Tigers are recognised as the largest cat species in the world. They are one of the most fascinating animals in the wild. They belong to the genus Panthera. Tiger national parks in India is one of the most popular things to visit when folks come down here.
Some Interesting facts about tigers:
- The Bengal tiger is the most common tiger
- They are 3.3 m in length and weigh 670 pounds!
- Tigers live 20-26 years
- Tigers do not live in groups. They mostly live alone
- Tigers are great swimmers
- Tiger cubs start hunting at the age of 6 months
- Tigers communicate with scent markings
- Tigers can sprint up to 60miles/hr
- They are nocturnal animals
- A punch from a tiger may kill you instantly
- The stripes of the tigers are found even on their skin
- Tigers can imitate the calls of other animals (fascinating)
Let us look at a few types of tigers;
1) The Bengal Tiger
Bengal tigers are found in Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal. These types of tigers can be found in grasslands, rainforests, mangroves, deciduous forest and scrub forests. Male Bengal tigers can be up to 3m in length whereas females typically reach up to 265 cm. They weigh from 100 to 182 kgs in females whereas 175 to 260 kgs in females. The ones that live especially in Nepal and India are the largest than the other types of Bengal Tigers. One can easily spot a Bengal Tiger in any of the Tiger National Parks in India.
2) The Siberian Tigers
These are large, muscular species of tiger that have very large heads and powerful forelimbs. They can be orange or brown with black stripes on them. They have long whiskers and round pupils that are yellowish in colour. Their ears are small in size and have white surround them called ocelli which act as a communicating device within the species.
The stripe patterns are different for different tigers and can be used as camouflage when they follow and pounce on their prey.
3) Indochinese Tigers
These types of tigers are found in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand. They are smaller in size than Bengal Tigers and weigh around 420 pounds for a male and 310 pounds for a female. These types live in Forest areas than in hilly areas. They have become endangered due to poaching or due to starving as their primary prey is wild pigs, deers etc which are also endangered.
4) Malayan Tigers
As the name suggests, they are found in the Malay Peninsula. They are known as Panthera Tigris Jacksoni. They are only found in the Malay Peninsula. It was not a subspecies until 2004. It was declared as one by the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity Study. They are endangered due to poaching. There are about 500 living Malayan Tigers in the world. These are the smallest subspecies of Tiger with males weighing 120kgs and females weighing 100 Kgs on an average. Malayan Tigers have a lot of cultural significance in Malaysia. It is the coat of arms and logo of Maybank
5) Sumatran Tigers
Sumatra is an Indonesian Island. This subspecies of Tigers is found only on Sumatra Island. It is one of the smallest subspecies of Tigers. The reason being; as a way to adapt into the dense Sumatran Forests. Also, the prey of the Sumatran Tigers is small in size. This subspecies of the tiger has come to a critical point of extinction with only 400 -500 Sumatran tigers all around the world.
6) South China Tigers
They are also one of the few endangered species of the Tigers. They are small size Tigers that have a length of 2.2 to 2.6 m of length and 127 to 177 kg weight for male tigers and 100 to 118 kg in females.
7) White Tigers
White Tigers are a rare type of Tigers that are produced by an allele called chinchilla albinistic. It is one of the rare subspecies of the world. The attractive colour makes it a very popular choice for the zoo.
The thing to remember here is that the white tiger is not a separate subspecies. They only possess a difference in colour. White tigers are found only in Bengal Tigers. A rare recessive gene that is responsible for the white colour is present only in the Bengal Tiger. It is wrongly believed that white tigers are albinos. They can be spotted on a Tiger Safari India.
8) Golden Tiger
Similar to the white recessive gene in tigers, there also exists a rare golden hue recessive gene in Tigers. They have thicker fur. Similar to white, golden tigers are also part Bengal.