Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Amazing facts of a truly magnificent beast

1. Tigers are the largest of the big cats.

2. Wild tigers are at the very top of the food chain.

3. There were originally eight subspecies of tiger, the Javan, the Bali, the Caspian, the Indochinese, the Sumatran, the Bengal, the Siberian, and the South China tiger.

4. Unbelievably three of the eight subspecies are now extinct.

5. A captive tiger can live up to twenty years, while a wild tiger can expect to live ten to fifteen years.

6. The Siberian tiger is the largest of the subspecies with an average length of 9ft 8' and an average weight of 540 pounds. It has the thickest fur and roams the largest territories.

7. The Bengal tiger is found in India and around the Nepal/China border, it is the second largest of the subspecies weighing in at around 480 pounds, and is 9ft 5' long (average).

8. The Indochinese tiger is found across most of Southeast Asia, it is 8ft 8' long and weighs in at 380 pounds (average).

9. The South China tiger is 8ft 1' long and weighs in at 336 pounds (average).

10. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest remaining subspecies, with an average length of 7ft 8' and a weight of 250 pounds.

11. The heaviest recorded tiger was a Siberian weighing in at an amazing 1,025 pounds.

12. It is impossible to count how many tigers are left in the wild but experts estimate the number to be less than 6000.

13. The tiger's saliva is antiseptic and comes in handy for cleaning their wounds.

14. An adult wild tiger is a solitary animal and will establish its own territory, which can cover over 100 square miles.

15. A tiger marks its territory by spraying surrounding trees and bushes with urine, dropping prominently placed scat, and leaving deep scratch marks on tree trunks.

16. In the scent of the tigers urine and scat is a code which can only be deciphered by other wild tigers. The message not only acts as a warning to trespassers, but will also attract a would-be mate.

17. A tiger will circumnavigate its territory every few days.

18. Tiger stripes are individually as unique as the human finger print.

19. If you were to shave the fur from a tiger it would still have stripes.

20. Tiger stripes act as perfect camouflage in tall weeds and grass.

21. The tigers most developed sense is its hearing.

22. A tiger can only usually expect a one in twenty success rate when bringing down prey.

23. On average a tiger can eat up to 60 pounds of meat at one time.

24. After a feed, a tiger will usually bury the remaining animal carcass in an attempt to hide it from scavengers, and then exhume it for its next meal.

25. In a part of India called the Sunderbans, tigers have been known to eat man.

26. To deter these attacks villagers wear masks on the back of their heads as attacks are always from behind.

27. A tiger can spend up to eighteen hours sleeping.

28. Tigers can swim and like to cool down by sitting neck deep in water holes.

29. Tiger cubs are blind at birth.

30. A tiger cub can gain 100 grams in weight per day.

31. It is believed that the two white dots on the back of a tiger's ears are designed to act as a visual beacon to enable the cubs to follow their parent.

32. A tiger cub will make its first kill around 18 months of age.

33. All tigers have a similar marking on their forehead,which resembles the Chinese symbol Wang, meaning King.

34. Tigers do not purr.

35. Usually before mating, as a sign of affection,tigers make a kind of chuffing sound by expelling air softly through the nostrils.

36. Unlike the domestic cat the tigers pupils are round.

37. The tiger's foot print is known as the pug mark, and its measurement is sometimes the only method of recording wild tigers.

38. Like the domestic cat the tigers claws are retractable.

39. There are five toes on a tigers forefeet and four on its hind feet.

40. A tiger's night vision is six times greater than a human's.

41. A tiger's canine teeth can grow up to three inches long and would be capable of crunching through the vertebrae of any creature on this earth.

42. Adult tigers have thirty teeth.

43. On average a tiger's tail is around four feet long or half the length of its body. The tail gives the tiger extra balance when running and is also used to communicate to other tigers.

44. The tendons in a tiger's leg are so strong that an animal has been known to remain standing after it has been shot dead.

45. The fore limbs of a tiger are more powerful than the hind limbs for grabbing large prey.

46. Tigers move both legs on one side of the body almost simultaneously when they walk.

47. The South China tiger has a slightly different shaped skull to the other subspecies, its eye sockets are deeper and it has a slight hump on the back of its neck.

48. Most tigers are orange with black stripes and a white underbelly and jowl.

49. A white tiger is not an albino, all white tigers are believed to have descended from a single white Bengal male called Mohan.

50. Every single part of the tiger is used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1000 years.

52. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that any of these remedies work.

53. Tiger parts are also used as trophies, trinkets and aids to ward off evil spirits.

54. In Asia, illegal tiger farms operate to supply tigers for the traditional Chinese medicine market.

55. The Siberian tiger was declared an endangered species and awarded protection.

56. In 1959 The South China tiger was declared a pest and a bounty was placed on its head.

57. In 1959 there were approximately 4000 South China tigers in the wild.

58. Between 1960 and 1984, 3000 South China tiger pelts were officially recorded.

59. Now the Chinese government is completely dedicated to saving the South China tiger.

60. As the trade for tiger parts has now been forced underground the incentives for poachers have greatly increased, one tiger carcass can mean as much as ten years pay.

61. Tiger powders and potions can be bought all over the USA, Europe and the UK.

62. There are believed to be 120 outlets selling tiger derivatives in Australia alone.

63. Tiger populations are being cut off as their territories shrink and the corridors which join them together are being destroyed.

64. It is estimated that Bengal tigers are still being killed by poachers and villagers at the rate of one per day.

65. A single brewery in Taiwan imported 2,000kg of tiger bone annually during the 1980's, the equivalent of 100-200 tiger carcasses, to produce 100,000 bottles of tiger wine.

66. There are now more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild.

67. We could lose the wild tiger in as little as five years time.

Please help save this magnificent creature....Before it is too late.
ps: This magnificent picture shows the beauty of a fully grown Bengal Tiger....courtesy of Google :)