There are 36 species of wild cats in the world today. The largest and heaviest of them all is The Tiger.
tiger swimming underwater:
Genus: Panthera (This is the group containing the four big cats who can roar- the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard)
Species: Panthera tigris
Siberian tiger aka Amur Tiger. (Panthera tigris altaica). It’s the biggest of all the subspecies, with the thickest fur. Found in Russian Far East and Northeast China.
Bengal Tiger. (Panthera tigris tigris). India, the Himalayas, lives both in tropical and snowy conditions.
Indochine Tiger. (Panthera tigris corbetti). Myanmar, Laos, S. China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand.
Malayan Tiger. (Panthera tigris jacksoni). Malaysia.
South-China Tiger. (Panthera tigris amoyensis). S.China, but might already be extinct.
These tiger subspecies went extinct in the 20th century:
Sumatran tiger. (Panthera tigris Sumatra). Sumatra.
Bali Tiger. (Panthera tigris balica). Bali.
Caspian Tiger. (Panthera tigris virgata). Turkey.
Javan Tiger. (Panthera tigris spondaic). Java.
The Tiger is the largest and heaviest of all big cats. 850 pounds (385 kg) in the wild! Tigers live 15-20 years in the wild and up to 26 years in captivity. They are mostly nocturnal and are ambush predators relying on their stripey camo. Tigers use their body weight to knock prey to the ground and kills with a bite to the neck. They love the water and have been known to kill prey while swimming.
Tigers are pretty solitary, except during mating season and when females bear young. Tigresses are excellent mothers.
Tigers are usually real territorial and mark their large home ranges. They can reach speeds of 49 – 65 km/hr (35 – 40 mph) and can leap 9 – 10 m (30 – 33 ft) in length and up to 5 m (16 ft) high.
There are four cats who can roar: the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard. Roaring requires a special elongated larynx and hyoid apparatus. When air passes through the larynx on the way from the lungs, the cartilage walls of the larynx vibrate, producing sound. The lion’s larynx is longest, giving it the most robust roar. But the Tiger’s is pretty impressive too.
Tigers don’t just have striped fur- they have striped skin too!
The global population in the wild is estimated to be from 3,000 to 4,500. There are 300-400 Siberian Tigers in the wild left. The Tiger population was at 100,000 at the start of the 20th century. There are a lot of groups helping the tiger though, and they are making incredible progress.
*A note on White Tigers
White tigers are not a sub species, they are a genetic deformity that almost never occurs in nature. Unlike the rare white lion that does occur in nature, white tigers experience difficulty hunting as their camouflage has been compromised. White tigers are a product of cruel captive breeding practices and countless animals come out too deformed and sick to even make it- many end up in crowded shelters with severe health problems and special needs. Breeding white tigers must be abolished. Don’t support any of those gross shows in Vegas or inhumane traveling circuses etc.