Tigers are the largest cats in the world. However, the size of each particular subspecies depends on several factors like habitat, climate, food, prey and so on.
Tigers have a body design that allows them to move along gracefully. They are also incredibly fast when it comes to hunting their prey or getting themselves out of the way of danger.
Tiger Length And Weight
A full grown Tiger can be up to 11 feet in length and weight about 670 pounds. They have a very muscular build too which helps them to take down prey that is many types heavier than they are. The females are smaller than the males for all of the different species of tigers, which is an indicator of sexual dimorphism in this species.
The ear is the sharpest and best-developed sense of Tigers and plays an important part during their hunting activities. In general, cats have better capabilities than humans to perceive acute sounds, up to 60 kHz. Tigers have a maximum sensitivity of 300-500 Hz and can hear infrasounds that a person can not listen.
Another significant advantage of Tigers is their eyesight. They can see just as well as humans during the day. However, at night their capacity is six times better than ours making much easier to them sneak up on their prey.
Their vision is binocular because of the position of the eyes on each side of the head. This feature facilitates the calculation of distances to their prey. They have more rod cells than cone cells; This means that their vision in the dark is excellent and useful for detecting movements. Like other animals, it has behind the retina a structure called tapetum lucidum that amplifies light signals and consequently improves the night vision.
In contrast to the ear, their sense of smell is not very sharp, so it does not play a significant role in hunting. However, it is useful for detecting odorous signs from other tigers. They have a modest amount of olfactory cells in the nose and an olfactory bulb in the brain.
Within their oral cavity, they have only a few hundred taste buds that are few compared to the thousands present in the tongue of a human, but some think that they can perceive salty, acid and bitter flavors. It is not sure that they can taste sweet flavors.
Regarding their sense of touch, the skin or the vibrissae, commonly called whiskers, are the ways to perceive it. All Tigers have five types of vibrissae with sensory nerves to orient themselves, detect dangers and attack. Also, the face has sensitive neurons that detect changes in air pressure when an object pass.
Tigers are heterotrophic carnivores and must meet their nutritional requirements from other living beings. They look for both medium and large prey in the wild to feed on them. The animals they consume change according to the area where they live, as different species will be available in each region. They have no problem taking down animals larger than themselves including water buffaloes and bears.
These cats are powerful and efficient predators with an anatomy designed for hunting. They have two large canine teeth and other sharp-edged teeth to cut the skin, flesh, and bones of prey. These functional dental pieces are the last upper premolar and the lower first molar.
Tigers are found mainly in Asia, Caspian Sea to Siberia in the north and Indonesia. At present, its distribution only includes Southeast Asia, India, some Russian regions and western China. In short, it is an Asian animal, found only in 13 or 14 countries including China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Burma, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal and perhaps North Korea.
Tigers are not animals characterized for being sociable; The only social links are those of a mother with her offspring. Males and females are polygamous and only encounter in the estrus period, and after mating, both take different paths.
The breeding habits of tigers have some differences among species, but some standard practices are here.
Tigers reach sexual maturity between 3 and five years; Females mature at 3 or 4 years of age, but males do it a little later, at 4-5 years.
Mating occurs at any time of year, although in regions with tropical climates happens more frequently during the period between November and April when temperatures are colder. Those tigers living in temperate zones mate only during the winter months.
Females usually enter estrus every 3-9 weeks but are receptive only a few days, which are usually 3 to 6.
The latest census of 2016, estimates that the number of individuals in the wild is no more than 4,000. Several threats continue to put the future of tigers at risk, like poaching or habitat destruction.