Web surfers want to know the average weight of a tiger in pounds. This might seem straightforward but it isn’t. In fact, without wishing to be defeatist, I have to question the usefulness and practicality of averaging the weights of all the tigers on the planet which is what is required. This is because the weight of tigers varies tremendously depending on where they live and on their gender. The heaviest tigers are in Russia. These are the Siberian tigers. The Bengal tigers are also large but less large than the Siberian tigers while the tigers of Sumatra and other Indonesian islands are smaller and darker than those of the more northern species.
- Why do tigers have stripes?
- Do tigers fight each other?
- World’s largest cat. Over 900 lbs and 11.5 ft tall. What about the ethics?
For example, here are some typical weights of tigers in India, Sumatra and Russia. The average weight of four adult male Siberian tigers was 486 pounds in a study carried out in 1981. The largest in this group was a male in the Prague zoo which weighed 572 pounds.
The conclusion of a 1993 PhD dissertation was that Bengal tigers in India weighed between 460 pounds 499 pounds (three male tigers) while one female tiger weighed 389 pounds. In a 1993 study entitled Tiger predatory behaviour, ecology and conservation, female Sumatran tigers weighed between 165 pounds and 242 pounds. Male Sumatran tigers weighed between 220 pounds and 308 pounds.
You can see the problem, so I’m not going to carry on. There are three categories of tiger in terms of their weight, those in the North in Russia, those in the middle in India and those in the south in Sumatra and Indonesia. Their weights vary substantially and are much heavier in the north and lighter in the south because this is the way evolution has dictated their weights due of the impact of the large variation in temperature between these regions. Larger animals evolve in colder climates as it aids survival.
If I were you, I wouldn’t try and work out an average tiger weight in pounds. It can even be difficult working out an average tiger weight by tiger subspecies. I’m going to quote the number one authors (in my opinion) on the wild cat species: the Sunquists in Wildcats of the World. They say, “Reliable weight data are difficult to find, however, because hunters typically measured total length, tail length and shoulder height but rarely carried scales”. They also say that, “the weight of the Siberian subspecies is more difficult. Tigers from this region seem to vary considerably in size, and a literature search reveals few reliable weights. Many weights are ‘guesstimates'”.
Those quotes from their book are enlightening. If you want to write an article for your school homework, or whatever, about tiger weights and their averages then I would approach the subject in a realistic way and argue that the figures will be somewhat unreliable and that you will have to average by subspecies and not create a general average. And there needs to be reference to male and female tigers as their weight is very different.