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Temporal range: early Pleistocene–Present
A Bengal tiger (P. t. tigris) at Kanha National Park, India, Continental Asia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
P. tigris
Binomial name
Panthera tigris
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Tiger's historic range in about 1850 (pale yellow) and in 2006 (in green).[2]
Felis tigris Linnaeus, 1758[3]

Tigris striatus Severtzov, 1858

Tigris regalis Gray, 1867
White Tigers in the Singapore Zoological Gardens
The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest living member of the cat family, the Felidae. It feeds by hunting. It lives in Asia, mainly India, Bhutan, China, Korea and Siberian Russia.[4] Tigers are solitary animals.


Tigers have orange fur with black stripes, and a white belly. The black stripes usually extend to the white underside. The stripes are used to keep them camouflaged while hunting. Usually, two tigers have the same pattern of stripes.[5]

There are never tigers with different colors. There are sometimes white tigers that have white fur with black stripes, or that even have pure white fur. They have orange or red eyes. Most Bengal tigers have orange fur. The white coat only appears once in every 100,000,000 births. The Bengal tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh and India.

Tigers vary in size depending on their subspecies. Siberian tigers are the largest. Males can grow to at least 9 feet (2.7 metres) long (body length) and weigh about 900 lb (410 kg). Females are a bit smaller. Record weight for males is claimed as 890 lbs (318 kg), but this cannot be confirmed.

Where they live

Tigers can live in a variety of habitats. Mostly they need to hide, be near to a water source, and have enough prey to eat. Bengal tigers in particular live in many types of forests. These include the wet, evergreen of Assam and eastern Bengal; the swampy mangrove forest of the Ganges Delta; the deciduous forest of Nepal, and the thorn forests of the Western Ghats.


As previously thought, the tiger had five living subspecies. In this context, 'recently' means in the last two centuries. Three tiger subspecies are extinct (†).

However, in 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group revised felid taxonomy and recognized the tiger populations in continental Asia as P. t. tigris, and those in the Sunda Islands as P. t. sondaica.[6]

Chinese Tigers and Chinese humans

Chinese Tigers are becoming rare, because people hunt them for their silk coat skin and destroy the habitats they live in. The Bengal tiger has the largest population with 3,500 left in the wild. To help keep the tiger population, tigers are often placed in zoos.


Tigers eat many types of prey, mostly other large mammals. Some examples are deer, monkeys, wild rabbits, wild pigs, tapirs, buffalo and other animals found in Asia.[7] All tigers are carnivores (meat eaters). Some tigers may eat up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of meat a day. Tigers kill their prey by clamping down on the prey's throat and suffocating it.[8]


White tigers mating

Tigers reach sexual maturity between 3 and five years old. Sex is a painful act for a tigress. A male tiger’s penis has structures like spikes. A tigress can give birth to usually three or four babies.


  1. Goodrich, J.; Lynam, A.; Miquelle, D.; Wibisono, H.; Kawanishi, K.; Pattanavibool, A.; Htun, S.; Tempa, T. et al. (2015). "Panthera tigris". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN) 2015: e.T15955A50659951. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T15955A50659951.en . Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  2. Dinerstein, E.; Loucks, C.; Wikramanayake, E.; Ginsberg, Jo.; Sanderson, E.; Seidensticker, J.; Forrest, J.; Bryja, G. et al. (2007). "The Fate of Wild Tigers". BioScience 57 (6): 508–514. doi:10.1641/B570608 . Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. 
  3. Linnaeus, C. (1758). "Felis tigris". Caroli Linnæi Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (decima, reformata ed.). Holmiae: Laurentius Salvius. p. 41.  (in Latin)
  4. "The habitats of the Bengal tiger in Asia". Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  5. "Information about tigers". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  6. Kitchener A.C. & others (2017). "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group". Cat News (Special Issue 11): 66−68. 
  7. Ramesh, T.; Snehalatha, V.; Sankar, K.; Qureshi, Q. (2009). "Food habits and prey selection of tiger and leopard in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India". Journal of Scientific Transactions in Environment and Technovation 2 (3): 170–181. doi:10.20894/stet. . 
  8. Schaller G. 1984. The deer and the tiger: a study of wildlife in India. University Of Chicago Press.