The tiger [Panthera tigres] is the largest cat species reaching a total length of up to 3.3metres and weighing up to 306kgs. It is the third largest land carnivore. Its most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish orange fur with lighter underside. It has exceptionally stout teeth.
Tigers once ranged widely across Asia from Turkey in the west to eastern coast of Russia. Over the past 100 years they have lost 93% of their historic range and have been extirpated from southwest and central Asia from the islands of Java and Bali and from large areas of Southwest and Eastern Asia. Today they range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. The remaining six tiger subspecies have been classified as endangered by IUCN. The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3000 to 4000 individuals down from around 100000 at the start of the 20th century with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets that are isolated from each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction habitat fragmentation and poaching.
Tiger stripes are unique like fingerprints. No two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest and darkest of the subspecies and the Siberian is the largest and lightest in colour.
Adding and Subtracting. In 2004 the Malayan tiger was identified as a tiger subspecies. The number of living subspecies however will likely remain at five with the recent extinction of the South China tiger. Other extinct subspecies include the Caspian Javan and Balinese tigers.
Tiger cubs are born blind and weigh only about two to three pounds. Tiger cubs live on milk for six to eight weeks.
Courtesy young world