Length: 86 - 107 inches
Weight: 220 - 380 lbs
Gestation: 103 days
Offspring: 2 - 4
Life Span: 15 years
The tiger is one of the most feared animals in the world. That is probably because it is the largest of the felids, although the Sumatran tiger is smaller than the Indian tiger. The tiger is known for its stripes, and the Sumatran tiger has stripes that are a little closer to each other than some other subspecies of tiger. Tigers have very muscular front legs (forepaws) with large paws armed with large, sharp claws. They have strong back legs that are designed for pouncing on prey. Its jaw is shortened, which gives it more power when eating.
Tigers eat mostly sambar, chital, Red deer, Swamp deer, Rusa deer, and Wild pigs. Occasionally, however, they will kill a rhino or elephant calf. About one in ten or twenty attempts to catch prey is successful. Unlike the cheetah, the large tiger cannot outrun most of its prey. Instead, it relies on the element of surprise by hiding in the tall grass and ambushing it prey.
Unlike the cheetah and lion, the tiger does not live in open areas. They rely on ambushing their prey, which requires something to hide them. As a result, they prefer to live in moderate to dense cover.
The basic social unit for tigers is the mother and young. Rarely do the males stay with a specific group. A female and her young will occupy their territory, which will probably border another female tigerís territory. A single male will patrol an area containing 3 or 4 females. The borders are marked through scent and visual signs such as scratches on trees.
After a gestation period of about 103 days, the mother tiger gives birth to 2-4 cubs. The cubs weight about 2.2 pounds each, are totally blind, and completely helpless. The mother raises them alone, since the male tiger does not stay with any one of his several mates. The mother hunts and periodically returns to her den to feed her cubs. Later, the cubs will join her on the hunt and will learn the art from their mother.
Like most cats, the tiger has great eyesight, hearing and smell. These are all relied on to help it catch its prey. Smell is also used to deter other tigers from oneís territory.