- General Tiger facts for kids
- Bengal Tiger Facts
- White Tiger Facts
- Siberian Tiger Facts
- Sumatran Tiger Facts
- Tasmanian Tiger Facts
Tigers are fiery and royal. The way they walk, hunt and look for their prey are all very fascinating for adults and children alike.
If your child gets thrilled seeing a tiger in a zoo or safari, you would want to tell them all about tigers.
Tiger facts for kids
Let begin with the common facts about this ferocious species of cats.
- The scientific name of a tiger is panthera tigris.
- Tigers have been on earth for a long time. Scientists in China have discovered fossils of tigers that date back to 2 million years.
- Tigers are the world’s largest wild cats as they measure up to 6ft in length.
- Adult tigers can weigh up to 363kg. Male tigers are heavier than female tigers.
- Tigers can easily jump over 5m high.
- They eat only meat, and that is why they are called carnivores. They mainly hunt and eat the flesh of animals like buffalo, deer and wild pigs.
- A tiger’s jaw usually has 30 teeth that are designed primarily for tearing flesh.
- The upper canines of tigers measure up to 3in in length.
- Tigers hunt alone and generally go about searching for food only at night. Their vision is six times better than humans’ at night.
- Unlike other animals, tigers first stalk their prey — smell and follow them ― until they are close enough to pounce upon.
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- Less than 10% of tigers can hunt successfully.
- Female tigers give birth to 2-4 cubs at a time. They can do so every two years.
- Tiger cubs leave their mothers at two years of age to find a domain of their own.
- Tigers are known to live up to 10 years in the wild. In zoos, they live longer.
- Survival of cubs is challenging, and about half of the cubs do not live for more than two years. They fall prey to wild animals like dogs, snakes, or leopards.
- Tigers that breed with lions give birth to hybrids called ligers and tigons.
- Tigers do not live in groups, except for the tigress with her cubs. They usually roam across vast areas, which are known as their “home ranges.” The size of their home range depends on the availability of food.
- Tigers do not patrol. They mark their domain with their feces and urine that has a distinctive smell to let other tigers know that the space has been taken.
- Tigers are great swimmers and often cool themselves off in lakes and pools and can swim up to 6km.
- When tigers roar, they can be heard from as far as 3km.
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- A group of tigers is called a streak or an ambush.
- Tigers use their tail to communicate with each other. If a tiger is relaxed, the tail hangs loose. When they are aggressive, they move their tail rapidly from one side to another.
- Tigers are extremely fast. Although they are large and heavy, they can run at a speed of up to 65km/hr.
- No two tigers have the same stripes. Scientists use camera traps to click photos of each side of a tiger to identify which sub-species it is.
- Now, only five subspecies of tigers are found in the world. They are Bengal tigers, Siberian tigers, Indochinese tiger, Malayan tiger, and South China tiger.
- Three subspecies of tigers – Bali, Javan, Caspian – have become extinct.
- Less than a hundred years ago, about 100,000 tigers were found all over Asia. According to the WWF estimates, there are only 3,400 today due to hunting and poaching by humans.
- Of the 3,400 surviving, only 1,000 are breeding tigers which makes it clear that they are in danger of extinction.
- One primary reason for the dwindling population of tigers is habitat loss because of cutting down of trees and forests.
- They are also illegally hunted for their fur and body parts used for preparing traditional medicines.
- Contrary to the belief, tigers do not attack humans as long as they can satisfy their hunger. Some of the man-eating tigers are either old or have no teeth to hunt.
- According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 12,000 tigers are kept as private pets in the US, which is much more than the number of free tigers in the wild.
- In the black market, an adult dead male tiger can be sold for $10,000 or more.
Next, let’s know the facts about the various variants of tigers.
Bengal Tiger Facts
- The scientific name of a Bengal tiger is panthera tigris tigris.
- Bengal tigers are found in India and are popularly called Indian tigers.
- The Bengal tiger is the national animal of India and Bangladesh. Bangladeshi notes also have pictures of the Bengal tiger.
- The average life cycle of a Bengal tiger in the wild is 8 to 10 years.
- They measure up to 5 to 6ft tall and weigh about 108 to 227kg.
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- They are the most common tigers and form about half of all the tigers roaming in the wild.
- Of any living cat, the Bengal tiger has the largest canine teeth.
- They can eat up to 40kg of meat in a single sitting.
- Bengal tigers are found in places like Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
- The mangroves of the Sundarbans between India and Bangladesh are the only forest where these tigers are found. But due to climate change and a rise in the sea level, even this forest is under threat.
- Bengal tigers dwell in marshes, tall grasslands, and tropical rainforests.
- In recent years, the Bengal tiger is also under risk due to hunting and poaching.
White Tiger Facts
- The white tiger is a rare type of Bengal tiger with a unique gene. This unique gene gives them the white color.
- A white tiger is not a sub-species of the tiger because they are all Bengal tigers with a specific gene.
- White tigers are born when two Bengal tigers carrying that specific gene breed together.
- The scientific name of a white tiger is the same as that of a Bengal tiger.
- Although white, it is not an albino. Albino is the condition where hair and skin pigmentation do not happen and humans or animals become white in color.
- The white tiger has a light cream color with grey and faint brown stripes. Its nose is pink.
- Their eyes are usually blue but they can be amber or green too.
- A white tiger lives between 10 and 20 years.
- White tigers were found in the forests of India.
- Sadly, no white tigers are left in the wild. All the white tigers in the world are now in captivity.
- The first recorded sight of a white tiger was in between 48-1000AD.
- The first sighting in India was mentioned in the famous Akbarnama, which was a chronicle maintained by the Moghul emperor Akbar.
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Siberian Tiger Facts
- Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are the world’s largest cats.
- The scientific name of the Siberian tiger is Panthera tigris altaica.
- They primarily live in the birch forests of eastern Russia. However, some are also found in China and North Korea.
- The northern climate is very harsh but is also an advantage for them as this region has the lowest density of the human population.
- They mostly hunt musk deer, moose, wild boars, and gorals.
- Siberian tigers can mate at any time of the year. The female tigers leave their smell to communicate with the male tigers.
- The gestation period (the time between conceiving a cub and its birth) of Siberian tigers is 3 to 3.5 months.
- After mating, the males leave the females. So the responsibility of the offspring is on the tigress.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified Siberian tiger as a critically endangered animal.
Sumatran Tiger Facts
- Sumatran tigers are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies on earth.
- They are distinguished by black thick strips, and their coat is orange in color.
- They weigh about 74 to 140kg and measure about 86 to 99in in length.
- Their scientific name is Panthera tigris sumatrae.
- The IUCN has marked this subspecies as critically endangered.
- They are less than 400 in number, living in the forest patches of Sumatra.
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Tasmanian Tiger Facts
- The Tasmanian tiger is commonly known as thylacine.
- Its scientific name is Thylacinus cynocephalus.
- The wolf-sized carnivorous marsupial was once found in Australia.
- The species became extinct 3,000 years ago on the mainland. But some of them existed until later on the southern island of Tasmania.
- Marsupials are a type of mammals whose offspring are not born completely developed. So they are typically carried and suckled in a pouch on the belly of the mother.
- Marsupials are found mainly in New Guinea and Australia. The most common examples of marsupials are Kangaroos and Koalas.
- The Tasmanian tigers looked and behaved a lot like wolves.
- Humans hunted them down to supposedly protect their livestock. But this drove them to extinction in the early 20th century.
- The last known Tasmanian tiger died in 1936 in Hobart Zoo, Australia.
- The species was declared extinct in 1982.
- Scientists wanted to study the thylacine genes to understand why these tigers were so similar to wolves. And it was found that the wolves and these tigers shared a common ancestor dating back to some 160 million years.
- The most amazing fact is that wolves and Tasmanian tigers shared very similar lifestyles.
- Scientists are trying to work on feasible DNA samples hoping to resurrect an extinct animal one day.
- Surprisingly, some Australians believed that the Tasmanian tiger was never extinct. They were simply great at hiding.
- This belief led three Australians, called the Booth Richardson Tiger Team or BRTT, to take up research to prove that these tigers are still alive. They came up with a video as evidence of the existence of the tiger.
- Although the authenticity of the video has not been officially established, you can watch it on National Geographic.
Aren’t the facts wonderful? Did your kid get wowed by them? Share as many animal facts as you can with your children so that they understand the importance of saving wildlife and respecting the other living beings on earth.
Do you have anything to say about tigers? Let us know in the comments section below.
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