Endangered Species: Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
By Natalie Hegwein
The common name for the species is Bengal Tiger and it belongs to the genus/species Panthera tigris tigris. The Bengal Tiger usually has a reddish brown coat with narrow black, gray, or brown strips going in a vertical direction accompanied by a cream or white underbelly. Although some have a mutation gene which causes the skin color to be white instead of the usual color. Since the tigers generally hunt at dusk and dawn, their stripes at as a camouflage in the tall grasses. They don’t have the capability to chase prey for long periods of time and distances. It is the second largest of all living tiger species. It can be up to 10 ft. for the male tiger and 9 ft. for the female. The male Bengal tiger can reach a weight of up to 500 lbs. while the female tiger can reach up to 300 lbs. A tiger can consume up to 88 lbs. of meat in one feeding period. The tiger generally has a life span lasting up to 15 years in the wild, 16 to 18 in captivity. The Bengal tiger’s gestation period is usually 98-110 days and 2- 4 cubs is the average litter. Male tigers don’t reach sexual maturity until around 4-5 years and females reach maturity at about 3-4 years of age. Hearing is their sharpest sense, about five times better than humans, and their night vision is about six times stronger than humans. The loud roar of this tiger can be heard up to two miles away. Despite their fearsome reputation, tigers generally avoid humans; although some can become vicious man-eaters. It can be found in a large variety of habitats some of which of the animal include tropical jungles, brush, marsh lands, and tall grasslands in areas of Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Burma. Almost one third of the tiger’s population lives in India and Bangladesh. Bengal tigers have been a national symbol of many Empires in India, today it is the national animal of India. India has two-third of the total population of the tiger....
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