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Bengal Tiger (P. tigris tigris)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Binomial name
Panthera tigris
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Felis tigris Linnaeus, 1758

Tigris striatus Severtzov, 1858

Tigris regalis Gray, 1867
White Tigers in the Singapore Zoological Gardens.
A map showing where tigers live.

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is a carnivorous mammal. It is the largest member of the cat family, the Felidae. It lives in Asia, mainly India, China and Siberia.


Bengal tigers live in the jungle called 'Sundarban' that is in Bangladesh and West Bengal of India. They are also found in other south-east Asian countries. They 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. No two tigers have the same pattern of stripes.[2]

Sometimes there are tigers with different colors. There are white tigers that have white fur with black stripes, or that even have pure white fur. They have blue or green eyes. Most Bengal tigers have orange fur. The white coat only appears once in every 10,000 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 6 feet (1.8 metres) long (body length) and weigh about 500 lb (230 kg). Females are a bit smaller. Record weight for males is claimed as 700 lbs (318 kg), but this cannot be confirmed.


The tiger has 6 living subspecies, and 3 recently extinct (†) subspecies.[3]

Tigers and humans

Tigers are becoming very rare, because people hunt them for their skin and destroy the habitats they live in. The Bengal tiger has the largest population with 3,500 left in the wild. The South-Chinese tiger has the smallest population with only 20 or 30 left in the wild and about 60 in captivity.[4]


Tigers eat lots of different types of prey, mostly other large mammals. Some examples are deer, monkeys, wild pigs, tapirs and other animals found in Asia. 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.[5]


  1. Cat Specialist Group (2002). Panthera tigris. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 10 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is endangered.
  2. "Information about tigers". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
  3. In this context, 'recently' means in the last two centuries.
  4. "savechinastigers". Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  5. Schaller. G The Deer and the Tiger: a study of wildlife in India 1984, University Of Chicago Press