Today, We are talking about the most muscular guy in the cat family (Felidae), The Tiger!
Tiger is a resident of Tropical Rain Forests of Asia. Once it was distributed throughout the subcontinent but due to its massive killing now it is restricted only to the northern states of India, some parts of Bangladesh, Siberia, Russia, North Korea, and a few parts of China.
It is found in the dense forests and islands of Indonesia. The forests of India still have the largest number of tigers in the world, known as the Bengal Tiger, while the tigers found in the forests of Siberia are called Siberian Tigers. There is not much difference in these species of tigers. . Once it had 9 species, of which 3 are extinct.
Tiger is found in dense forests and tall grasslands. Like the lion, it is a nocturnal hunter that goes out hunting in the evening but does not hesitate to take a day snack. It eats forty to fifty kilograms (110lbs) of meat at a time.
Tigers prey on all kinds of animals in the forest like monkeys, ungulates, rabbits, rats, lizards, fish, bears, elephants and rhinoceros but the main prey is deer and wild boars. It tries to kill animals five times of its size when it needs to and is not ashamed to lick termites when no food found.
How it is different from lion?
The major difference between them is their hunting style. A lion hunts in groups while tiger hunts alone. It keeps the population of other animals in control otherwise they may disturb the food chain.
It always hits the prey by leaping from behind and does not even give a chance to think. The long black lines on his body and the yellow-orange colour of his fur helps him to hide in the grass and trees (camouflage). Deers that are slightly colour blind and cannot see yellow colour properly, get trapped by tiger.
Its jaw strength is 1050 Psi which is double that of a lion. The tongue is like sandpaper which will pull skin and flesh from the bone.
Its sound, which is less than 18 Hz, is enough to make its prey lose consciousness. Such a frequency can make even a human being tremble and blow his mind.
Is tiger dangerous?
Tigers are also known for killing humans. It is not their fault but the fault of human beings who have invaded their homes (forests) due to the increasing population. An estimated 50 people are killed by tigers each year. A famous Bengali female tigress named Champawat killed 436 people from Nepal and India between 1890 and 1900. His name was also included in the Guinness Book of World Records. Later British Government sent Jim Corbett, a well-known soldier and hunter, to kill her.
What if there is a fight between Lion and Tiger?
Firstly, the lion lives in the open grasslands, while the tiger lives in the dense forests. So they will never face each other in their life, but even if they do, tiger will win. Because the tiger weighs more than lion and is also taller. Secondly, his body is full of muscles as compared to that of the lion. Moreover, its jaw is stronger than the jaws of a lion and its claws are heavier too.
Lastly, the lion is lazier while the tiger is faster and more active and doesn’t hesitate to take risks. Due to the hairs on the lion’s neck (mane), the tiger will not be able to overtake him but can break its mouth with its strong claws yet lion is very aggressive specially the one with darker hairs and it can compete back forcefully. If there is a competition between Jaguar, Leopard, Cheetah and Tiger, the tiger will stand dominant over all of them with possibly tough time by jaguar.
Species of the tiger:
The Bengal Tiger and the Siberian Tiger are two main species of a tiger with the Siberian Tiger being the largest. Due to its thick layer of fat and thick fur on its body, it can withstand the coldest weather and snow of Siberia in winters.
The white tiger is a tiger with a skin disease in which its skin does not turn yellow. This problem has been seen mostly in Bengal tigers.
Why tigers are killed?
The Indonesian islands are home to many species that have been hunted for their fur.
In China and some other countries, their body parts are used in medicines and cosmetics due to which three species of tiger namely Javan, Bali and Caspian Tiger are extinct now.
Male and female are not easily distinguishable but male is taller and heavier than female. The female gives birth to 2 to 4 cubs out of which only one survives. The newborns are usually blind and stay with their mothers for two years.
Tigers have white spots surrounded by black fur on the back of their ears. It is said these act as false eyes to warn of their presence or discourage other species from attacking them from behind.
Some facts about tigers
1. Many zoos produce hybrid breeds by a combination of tigers and lions. Tigon and ligers.
2. Tigers are only native to Asia. In Australia, Europe and North America, it adorns zoos only. An estimated 3,900 tigers remain in the wild, while there are, surprisingly, about 5,000 pet tigers in the United States.
3. Like Leopard and Cheetah they also use their urine to mark their territories.
4. Tigers are good at swimming.
5. They usually avoid humans and try to keep a distance from them, but sometimes they may stop and stare at you. If they do, don’t stare them back and hold your ground, wave your arms and shout, try to show yourself bigger and more dangerous than you are. Fight back as hard as you can. If he attacks you put your hand in his throat and he will flee. Never jump in the water and try to climb a nearby tree as they are not good at climbing trees.
6. Their average life span is 10 to 15 years