Tigers belong to the big cat family, and they are naturally the largest of all of them, even lions. The only reason that Lions seem bigger is that of their thick mane. Tigers can grow to be 11 feet long and also weigh upwards of 700 lbs. They used to be the king of the Asian and tropical forests but due to human habitation, hunting and deforestation these magnificent beings are now limited to very limited patches of land. Tigers are apex predators as they have no natural predators except for humans that have hunted them for centuries.
Awesome Facts about Tigers – List
- Most Powerful Legs
Tigers have the most powerful legs out of any other big cats, and their legs are a testament to their natural prowess. It has been recorded by hunters that even after getting shot, bleeding out and essentially being dead, Tigers can remain standing for a while because of their impressive strength.
- The Caged Tiger
There is a total of 3000 tigers approximately that are estimated to be living in the wild forests of Asia. The Sad part is that there are up to 10,000 tigers in cages inside the USA alone. There are a few thousand more in captivity around the world. One of the most shocking facts about tigers is that there are more tigers owned by the US citizens than there are in the wild worldwide.
- Types of Tigers
There is a total of 6 subspecies currently alive, and they are widespread throughout the Asian forests. The biggest of them is the Siberian Tiger, which is often found roaming the Amur valley. For that very reason, it is also sometimes identified as the Amur Tiger. Siberian tigers are the largest subspecies and have thick fur around their neck and body that keeps them warm in freezing Siberian weather. Smallest species is the Sumatran Tiger that is found in the Southern jungles. Bengal Tiger is the most widespread tiger species and the most in number as it is spread in India, Nepal and Bangladeshi forests. Then there are the Southern Chinese and Malaysian Tigers. Indo-Chinese Tigers round up the lot of them.
- Cross Breeding
As explained before, the majority of tigers in the world live in captivity, and there are often more than one subspecies in the same. There is a rarely a case of wild subspecies cross-breeding because of the territorial gapes. However, the tigers in captivity often breed to produce offspring that are hard to identify with either of the participating subspecies.
- They are Territorial
Like most feline species, Tigers are also territorial in their approach. A territory of a single male tiger may spread as wide as 100 kilometers square starting from 50 km sq. Female tigers enjoy less territorial space as theirs often overlap with males they are interesting in mating with. One of the jaw-dropping facts about tigers is that the territory of a male may overlap with up to seven females, which essentially means that they enjoy a harem.
- Tongue Action
Hold your horses; it is not something dirty. It is just that tigers are gifted with small, concentrated, rear-facing and jagged projections along their tongues called papillae. These help the tiger in consuming their meal as the tongue can strip off fur, feature, skin and even the upper layers of meat from their prey. One of the most interesting facts about tigers is that their tongues produce saliva that is antiseptic in nature. They are capable of licking off paints from walls of the cage that they are usually held captive in.
- Need For Some Meat
Tigers are more stalk and ambush kinds of a creature like most other felines. These big cats stalk even 1000 pound bulls and are capable of killing them single-handedly. Unlike male lions that have the lionesses from the pride hunt for their food, Tigers like to do the work for themselves. Tigers eat in solitude, consuming over 40 kg of meat at a single time and then hiding the rest under dirt and leaves to eat for later. The pride of a male Lion makes them into something of royalty, while a Tigers’ loner behavior has them labeled as an ‘ultimate killer’.
- Endangered Species
Like many other animals, especially big cats, Tigers have been driven to increasingly smaller habitats by humans through deforestation and logging. That has resulted in increasingly low number Tigers as their territories are narrowed every year. It is estimated that in a few years if the rate of deforestation continues the same, the only tigers left will be in captivity.
- Extinction Awaits
The South Chinese subspecies is already extinct in the wild. There used to be nine subspecies of Tigers a couple of centuries ago that have now been completely wiped out. Javan Tigers, Bali Tigers and Caspian Tigers are effectively extinct. Cambodia used to have a large number of tigers in the past. They were just declared extinct there in 2016. The main reason for their extinction is human hunting them for sport and their thick fur. Hunting them was and still is considered as the sign of utmost valor in many Asian cultures.
- Cat Features
Tigers share 95.6% of their DNA structure to the domestic cat, and they also share most of their traits. Like cats, they like to live alone and wander through a wide area. Tigers, lions and other big cats also share another interesting feature with cats. One of the fun facts about tigers and others in cat family is that they all cannot taste anything sweet. A bar of Dairy Milk chocolate would taste more or less like cardboard to them.
- Biggest Cannibals
One of the reasons that human increased their tiger hunting activities in the past was because Tigers are the only known big cat species or any other animal for that matter that actively hunted humans and consumed them in the past. One Bengal tiger was especially feared for that reason as that tiger alone reportedly killed and ate 430 people in Nepal in the 19th century.
- Unique Traits
Tigers have a mighty roar like other big cats. Regarding sheer roar, distance covered they are only second to Lions. A roar of a tiger can be heard as far away as 3 km. Tigers are identified in the feline species by their black stripes that are akin to human fingerprints. No two tiger stripes are the same, which helps anthropologists to easily identify them out of a group.
- Deadly Canine
One of the most amazing facts about Tigers is that if not for their deadly canines they would have been long extinct. The canines have special nerve endings that help locate the prey and incisively dissect them. They also have tremendous power which allows them to snap the neck of a 1000 lb bull or even a wild brown bear.
Tigers are magnificent creatures and a symbol of strength in many cultures around the world. Their habitats should be taken care of so that they can go on the endangered species list.