WHAT DO TIGERS EAT?
To call a tiger a tiger is a little misleading as there are 6 sub-species that make up the tiger family as a whole. The Siberian tiger is the largest living cat in the world, with a grace and beauty to match. Sadly this magnificent creature is becoming an increasingly rare sight in the wild.
The exquisite grace and power of the Bengal tiger evokes both awe and fear. Capable of killing animals over twice its size, it is one of nature’s most feared predators. The South China Tiger, the Indochinese Tiger, the Sumatran Tiger, and the Malayan Tiger make up the rest. Sadly, there were 9 species of tiger previously known but the Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers have all become extinct in the past 70 years.
Although scientists no longer classify tigers into subspecies, these names are still commonly used to describe "races" of tigers from different regions.
The Siberian Tiger
Creeping to within 10-25 metres of its victim, the tiger will suddenly pounce and grab the prey by the back of its neck with its feet still planted firmly on the ground.
Small prey are killed by this bite to the neck, but larger prey are brought to the ground before being killed by a suffocating bite to the throat.
The other subspecies
A tiger will attack its prey from the side or the rear. Like the Siberian tiger, it will kill small prey with a bite to the back of the neck, and larger prey by a suffocating bite to the throat.
Game is the tigers favourite food. They will hunt wild ox and buffalo. An adult male ox can weigh 900kg which is twice the weight of an average tiger. Although it is clearly capable of taking down such a beast, more often than not the tiger will attack young or old animals as they will put up less of a resistance.
In certain areas, the tigers prey is chital deer, wild boar, monkeys and lizards. Tigers will sometimes even attack porcupines. However, this can be very dangerous. Why? Because if any of the sharp quills become lodged in the face, eyes or paws they can cause infections which in extreme cases can result in death!
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Photo care of http://www.ensanluispotosi.com/Naturaleza/Tigre/Tigre.htm and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/6588319/Pictures-of-the-day-17-November-2009.html?image=2