarat, west India. In the meantime, tigers are moving right into Kuno native the well known Ranthambhore Reserve, crossing rivers and ravines along the way.

This Q&A originally appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine, and also was answered by Prenrna Bindra.

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Why carry out tigers have spots on your ears?

Tigers have actually white spots surrounded by black fur on the back of their ears. It has been suggested that they act as false eyes to warn of their visibility or discourage other varieties from attack them indigenous behind. Other theories indicate that it help tiger cubs monitor their mother through tall grass.