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Siberian Tiger Basic Information

Names

There are a few other names for Siberian Tigers. Their latin name is Panthera Tigris Altaica. There are 3 other non-Latin names, too. The Amur Tiger, Northeast China Tiger, and Manchurian Tiger.

Appearance

The Siberian Tiger looks slightly different from the other tiger sub-spieces. It has a coat that lightens during the winter to help blend in with the snow. It's stripes are dark brown instead of black. Siberian Tigers have the thinnest and the least amount of stripes of all the tiger sub-spieces. Scientists think that the stripes help to camouflage the tiger and help it to hunt it's prey. It has yellow irises and round pupils in it's eyes. The eyes have a special adaptation that reflect light giving them six times better night vision than humans.

Speed

The Siberian Tiger can run up to 50 miles per hour over the snow if they want to. That's only 10 miles per hours slower than the fastest cat in the world, the cheetah!

Size

The Siberian Tiger is the largest cat in the world. The biggest one ever recorded was 1,025 pounds, while the average weight for male Siberian Tigers is 900 pounds. Male Siberian Tigers are usually about 3.5 feet tall at the shoulder and about 13 feet long from nose to tail. The tail is usually about 3 feet long.

Structure

They use their hind legs for jumping, because they are longer. The fore-legs and shoulders have much more muscle than the hind legs. They have retractable claws and are shorter than the hind legs. The Siberian Tiger's paw print, or "pug mark", can be about 5.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches wide. The Siberian Tiger's tail is usually about half as long as it's body, so they usually range from 3 to 4 feet long. They are used for balance when tigers run fast through turns and are also used to communicate with other tigers. Siberian Tigers' fur can get up to 21 inches long, to keep them warm in an area where the temperature gets down to -49 degrees farenheit. On many tigers' foreheads, there is the Chinese Wang mark, which means King in China.

Family

Tigers don't usually have full families. The male mates, and maybe waits for the cubs to be born, then leaves to mate again. The mother tiger has to get food for her cubs for about 18 months, then they can start to hunt for themselves. The cubs start to follow their mother to learn to hunt at 8 weeks old.

Territory

Territory sizes vary much in size. A male's can go from 60 to 500 square miles, and a female's can be from 20 to 200 square miles. A male may have many female's territories in their own, but a male's territory never overlaps with another male's territory. Usually, if a male enters another male's territory, they will fight. Tigers will mark their territories by either scrathcing trees or deficate around the border. Tigers will usually keep the same territory their whole lives. They will only move if food is scarce or another tiger beats them in a fight.

Numbers in Wild

The Cat Specialist Group thinks that there is about 50 Siberian Tigers in all of China. Before humans started to hunt them and destroy their habitat, there were hundreds, or even thousands of them in China alone. In the 1940's, there were only 24 Siberian tigers left in the whole world!! Now, there is an estimated 150-200 wild Siberian tigers.

Numbers Captive

Around the world, there is a total of about 490 captive Siberian Tigers. There are 226 in Europe, 151 in North America, 93 in Japan, and 20 in Asian zoos. Tigers are easy to breed when they are in zoos.

Captive Tiger Habits

Mothers that were captives from birth don't usually take care of their young. This is because they were always taken care of by humans, and they don't know that they are supposed to take care of their young.

Other Habits

Siberian Tigers are not usually people-eaters. But, there are a few instances where a Tiger might kill a human. If a person gets too close to a populated den and mommy is close by, you can say bye-bye to those people. A tiger might kill a person just for invading their territory. Still, most people-eating tigers are old and/or disabled. An accident or something like that could also cause a young, healthy tiger to become a person-eater.

Hunting

Tigers are very skilled hunters. Even so, only about 1 in every 10 or 20 trys is successful. Sometimes a tiger will roam for 6-12 miles looking for food. When the tiger spots its prey, it starts the relatively long process of catching it. First, they crouch in the grass and edge their way towards the prey. When they get close enough, they jump up and sprint at the prey. If they catch up to the prey, they jump onto it's back and hold them with 1 paw and swipe at their head with the other. Then, the tiger bites the animals neck and it dies. The tiger drags it's prey over near water and feasts.

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