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Sumatran Tiger
Source: USFWS

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The tiger is the largest of the big cats. It's most famous for its unique orange coloring and black and white stripes. The scientific name for the tiger is the Panthera tigris.

How big are tigers?

The largest of the tigers, the Siberian Tiger, can grow to around 10 feet long and weigh over 400 pounds. This makes for one massive cat and allows them to use their weight to knock down prey and then hold it down. They are powerful cats, too, and can run very fast despite their size.

Source: USFWS
Their distinctive stripes provide camouflage for tigers while hunting. While most tigers have an orange, white, and black pattern of stripes, some are black with tan stripes while others are white with tan stripes.

Tigers have large front paws with long sharp claws. They use these to bring down prey, but also to scratch trees in order to mark their territory.

Where do tigers live?

Today tigers live in various pockets in Asia including countries such as India, Burma, Russia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Indonesia. They live in a variety of habitats from tropical rain forests to mangrove swamps. They like to live near water where there is lots of prey and also in areas with vegetation where their stripes will work as camouflage.

Bengal Tiger Cub
Source: USFWS
What do they eat?

Tigers are carnivores and will eat most any animal it can catch. This includes some larger mammals such as water buffalo, deer, and wild boar. Tigers sneak up on their prey and then capture them with bursts of speed up to 40 miles per hour. They use their long sharp canine teeth to grab the prey by the neck and bring it down. If it's a large animal, it can feed the tiger for up to a week.

What types of tigers are there?

There are six types of tigers called subspecies: Are they endangered?

Yes. Tigers are very much endangered species. Some think that the subspecies of the South China Tiger is already to the point of extinction in the wild. Despite many laws and national parks to protect tigers their habitat continues to be destroyed and they are still hunted by poachers.

Fun Facts about the Tiger

Siberian Tiger
Source: USFWS

For more about cats:

Cheetah - The fastest land mammal.
Clouded Leopard - Endangered medium size cat from Asia.
Lions - This big cat is King of the Jungle.
Maine Coon Cat - Popular and large pet cat.
Persian Cat - The most popular breed of domesticated cat.
Tiger - Biggest of the big cats.

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