Tiger Ecology

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  • Topic: Tiger, Tigers, Siberian tiger
  • Pages : 7 (2760 words )
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  • Published : May 6, 2012
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Table of contents
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………....3 Color and Appearance………………………………………………………………………………………3 Habitat………………………………………………………………………………………………………4 The Mating and Courtship of Tigers………………………………………………………………………..5 Tiger Diet and Eating Habits……………………………………………………………………………….6 The Life of Tigers…………………………………………………………………………………………..7 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………….8

The tiger that once ruled folklore and mythology has continued to retain its dominance in modern literature and fiction. Tigers have left their mark on flags, mascots and coat-of-arms. It’s the national animal of Bangladesh. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the state animal of West Bengal State in India (IUCN, 1). One of the first scientific descriptions of the species was given by Linnaeus in 1758 as Felis tigris. In 1929, Reginald Pocock, British taxonomist , subordinated this species to be Panthera tigris. It is probably derived from an archaic Greek word "panther" and the Latin "panthera". Latin "tigris" refers to a spotted tiger-like hound. In Greek there is the word ‘Tigris’ – its source being Persian. The importance of study of tiger is primal in ecological sustainability. According to John Seidensticker (1999) “Top carnivores, including eagles, tigers, and great white sharks, are predestined by their perch at the apex of the food web to be big in size and sparse in numbers. They live on such a small portion of life's available energy as always to skirt the edge of extinction, and they are the first to suffer when the ecosystem around them starts to erode” (p.55).

COLOR AND APPEARANCE
Among the cat species, the largest is the tiger. The male tiger outweighs and outsize's the female tiger. Depending on the type of tiger, the body size varies in length from 4feet 7inches to 9feet10 inches, including the tail. The tiger may weigh up to 660 lbs in the larger species, and as in the smaller ones the weight ranges around 310lbs . The size and color vary according to the geographic location and climate. The dark stripes running vertically along its orange-red fur is its defining hallmark; the under belly is relatively lighter in shade. Their canine teeth are the longest in the cat family. The size varies among the Bengal, the Caspian, and the Siberian tigers. The largest is the Siberian tiger while the smallest is the Sumatran tiger (Tilson and Nyhus, 20). The female is smaller and their forepaw is also less wide than that of the male. The forequarters of these muscular tigers are powerful and the males have larger heads than the tigress. Long hairs frame the face forming whiskers; these too being more prominent in the male. In general, the region around the belly is white. The black stripes vary in its form as well as length and breadth from one tiger to another. These are identification marks. Most probably the stripes help in camouflage while the animal hiding in the quivering shadows and long grasses stalk prey. The patterns are not only on the fur but imbedded in the skin of the animal. The yellow irises are set in circular pupils. The ears are proportionately small and round; the dorsal side being black having a noticeable white spot in the centre (Tilson and Nyhus, 67).

HABITAT
Tigers are solitary and territorial requiring a large prey-supporting area that is contiguous. Their habitat is mainly in some of the densely populated regions in the world and this is leading to constant conflict with man. Today their range has narrowed down mainly to the mangrove forests of tropical Asia and the taiga in Siberia. The population has gone down to an alarming 3,948 at the most. The remaining tigers still in existence live in isolated pockets. Their area of coverage has gone down by 41% from what was calculated during the mid 90s. The tiger can be divided into 9 sub-species; three have become extinct. Historically their range included Iran, Siberia, Afghanistan, China, India, Bangladesh, and South East Asia (inclusive of...
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