Tiger Siberian Tiger

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  • Topic: Tiger, Tigers, Bengal tiger
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  • Published : June 29, 2011
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The tiger (Panthera tigris), a member of the Felidae family, is the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera.[4] The tiger is native to much of eastern and southern Asia, and is an apex predator and an obligate carnivore. The larger tiger subspecies are comparable in size to the biggest extinct felids,[5][6] reaching up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) in total length, weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds), and having canines up to 4 inches (100 mm) long.[7] Aside from their great bulk and power, their most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes that overlays near-white to reddish-orange fur, with lighter underparts. The most numerous tiger subspecies is the Bengal tiger, while the largest is the Siberian tiger. Tigers have a lifespan of 10–15 years in the wild, but can live longer than 20 years in captivity.[8] They are highly adaptable and range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps. -------------------------------------------------


Range and habitat
In the past, tigers were found throughout Asia, from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to Siberia and Indonesia. Today the range of the tiger is only 7% of what it used to be.[15] Furthermore, within the past decade alone, the estimated area known to be occupied by tigers has declined by 41%.[15] During the 19th century, the tiger completely vanished from western Asia and became restricted to isolated pockets in the remaining parts of their range. Today, their range is fragmented, and certain parts degraded, and extends from India in the west to China and Southeast Asia in the east.[16] The northern limit is close to the Amur River in south eastern Siberia. The only large island inhabited by tigers today is Sumatra. Tigers vanished from Java and Bali during the 20th century. In Borneo they are known only from fossil remains. Tiger habitats will usually include sufficient cover, proximity to water, and an abundance of prey. Bengal Tigers live in many types of forests, including wet; evergreen; the semi-evergreen of Assam and eastern Bengal; the mangrove forest of the Ganges Delta; the deciduous forest ofNepal, and the thorn forests of the Western Ghats. Compared to the lion, the tiger prefers denser vegetation, for which its camouflage colouring is ideally suited, and where a single predator is not at a disadvantage compared with the multiple felines in a pride. Among the big cats, only the tiger and jaguar are strong swimmers; tigers are often found bathing in ponds, lakes, and rivers. During the extreme heat of the day, they often cool off in pools. Tigers are excellent swimmers, and are able to carry prey through the water. -------------------------------------------------

Physical characteristics, taxonomy and evolution

Video from the Disney's Animal Kingdom
The oldest remains of a tiger-like cat, called Panthera palaeosinensis, have been found in China and Java. This species lived about 2 million years ago, at the beginning of the Pleistocene, and was smaller than a modern tiger. The earliest fossils of true tigers are known from Java, and are between 1.6 and 1.8 million years old. Distinct fossils from the early and middle Pleistocene were also discovered in deposits from China, and Sumatra. A subspecies called the Trinil tiger (Panthera tigris trinilensis) lived about 1.2 million years ago and is known from fossils found at Trinil in Java.[17] Tigers first reached India and northern Asia in the late Pleistocene, reaching eastern Beringia (but not the American Continent), Japan, andSakhalin. Fossils found in Japan indicate that the local tigers were, like the surviving island subspecies, smaller than the mainland forms. This may be due to the phenomenon in which body size is related to environmental space (see insular dwarfism), or...
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