If you think there isn’t much to know about these majestic animals, think again. Check out these 10 facts about tigers that will make you even more fascinated by these felines.
They are the biggest cats
There are many cat species around the world and, as we very well know it, they come in all sizes. But if you would like to know which one is the biggest, then here we have the answer – the tiger.
It can weigh up to 800 pounds and measure up to 10.8 feet. No wonder they eat only meat, they have to sustain their considerable size somehow.
Chases in high speed
Don’t be fooled by its size, in case you ever find yourself in an area where there’s a tiger nearby. The fact that they are big doesn’t mean that they are slow. In fact, at full speed, they can reach up to 40 mph.
Granted, this speed is usually not sustained for long periods of time and occurs in short bursts, but it still is impressive.
Every tiger out there has a unique pattern
Yes, you read that right. Stripes are for tigers what fingerprints are for people. Every individual can be easily identified by the pattern of its stripes. Moreover, this also appears on their skin, so you could identify the pattern if shaven.
As nature tends to be quietly skilled when it comes to blending in, stripes help the wild cats remain undetected by their prey for a longer period of time, giving them an increased chance of a successful hunt.
Solitary hunters who go out at night
These beautiful big cats have a lifespan of 14 years, with 10 being the average when living in the wild. They generally go on living solitary lives with 2 exceptions: the mating season and females raising their cubs.
These royal hunters usually roam their territories at night, and this is because their main diet consists of nocturnal animals such as wild boar, deer, elk and others. Moreover, if they only go out at night, they avoid human interaction.
Jump up to 12 – 16ft
Even if tigers are big and heavy animals, they are also extremely agile when it comes to physical performances. There are no statistical numbers on how high one can effortlessly jump, but not-so-fortunate experiences have taught us a thing or two on this topic.
After several zoo incidents, it is widely accepted and recommended that fences around these mammals be at least 12-foot high, some going up to 16.4 feet, to avoid escapes.
They like water and can swim up to 3.7 miles
Unlike most of the other cats out there, tigers actually enjoy their time in the water, as their natural habitat includes tropical jungles and streams.
They are good swimmers and they can be seen quite often cooling off in different water sources. The area they can cover by swimming is also quite large, as they can go for distances of up to 3.7 miles.
Tiger territory and communication
These big cats need impressive hunting territories and these can range from 7 to 38 square miles. Males usually have larger ones which can overlap with those of females for mating purposes.
However, males and females never share overlapping territories with those of the same gender. Tigers communicate through roars that can go as far as 1.8 miles, and through scent marking.
The preferred hunting style is by ambush. Usually, if you look at a tiger, a sudden attack is less likely, as the element of surprise is lost. In some parts of India, people wear masks on the back of their heads when walking through forests, to trick tigers into thinking they are being faced.
Humans are not normally seen as prey, and most attacks occur because of a threat or a diminished habitat due to human activity expansion.
Of course, like any other baby in the world, tiger cubs are just adorable when they are little. One interesting fact is that they are born with their tripe pattern already formed. It will spread out as they grow, but will not change.
As most of the cubs out there, baby tigers need their mothers to teach them everything in order to survive. They start going hunting and looking for food around the age of 8-10 months, but they first do this together.
These magnificent creatures are actually a variant of the Bengal tigers with a lack of pheomelanin pigmentation which causes their fur to be white. Another even rarer mutation occurs in tigers which are completely white, their stripes being visible only from certain angles.
For a white tiger to be born, both its parents must carry the unusual gene, and this naturally occurs only once for every 10,000 births.