Tiger Facts

Siberian tiger portrait

The tiger is on average, the largest of the big cats. A mature Siberian tiger can top out at 11 feet long and close to 700 pounds. Tigers once inhabited most of Asia, from the tropical islands to Siberia. Today they are restricted to small patches of territory and very limited populations of each of the 6 living subspecies. The largest of the tigers, the Siberian or Amur tiger lives in the coniferous forests of Russia where its thick fur and full neck ruff keep it warm in deep snow. In contrast, the much smaller Sumatran tiger lives in thick southern jungles and regularly bathes in ponds or streams to keep cool. The Bengal tiger is the most common of the sub-species. They are almost as large as Siberians with top weights in the 500 pound range. Bengal tigers live in India, Bangladesh and Nepal in semi-tropical jungles. The tiger is a stalk and ambush style hunter, and it's familiar stripes provide camouflage in thick underbrush as it waits for prey as large as 1000 pound water buffalo. They have the largest fangs in the animal world and are very swift killers. The tiger is basically a solitary animal with a typical feline lifestyle. They roam wide and have very large overlapping territories but conflict and aggression between individuals is rare, and amazingly, wild tigers have been known to share their kill with other individuals, not always family members, who may happen upon them feeding. This fascinating behavior, so different from the highly food-aggressive African lion, has been well documented. The tiger, (and particularly the Bengal due to its proximity to civilization) is responsible for more human deaths then any other cat, hence the common term "man-eating tiger". A symbol of conservation efforts, the tiger is critically endangered throughout much of its range, but many of  its small, pocket populations have remained stable for years due to government crackdowns on poaching.

tiger subspecies
   -AnimalStats-                 Tiger Facts
Male Female Young Group Social Unit Home
tiger tigress cub streak individual Asia
Habitat FavoriteFood Enemies Color JuvenileColor
jungle pig, deer none orange/black nose is lighter none
Top Spd Avg.Height Avg.Lngth Tail Lngth Avg.Weight Record Weight
36 mph 42-50 inches M-9ft.  F-8ft. 3-3.5ft M-550   F-400 1012 lbs.
Estrus Cy Gestation # of Young Birth Weight Birth Height At Birth
 1-3 x yr. 100-110 days. 3 - 5 2-3 lbs 6 in. blind,fine hair
EyesOpen Walk  Raised By Weaned Independent Maturity
1-2 weeks 3 weeks mother 6 months 2 years 4-5 years
Lifespan Endangered? Pop. Wild Pets in U.S.
16-20 years yes 4,000 apx. 12,000 apx.

Tiger, tiger

Bengal tigers.The tiger is the third largest carnivore on land smaller only than the polar bear and the brown bear. But Bengal tigers in particular eat some of the largest prey, including gaur antelope, sambar deer, and massive water buffalo over 1200 pounds, Tigers have been known to kill and eat sloth bears and Asian black bears, baby rhinos and even leopards. There have been isolated incidents reported of Bengal tigers taking down young elephants and even full grown infirmed adults. Siberian tigers actually prey on smaller game with deer and mountain goats being their most common fare. The Bengal is also the most likely to kill human beings because its range has been impacted by advancing development. Most wild tiger subspecies do not intermingle because  their populations are separated by wide swaths of civilization, but captive individuals in zoos, preserves and private possession are not usually pure representatives of one species. More often than not they are of mixed heritage out crossed between the subspecies for so many generations of captivity that they are effectively "mutts". .

Tiger Facts and Tiger Information Featuring the -AnimalStats- Fact Files

tiger film strip

Making More Tigers

tigress and cubscub

Tigers will pair up for several days when the female is in estrus. Her pregnancy takes 3 1/2 to 4 months. In the last few days of pregnancy the female will secure a safe nesting place because when she delivers her 3 to 5 cubs they will be completely dependent on her. The newborn tiger cubs weigh only about 2 pounds, are blind and completely helpless.The mother only stays in the same nest for a day or two and moves her cubs from hiding place to hiding place one at a time for the first few months of their lives. This is a very dangerous time for the cubs as she must leave them alone while she hunts. Often entire litters are lost when they are discovered by bears, leopards or snakes. Fathers do not take part in the rearing of the cubs, although they may on rare occasions return to

visit and rest nearby. Mother tigers begin to take their cubs on hunts when they are about 6 months old, but they won't be able to successfully hunt for themselves until they are about 2 years old. Once they are fairly efficient hunters they begin to branch off from their  slowly developing their own territory which they will mark by clawing trees, spraying urine and leaving strategic droppings. Young females with their new litters will occasional visit with their mothers to show off the grandkids. Alliances of adult females occur briefly from time to time, but food of the size and quantity that tigers must have is scarce and requires that tigers spread out in order to survive. The depletion of large game animals is the single factor in the endangered status of the tiger. Most of their habitat is compromised by human expansion and the undisturbed acres they need are hard to come by.

Vote Here For Your Favorite Animal...

Popular to a Fault

tigerIn a recent poll, the tiger was voted favorite animal in the world, beating out the humble domestic dog by one percentage point. The Siberian tiger and the Bengal tiger with their impressive size, spectacular coloring and breathtaking beauty have captured peoples imaginations for thousands of years. Unfortunately, capturing some of the tigers magic is a human obsession, and potions, remedies and good luck charms made from almost every tiger body part are big business. Tiger blood, crushed bones, and entire paws or skulls are highly prized to this day, and even as every sub-species of tiger is endangered in the wild, illegal poaching still goes on to supply the trade. Fortunately for the survival of the species, many people still like their tigers alive, and while less than 5,000 tigers survive in the wild, there are at least 60,000 in captivity, with over 10,000 kept as personal pets in the United States alone.

This Cat Loves Water

old male African lion

Unlike other cats, tigers do not shun water, in fact, they regularly play, lounge and otherwise recreate in the ponds, lakes and rivers of hot Asian jungles, swimming not just to cool off  but just for the fun of it.

Exceptional Hardware

tiger teethTigers have the largest fangs in the animal kingdom, in fact, the longest Siberian tiger teeth on record were close to 5 inches. That's nothing to snarl about! sabor toothAnother well equipped creature was the long extinct Saber-tooth tiger. The saber-tooth had fangs as long as 10 inches, theoretically to pierce the tough hides of woolly mammoths! The saber-tooth was not actually a tiger though, it was a bear-like creature called a smilodon. There is no evidence that the smilodon was striped, but we do know it had only a 9 inch tail.


A Few More Tiger Facts

Siberian tiger

Animal Extreme Close-up - Siberian Tiger

go to animal extreme close-ups!

Back to Top
Back from Tiger Facts to Animal Facts Encyclopedia.com

What do you think of these fabulous animals? Leave a comment in the box below.


Animals in the News 

  • How Intelligent are Elephants?
    When examining the neocortex of elephants scientists discover that it is highly complex, and when analyzing the volume of the cerebral cortex which  indicates a brains ability for cognitive thought, it is actually Asian elephants - not chimps or whales- that have the greatest capacity.

    See Elephant Facts »

  • Our Amazing Domestic Partnercamel facts
    The incredible dromedary camel has been domesticated for over 5000 years - longer than the horse!- and has been one of human-kinds most important partners through the millenniums. ..

    Read The Full Story »

  • The Great Apes
    The zoological family Hominidae was once occupied by human beings alone, but the modern classification places all five great apes (including us) in this family.  

    Read The Full Story »

Animal Videos Coming Soon

Cat Breeds Encyclopedia.com is getting a facelift! New website launching June 15th! 

Read more »

This Weeks Top Five Favorite Animals