101 Tiger Facts

1. Tigers are the largest of the big cats.
2. Wild tigers are at the very top of the food chain.
3. There were originally eight subspecies of tiger, the
    Javan, the Bali, the Caspian, the Indochinese, the
    Sumatran, the Bengal, the Siberian, and the South 
    China tiger.
4. Unbelievably three of the eight subspecies are now
    extinct. The Bali tiger met its demise in the 1940s, 
    the Caspian in the 1970s and the Javan in the 1980s.
    (Yes you read that right--the 1980s!)
5. The latin names for the subspecies are: 
     pantheris tigris amoyensis  The South China tiger
     pantheris tigris altaicia       The Amur (Siberian) tiger
     pantheris tigris sumatrae    The Sumatran tiger
     pantheris tigris corbetti       The Indochinese tiger
     pantheris tigris tigris           The Bengal tiger
     pantheris tigris balica          The Bali tiger
     pantheris tigris virgata         The Caspina tiger
     pantheris tigris sondaica      The Javan tiger        
6. The South China tiger is believed to be the antecedent of
     all tigers
7. The tiger is the most endangered species of big cat. Of
     the remaining tiger subspecies the South China tiger is
     the most critically endangered with only around sixty
     living in Chinese zoos and approximately twenty in the
     wild (although none have been spotted for over twenty
     years). This puts this subspecies at the very top of the
     endangered species list. 
8.  Wild tigers do not live in Africa, they are spread out
      across Asia and are thought to have originated from
      Southern China. 
9.  A captive tiger can live up to twenty years, while a wild
     tiger can expect to live ten to fifteen years.
10. Tigers are an umbrella species, which means to save the
      wild tiger we must also commit to saving its habitat
      and prey
11. Due to the cold winters of Southern Russia and
      Northern China the Siberian tiger is the largest of 
      the subspecies with an average length of 27.5m (9ft 8')
      and an average weight of 245 kilos (540 pounds), it 
      has the thickest fur and roams the largest territories.
12. The Bengal tiger is found in India and around the
       Nepal/China border. It is the second largest of the
       subspecies weighing in at around 218 kilos (480 pounds)
       and is 27m (9ft 5') long (average).
13. The Indochinese tiger is found across most of Southeast
      Asia, it is almost 2.5m (8ft 8') long and weighs in at 172 
      kilos (380 pounds)
14. The South China tiger is found only in Southern China,
       it's average length and weight is 2.4m long (8ft 1') and 
       152 kilos (336 pounds) 
15. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest remaining
      subspecies, with an average length of 2.3m (7ft 8')
      and a weight of 113 kilos (250 pounds), this is due 
      to the fact that its small territories are restricted 
      to the Islands of Sumatra.
16. The heaviest recorded tiger was a Siberian weighing in
      at an amazing 465 kilos (1,025 pounds).
17. The Bengal tiger has the largest population with around
      3000. Next is the Indochinese with approximately 
      1000-1500, then the Sumatran with 500-1000, then the
       Siberian with 230-400 and last and unfortunately least
       the South China tiger with around 60-80. 
18. It is impossible to count how many tigers are left in the
      wild but experts estimate there to be less than 6000. 
19. The tigers saliva is antiseptic and comes in handy for
      cleaning their wounds.
20. An adult wild tiger is a solitary, territorial animal. 
      A single tiger's territory can cover over 160 square 
      kilometres (100 square miles).
21. A tiger marks its territory by spraying surrounding
      trees and bushes with urine, dropping prominently
      placed scat, and leaving deep scratch marks on tree
22. In the scent of the tigers urine and scat is a code which
      can only be deciphered by other wild tigers. The 
      message not only acts as a warning to trespasses, but
      will also supply all the information needed for a would
      be mate.
23. A males territory can overlap several females
24. A tiger will circumnavigate its territory every few days.
25. Tiger stripes are individually as unique as the human
      finger print.
26. If you were to shave the fur from a tiger it would still
      have stripes. 
27. Tiger stripes act as perfect camouflage in tall weeds
      and grasses.
28. The tigers most developed sense is its hearing.
29. A tiger can only usually expect a one in twenty success
      rate when bringing down prey.
30. Tigers like to feed on pig, deer and buffalo, but will also 
      eat smaller prey such as rabbit and fish.
31. On average a tiger can eat up to 27.2 kilos (60 pounds)
      of meat at one time.
32. After a feed, a tiger will usually bury the remaining
      animal carcass in an attempt to hide it from scavengers,
      and then exhume it for its next meal.
33. A tiger can go two to three days without eating.
34. In a part of India called Sundeban tigers have been 
      known to eat man.
35. To deter these attacks villagers wear masks on the
       back of their heads as attacks are always from behind.
36. A tiger can spend up to eighteen hours sleeping.
37. Tigers can swim and like to cool down by sitting neck
      deep in water holes.
38. Tigers reach maturity and are ready for mating at the 
      age of three. 
39. A male tiger can copulate up to six times an hour.
40. A female tiger will usually give birth to 2-3 cubs in the
      wild, unfortunately the fatality rate for cubs can be
      quite high.
41. The gestation period can range from 102-106 days from
       time of conception.
42. All tigers typically show a 1:1 sex ratio at birth.
43. Tiger cubs are blind at birth.
44. A tiger cub can gain 100 grams in weight per day.
45. A cub will begin eating solid food at around 12-13 weeks
      and should be completely weaned around seventeen
46. Tiger cubs play-fight with their siblings, which enables
       them to gain strength and speed. 
47. It is believed that the two white dots on the back of a
      tiger's ears are designed to act as a visual beacon to
      enable the cubs to follow their parent.
48. A tiger cub will make its first kill around 18 months of
49. Tiger cubs can stay with their mother for up to 2-3
50. Male tigers have been known to kill and sometimes eat
      cubs of other males before taking the tigress as its own
51. All tigers have a similar marking on their forehead,
      which resembles the Chinese symbol Wang, meaning
52. Tigers do not purr.
53. Usually before mating, but also as a sign of affection,
      tigers make a kind of chuffing sound by expelling air
      softly through the nostrils.
54. Unlike the domestic cat the tigers pupils are round.
55. The tiger's foot print is known as the pug mark, and its
       measurement is sometimes the only method of
       recording wild tigers.
56. Like the domestic cat the tigers claws are retractable.
57. There are five toes on a tigers forefeet and four on its
       hind feet.
58. A tiger's night vision is six times greater than a
59. A tiger's canine teeth can grow up to three inches long
      and would be capable of crunching through the
      vertebrae of any creature on this earth.
60. Adult tigers have thirty teeth.
61. On average a tigers tail is around four feet long or half
       the length of its body.
62. The tail gives the tiger extra balance when running and
       is also used to communicate to other tigers.
63. The tendons in a tiger's leg are so strong that an animal
       has been known to remain standing after it has been
       shot dead.
64. The Sumatran tiger has the most pronounced ruff
      around its neck.
65. The South China tiger has the fewest stripes. 
66. The fore limbs of a tiger are more powerful than the
      hind limbs for grabbing large prey.
67. In Chinese, tiger means Wu Lao Hu. In Hindi it
      means Bagh, Sher. In Indonesian it means Harimau,
      Macan. In Korean it means Ho Lang-ee. In Vietnamese
      it means Cop. In Thai and Lao it means Seua. 
      In Nepalese it means Bagh. In Burmese it means Kyar.
      And in Malay it means Harimau. 
68. Tigers move both legs on one side of the body almost
      simultaneously when they walk.
69. The South China tiger has a slightly different shaped
      skull to the other subspecies, its eye sockets are deeper
      and it has a slight hump on the back of its neck.
70. Most tigers are orange with black stripes and a white
      underbelly and jowl.
71. A white tiger is not an albino, all white tigers are
       believed to have descended from a single white Bengal
       male called Mohan. 
72. It is said that the South China tiger is impossible to
      train, many Chinese circuses gave up after trying to
      implement them into their acts.
73. The tiger is revered in Chinese mythology and is said to
      have magical powers.
74. The tiger is the third animal in the Chinese zodiac.
75. Yin and Yang is sometimes represented by a Yin tigress
      and a Yang dragon.
76. It is believed that when a tiger dies its spirit enters the
      ground and becomes amber.
77. It is also believed in Chinese mythology that the tiger
      can take human form. 
78. The demise of the tiger is due to loss of habitat and the
       use of tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicines.
79. Every single part of the tiger is used in traditional
      Chinese medicine.
80. Tiger derivatives have been used in traditional Chinese
       medicines for over 1000 years.
81. There is not a shred of scientific evidence to back up
      claims that any of these remedies work.
82. Some traditional Chinese remedies are dangerous.
83. Tiger parts are also used as trophies, trinkets and aids
       to ward off evil spirits. 
84. In Asia illegal tiger farms operate to supply tigers for
      the traditional Chinese medicine market.
85. In 1959 The Siberian tiger was declared an endangered
      species and awarded protection.
86. In 1959 The South China tiger was declared a pest and
      a bounty was placed on its head.
87. In 1959 there were approximately 4000 South China
      tigers in the wild.
88. Between 1960 and 1984 3000 South China tiger pelts
      were officially recorded.
89. Many so called tiger activists have given up on the
       South China tiger. 
90.  Now the Chinese government is completely dedicated
       to saving the South China tiger.
91. As the trade for tiger parts has now been forced
       underground the incentives for poachers have greatly
       increased, one tiger carcass can mean as much as ten
       years pay
92. The main users of illegal animal derivatives are, China,
      Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. 
93. Tiger powders and potions can be bought all over the
       USA, Europe and the UK.
94. There are believed to be 120 outlets selling tiger
      derivatives in Australia alone.
95. Tiger populations are being cut off as their territories
      shrink and the corridors which join them together are
      being destroyed.
96. It is estimated that Bengal tigers are still being killed by
       poachers and villagers at the rate of one per day.
97. In the 1980's public tiger slaughters were common in
98.  A single brewery in Taiwan imported 2,000kg of tiger
       bone annually during the 1980's, the equivalent of
       100-200 tiger carcasses,  to produce 100,000 bottles of
       tiger wine.
99. There are now more tigers in captivity than there are in
       the wild.
100. We could lose the wild tiger in as little as five years
101. The tiger has only one predator...MAN!

Here's a few more:

102. A group of tigers is called a Streak.
103. There were believed to be 100,000 wild tigers at the
         beginning of the last century.
104. There are twice as many captive tigers in the USA
         than there are anywhere in the wild.
105. The tiger's stripes form, what is called, disruptive
        camouflage, which is an illusion that appears to change 
        their shape and blend them into their surroundings.
106. A tiger is Diurnal, which means its peak times of activity
        are dawn and dusk.
107. A tiger eats around six kilos of meat per day, but can
        go as long as a week without a meal.
108. Approximately fifty humans are killed by tigers each
109. Tigers will occasionally eat vegetation for dietary fiber,
       the fruit of the Slow Match Tree being favoured.
(Thanks to Daniella Leadley for this one).
110. The Tiger Chase is the first novel written about the
        South China tiger. 


If you have any facts you would like to add to this list please feel free to send them to me and I'll be happy to post them.

The Tiger Chase by Andrew McDrmott



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The Tiger Chase

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