Tigers, in my opinion, are one of the most amazing creatures on the planet.
The documentary “Tiger King” has really brought attention to these beautiful animals so I wanted to share some fun facts that I learned about tigers.
Not too long ago I visited Africa and on one of the tours there were tigers located in the sanctuary. The guide was awesome at answering our millions of questions!
Tigers are most commonly known for their dark vertical stripes and orange colored fur. Usually their underbelly will be white. They are one of the biggest predators in the world and are territorial wanting to keep their territory as their own.
Sadly, the tiger is a threatened species with the number of tigers decreasing and in some areas where they used to exist – they are actually already considered extinct.
How Much Do Tigers Weigh?
There are several types of tigers in the world which I will outline below along with their average weights. If are looking for “how much do tigers weigh” – it will of course depend on the TYPE of tiger! Each breed is unique and will have different weights and even attributes.
Keep in mind, there are always some tigers found that may fall outside of these “normal” ranges too! These are just estimates created by researchers based on the tigers they have found in the wild.
Siberian Tiger Weight
Siberian Tigers can grow to weights averaging around 400 pounds or more for males and about 260 pounds for females.
Interestingly enough, research showed that these tigers have actually decreased their weight over the years, with a large part attributed to the lack of prey due to illegal hunting.
Malayan Tiger Weight
One of the smaller breeds of tiger, the Malayan Tiger will typically weight approximately 240-300 pounds for an adult male and 160-240 for an adult female.
Indochinese Tiger Weight
The Indochinese tigers range in weight from 330-430 pounds for adult males and 220-290 pounds for adult females.
The Indochinese tiger is a critically endangered species with the largest amount surviving residing in Thailand with an estimate of about 200. In total there is estimated to be less than 350 left in the world.
Bengal Tiger Weight
The Bengal Tigers is one of the larger breeds with adult males weighing roughly 380-580 pounds and adult females weighing 220-350 pounds.
Why Do Tigers Have Stripes?
If there is ever a job I would have loved to have is to be a zoologist! Imagine spending your days doing studies on why tigers have stripes. Yep, that is what was done to get the answer to this question!
Tigers have stripes to help camouflage them in areas like the tropical forests and grasslands. The stripes allow them to hide from their prey allowing them to capture that prey for their next meal.
Although they are orange and you would think they would stand out in a the murky green grasslands and jungles that is not the case. Many hoofed animals cannot see a full range of colors like humans – so those are and black color combinations will look green to the prey.
Are Tiger Stripes Unique?
Yes! Tiger stripes are similar to human fingerprints and each tiger has stripe patterns that are unique to them – just like our fingerprints are unique to us! This is very useful for researchers to identify tigers in the wild.
Is Tiger Skin Striped?
Yes, researchers have found that when a tiger was shaved of its fur, the skin underneath also had the same stripe pattern.
What Do Tigers Eat?
Tigers are carnivores which means they eat meat and the flesh of animals. Most carnivores are considered “predators” who go after “prey” for their next meal.
Tigers will eat a large variety of prey which may be big as baby elephants or as small as a fish if bigger prey is not available.
What a tiger will eat is very dependent on where they live.
Tigers In Captivity
Feeding a tiger that is in captivity is not the easiest – or cheapest thing to do . They need the same nutrients they would get out in the wild so the caretakers need to provide those same options.
Those that take care of captive tigers might have to go to a slaughterhouse to find what they need to give the tiger a nutritious, healthy diet.
If the tiger is in a Zoo or wildlife sanctuary, it is not as critical to keep them on a similar diet since they will remain there for their life and get used to that diet. There needs are much different if they will remain in captivity then if they will be returned to the wild.
Do Tigers Kill Humans?
Tigers are not the type of animal that will attack for no reason, but yes, they do kill humans under some circumstances.
The following scenarios could incite a tiger to attack:
- Getting to close to the cubs of a tiger mom
- Surprising a tiger that is sleeping
- Disturbing an eating tiger
- Cycling or running in locations where wild tigers are as they may see you as prey
Another reason that has been found is that tigers who may not be able to catch and eat traditional prey may attack humans as alternates. This is usually caused by some kind of physical issue or ailment, like tooth issues. Humans are not as fast as most of their prey so they will turn to them when they cannot run as fast as they used to.
There was a tiger who was named the “man eating tigress of Champawat” who has been said to have caused as many as 436 deaths in parts of India. She was killed in 1907 and that is when they found that her teeth were broken which may be the reason she hunted people instead of traditional prey.
Other Tiger Facts
I have always been fascinated by tiger’s! Below are some quick fun facts about tigers to help you become a tiger expert amongst your friends.
- No two tigers have the same stripes.
- Tigers are the only animal that has stripes on their skin.
- A tiger’s tail can measure 3 feet long.
- Tigers use their tail to keep their balance when making turns.
- Tigers are great swimmers – which most big cats are not.
- A group of tigers is called a streak.
- The roar of a tiger can be heard up to 2 miles away.
- They are a solitary animal preferring to be alone.
- Momma tigers are the sole provider for their cubs.
- They do not become independent until about 2 years of age.
- Their night vision is about 6 times greater than a humans.
- They typically will hunt at night.
- They can leap ahead 20-30 feet.
- Average lifespan is about 13 years in the wild.
There are efforts taking place all over the world to increase the number of tigers in the wild. It starts with conserving the land they need to survive. In the last century it has been estimated that 96% of tigers have been lost.
Organizations like World Wildlife Federation and Discovery Communications are working hard to reverse that course so these beautiful animals can remain a part of our future.
You can help make an impact by donating, adopting or shopping which will help fund the efforts of Project C.A.T (Conserving Acres for Tigers). This is the project that is working hard to protect a tigers habitat.