The tiger, an iconic carnivore: where and how does it live?

The strength and majesty of the tiger has fascinated man for centuries. Under her dress orange with black stripes, hides a super predator bigger and more powerful than the lion. Meet the real King animals !

Tiger identity card

The Tiger (Panthera tigris) belongs to the order of carnivores and to the felidae family of the genus Panthera. There are six subspecies alive :

  • The tiger of Siberia (Panthera tigris altaica);
  • The tiger of China southern (Panthera tigris amoyensis) endangered lives only in captivity;
  • The tigerIndochina (Panthera tigris corbetti);
  • The tiger of Malaysia (Panthera tigris jacksoni);
  • The tiger of Sumatra (Panthera tigris sumatrae);
  • The tiger of Bengal (Panthera tigris tigris).

Three other species are extinct:

  • The tiger of Bali (Panthera tigris balica);
  • The tiger of Java (Panthera tigris sondaica);
  • The tiger of Caspian (Panthera tigris virgata).

Namely: the tiger White royal is a Bengal tiger with leucism, a recessive gene transmitted to newborns. By preventing her from camouflaging herself in the forest, the color of her dress represents a point low for the animal.

The tiger, an athletic animal

The tiger is the most tall and the mightiest of all felines, before the lion. Its orange fur with black vertical stripes thickens at the neck, to the point of forming a collar in the male. The inner surface of the limbs, chest and cheeks are coated White. Its rounded ears display a black outer face punctuated in the middle of a large white spot. His eyes are golden to green in color. Abundant vibrissae extend its short muzzle. Being able to reach 9 cm, the canines of the tiger are the longest of all current felines. His claws retractable are up to 10cm long. The size of the animal varies from 1.40 m to 3.30 m. Its weight is 65 to 185 kg for females and 180 to 320 kg for males.

From Russia to India

The tiger’s range includes Eurasia, the Russia to Korea, via China andIndia. It can thus be found in Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia or even in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra. The feline frequents forests tropical, mangroves, heavily forested areas, swamps and can live at an altitude of 4000 m.

The tiger, a big eater

The tiger is a carnivorous feeding mainly on medium to large animals (up to five times its weight) and herbivores for the most part: deer, fawns, elks, boars, buffaloes, tapirs, foxes; lynx, monkeys, gaurs and bantengs (Asian bovids). The feline can also consume the offspring of very bulky (elephants, rhinoceros) and complete its menu with fish, birds, rodents, insects and reptiles. The amount of food it ingests averages 18 to 20 kg per day.

A very sharp hunting technique

The feline preferably seeks food at dawn or dusk. He huntslookout, his technique of approaching silently her target from behind and pounce on her at the very last moment. With its powerful jaws and teeth, it bites its prey on the neck, usually causing a fatal fracture. If necessary, the tiger uses its paws strong to keep his victim on the ground and finish him off.

The tiger: solitary and territorial

Solitary animal, the tiger does not share its territory which it marks with the help of its urine, with faeces or by scraping the bark of trees. The feline can however make an exception if it maintains an emotional bond with a fellow creature. On a territory measuring between 30 and 70 km2, he has one or more dens where he rests during the day. Only feline to appreciate the swimming, it easily crosses rivers 6 to 8 km wide. This good athlete can run up to 50 km / h and jump up to 11.5 m in length.

The tiger mates and then leaves

The period of reproduction takes place all year round and the heat lasts ten days, but the tigress only gives birth every two or three years. After thecoupling, the male leaves and leaves to his partner the care of raising their offspring. At the end of 100 days of gestation, the female gives birth to six tiger cubs, the average being between two and three. (Note that the term tiger designates the babies of a tiger and a lioness). The little ones – who weigh 1.5 kg – open their eyes between 6 and 11 days and hear around 10 days. The mother breastfeeds them for the first two months then brings them babies. preys. When the young are 8 months old, the mother takes them out hunting and teaches them her techniques. Pre-adults leave their families around 18 months.

The tiger, an endangered species

As super predator, a healthy adult tiger does not fall prey to any animal. However, the feline was almost exterminated during the hunts that took place in the 19th century.e and early twentiethe century to serve as trophies or for the fur trade. At that time, the number of wild tigers fell by 95%. Today, the main threats to the mammal are the disappearance of its natural habitat and the poaching to provide the traditional medicine. Since 2010, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the governments of the thirteen tiger range countries have worked together to double the wild tiger population with the aim of reaching 6,000 animals by 2022.

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