Tiger Facts for Kids
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What is a Tiger?
Tigers are mammals. Tigers are solitary animals, meaning they prefer to live alone. The only time a male and the female tiger will get together is to mate.
A male tiger is called a tiger. A female tiger is called a tigress and a baby tiger is called a cub.
Tigers need three things to survive water, dense vegetation and a healthy supply of food.
A tiger’s scientific name is Panthera Tigris.
What do Tigers Look Like?
Tigers are one of the most recognizable animals in the entire world. Almost all tigers have a red-orange coat with black stripes.
White tigers are very rare. White tigers are born with a gene that causes them to be white. Only 1 out of 10,000 tigers are born white tigers.
Not only does the tiger’s coat have stripes but their skin also stripped.
Like our fingerprints, no two tigers have the same stripe pattern.
Tigers have very 30 large sharp teeth including 4 long canine teeth that they use for hunting.
Tigers have a long thick tongue. Their tongue is not soft, it is coated with tiny sharp bumps. Tigers use their tongues to lick hair and skin off their prey before they eat. Tigers also use their tongues to lick and clean themselves and mothers also use their tongues to clean their cubs.
They have powerful jaws and a very muscular body. Tigers have big shoulders that they use for picking up and dragging their prey.
Tigers have long thick, sensitive hairs called whiskers that grow on the sides of their upper lip and above its eyes. Whiskers help the tiger feel for objects at night. They also help the tiger feel for how big spaces are that they need to walk through.
Like all large cats, tigers walk on their toes. They retract its claws when walking. They do not leave claw prints in their footprints
A tigers back legs are longer than there front legs. This helps the tiger jump far distances. A tiger can jump up to 23 feet.
Tiger and lion skeletons are so similar that it is almost impossible to tell them apart without skin.
Tigers have an excellent sense of sight. They usually hunt at night when their vision is about six times better than a human. Tigers eyes have been called the brightest of any animals. This is because they have a reflective coating inside their eyes that reflect small amounts of light.
Even though tigers have excellent eyesight, it is hard for them to see animals or objects that are still and not moving.
A tiger’s hearing is their best sense. They can hear the slightest sound.
Types of Tigers
There are one species of tiger in the world. That species is broken down into nine subspecies.
Malayan Tiger,Panthera Tigris Jacksoni: Became a sub-species in 2004. Lives in Southeast Asia and is critically endangered.
Sumatran Tiger, Panthera Tigris Sumatrae: Smallest of all tigers. Lives in Sumatra a small Indonesian island and is critically endangered.
Siberian Tiger or Amur Tiger,Panthera Tigirs Altaica: Lives in Eastern Sibera
Bengal Tiger, Panthera Tigirs Tigirs: Most common of all tigers. Lives in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.
South China Tiger, Panthera Tigris Amoyensis: most Critically endangered. Lives in South China.
Caspian Tiger, Bali Tiger and Javan Tiger are all extinct.
Largest Cats in the World
Tigers are in the cat family and is the largest cat in the world. They are the 3rd largest carnivore in the world. A carnivore is a meat-eating animal. Polar Bears are the largest and Brown Bears are the second largest.
Depending on the species, tigers can range in size from 6 feet – 11 feet long with a 3-foot long tail. They can weigh between 250-1,000 pounds.
The largest subspecies of tiger are the Siberian or Amur tiger.
A habitat is an animal’s natural home or environment.
Tigers live on the continent of Asia. hundreds of years ago, they were found all across the big continent. Today, there are fewer tigers that live in only certain areas of Aisa.
Tigers live in different habitats depending on subspecies. Their habitats include grasslands, forest, jungles, swamps, and mountainous areas.
Siberian tigers live in cold climates in the mountainous areas of both China and Russia. Siberian tigers do not like grasslands.
Bengal tigers live in humid, tropical forests or sometimes called jungles with thick plants and tree growth.
Some people believe that lions and tigers live together or in the same area. This isn’t true at all. Lions mainly live in Africa, with a small number living in the Gir Forest in India. Lions prefer to live in open grasslands where tigers prefer to live in thick woods or forests.
Tigers like to live alone, they will mark off an area that is just for them called a territory. They will mark their territory with urine or feces. Sometimes they will use their claws to scratch up trees.
Tigers mark their territory so that other tigers know that the area is taken. A tiger’s territory can be as little as 6 miles or in areas where there isn’t a lot of food up to 600 miles.
Tigers are an endangered species. Many efforts are being made to help this endangered animal. The number of tigers living in their natural habitat is on the rise however, today there are less than 4,000 tigers living in the wild.
Tigers prefer to live alone. The only time male and female tigers will come together are to mate to have babies. After the female tiger becomes pregnant the male tiger will leave and the female will give birth and raise her cubs on her own.
Mother tigers are pregnant for around 4 months approximately 100 days.
When she is ready to give birth the female tiger will find a safe and sheltered place called a den or lair. The lair/den maybe a cave or an area with a lot of plants that is hidden.
A female tiger will give birth usually to 1-4 cubs but on rare occasions can give birth to 5-6 cubs.
Cubs are born with their eyes closed. They will open their eyes when they are around 2 weeks old.
Cubs will solely depend on their mother’s milk as a food source for the first two months of their lives. After two months the mother tiger will go out to hunt and bring back meat for her cubs. Cubs will eat meat but also drink milk from their mother for six months.
Many tiger cubs do not survive. Many will die from starvation. Others will become prey for animals such as jackals, hyenas, or pythons.
Cubs will start to come out of their den when their eyes open. They usually stay close to their mother, but she will leave them to go out hunting.
Since cubs cannot walk fast, their mother will often carry them by griping them by extra skin behind their necks with their teeth.
Cubs are born with baby teeth. As they grow, their adult teeth will grow in next to their baby teeth.
A mother tiger will teach her cubs how to hunt. At first, she will bring the cubs to the new hunted prey to eat. Then she will start to teach her cub’s different hunting techniques. As they improve on their hunting skills she will show them how to hunt small prey. She will watch and help them catch the small animals. As they get better she will leave them to hunt on their own.
Mother tigers will also teeth their cubs to swim. If the cub does not want to go in the water. The mother cub will sometimes grab the cub and drop it in the water.
Male cubs grow faster than females. When tigers are about 2 years old, they leave their mothers to live on their own.
Tiger Hunting Facts
Both the male and female tigers hunt. Tigers like to hunt alone at night. They have excellent eyesight for catching prey.
Tigers hunt different types of deer, buffalo, antelopes, wild boars, baby elephant and rhinos and most other animals they can catch.
Tigers like to sneak up on their prey, they watch it then sprint to catch it. They bite their prey throat or back of the neck to kill it.
A tiger can eat up 60 pounds of meat at one time but usually, they eat around 11 pounds per feeding.
It can take a couple of days for the tiger to eat their entire prey. They will eat until they are full then cover the animal with leaves and dirt to hide it. When they are hungry again they will go back to finish eating.
More fun Tiger Facts
Unlike other cats, tigers like the water. They like to live by the water. Tigers can swim up to 4 miles at one time.
A tigers roar can be heard over 2 miles away.
Tigers a solitary animals, meaning they like to live alone. Other than mother’s taking care of cubs, you rarely see them in a group. In the rare occasion when you see a group together it is called an Ambush or Streak.
Tigers can live up to 26 years in captivity and 10-15 years in the wild.
Tigers are an endangered species. Hundreds of years ago thousands of tigers roamed the continent of Asia. Today there are more tigers living in captivity than in the wild.
Many efforts are being made to help this endangered animal. The number of tigers living in their natural habitat is on the rise however, today there are less than 4,000 tigers living in the wild.
The only predator to a tiger is a human. Tigers are often killed for their fur and bones.
Tigers are also dying due to loss of habitat. More and more trees are being cut down leaving fewer areas for tigers to live and less for tigers to hunt.
One of the most famous and well-known tigers is Winnie-the-Pooh’s beloved friend Tigger. Tigger is an active and lovable tiger who likes to bounce up and down on his tail.
Shere Khan from Disney’s The Jungle Book, is a popular tiger villain
Rajah – Who can forget Princess Jasmine’s favorite pet in Disney’s Aladdin
Tony the Tiger– The cereal mascot who is on boxes of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. His famous saying is “They’re Grrrrrreat!”
Daniel the Tiger– Daniel the Tiger is the main character in the PPS show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Vitaly – Vitaly is the Tiger from Madagascar 3
Diego – Diego is the saber-tooth tiger from the Ice Age movies
Richard Parker- Richard Parker is the tiger from the movie Life of Pi
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