The tiger - more specifically the Siberian tiger - is the largest of all the big cats. It is a heavily muscled, powerful predator that stalks and ambushes large prey, camouflaged by its stripy coat. Unlike other cats, tigers are good swimmers and often cool off in lakes and streams during the heat of the day. Sadly, they have been pushed to the edge of existence through hunting and habitat loss, with three of the nine subspecies already extinct, and the other subspecies at high risk.
Did you know?
Over the past 100 years, tigers have lost 3 subspecies to extinction and 93% of their historic range. and are now locally extinct from southwest and central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and from large areas of Southeast and Eastern Asia.
A tiger's stripes are like a human fingerprint, no two tigers have the same pattern.
Driven by its need for meat, a tiger can kill the equivalent of 30 buffaloes a year.
A tigers roar can carry for over 2km at night.
The largest cat in the world is the Siberian tiger, weighing over 100kg more than the Bengal tiger.
Tigers purr. Domestic cats purr on the in-breath and the out-breath while tigers purr only on the out breath.
Unlike most other cats, tigers often eat meat that has begun to putrefy.
About half of all tiger cubs die before they reach maturity.
After running down and catching its prey, the tiger always starts feeding from the rump first.
Tigers are so strong that they are capable of dragging prey that is so heavy that it would take several grown men to move.
Legend has it that tigers can attract deer by mimicking their calls. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, any deer sounds that tigers utter are now believed to be completely incidental.
A healthy diet for the tiger consists of 7-10 kg of meat a day. In fact, a Siberian tiger is capable of eating up to 50kg in a single sitting! A skill worth having when you need to sustain your self in a climate that can be as cold as - 45 degrees Celsius.
The heaviest Siberian tiger on record weighed in at an incredible 385kg.
To deter intruders, all tigers mark their territory with strong smelling urine and secretions which serve as a warning to other tigers nearby. Shredding the bark of trees is another way to mark territory.
Tigers usually cover their faeces with earth. They will also drag the remains of a kill to a thicket and loosely bury it with leaves, then return to it later
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Photos care of http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/28/siberia-tiger-pakistan-sharif and http://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soubor:Tiger_chasing_a_deer_cropped.jpg