Interesting Facts About Tigers
tiger ueno zoo tokyo japan - photo Jasen Durant (Flickr)
Here are some selected, interesting facts about tigers. I'll keep this very concise as the other pages on this website about the tiger are progressively longer and more detailed (a) tiger facts and (b) Tiger. There will be some overlap.
- The Siberian tiger is on average the world's largest purebred cat species. It is not the world's largest cat however. That accolade goes to the Liger, a lion/tiger hybrid. The 900 lb Liger is abnormally large probably because of hybrid vigour. This is an "artificial man made cat".
- The tiger can roar but an expert on tiger vocalisations, Gustav Peters, says that the tiger is not a genuine roaring cat because it is dissimilar in some important ways to the other roaring cats - lion, leopard and jaguar.
- The tiger's coat is high contrast. It stands out and is designed to be an effective camouflage in forest under twilight conditions. It cannot, therefore be good camouflage at over 4,000 feet in rocky terrain where the tiger has migrated to the Himalayas in Bhutan to avoid the persecuting human. One of the very interesting facts about tigers is that only recently (2010) for the first time has it been discovered to live over 4,000 above sea level.
- The tiger coat is like our fingerprint. Each one is different and can be used to identify each individual tiger.
- The tiger is one of the most adaptable wildcats. It lives in steamy jungles of Sumatra and, in the cold snowy hills of Siberia.
- There is only one country in the world where both the lion and tiger live: India. Although the they do not live in the same area of India. (Asiatic lion).
- The tiger has a stronger bite than the lion. Tiger = BFQ of 137, Lion = BFQ of 112.
- Although strictly speaking it is both debatable and academic, the consensus is (probably) that the tiger would beat a lion in an individual one to one fight.
- One of the interesting facts about tigers is that they vary tremendously in weight. The Siberian tiger, as mentioned, is the heaviest at a max. of 320 kg. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest with males weighing on average 136 kgs.
- The tiger likes water and is a great swimmer. It has been recorded as swimming in the sea for over 2 miles whilst swimming out to islands off the mainland of Sumatra.
- The tiger prefers large prey and "large" means about three times as large as itself! On its own, it can kill a 1000 kilogram animal.
- Tigers are farmed like cattle in China for their body parts, of which, tiger bone is turned into wine!
- At 2008 a tiger's penis was worth $6,000 on the black market. Pound for pound this is one of the most valuable objects in the world. Its value must increase as it becomes scarcer.
- As the tiger becomes rarer due to habitat loss and poaching for its body parts, it becomes more vulnerable to further persecution as it becomes more valuable dead. This cycle becomes worse and worse.
- None of the South China tigers in captivity are actually South China tigers. They are all hybrids based on genetic analysis.