Bengal Tiger

Classification

Common name- Bengal Tiger

Scientific name- Panthera Tigris Tigris or Panthera Tigris bengalensis

Kingdom- Animalia

Phylum- Chardata

Class- Mammalia

Order- Carnivora

Family- Felidae

Genus- Panthera

Species- Tigris

Habitat

The Bengal Tiger can be found in India as well as, Bengladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. Bengal tigers are often found in Tropical Rainforest's as well as dense forest, marshlands swamplands and tall grasses through out the Indian subcontinent. National parks in these countries as Sundarbans and Ranthambore are home to most of these. There is also an important town in Nepal, mainly in the park Chitawan.

Fast facts

  • Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are renowned for their power and strength.
  • A tiger's roar can be heard as far as 2 miles away.
  • The life span of tigers in the wild is thought to be about 10 years. Tigers in zoos live twice as long.
  • Due to a retinal adaptation that reflects light back to the retina, the night vision of tigers is six times better than that of humans.



Anatomy

Diet

Tigers eat a variety that ranges from termites to elephant calves. They normally eat large-bodied prey such as moose, deer, pigs, cows, horses, buffaloes, and goats. They may consume tapirs, elephants, and rhinoceros calves, bears, leopards, and wild dogs.


  • They are powerful nocturnal hunters that travel many miles to find buffalo, deer, wild pigs, and other large mammals.
  • Bengal Tigers like many other predators usually look for weak or young animals that are easier to catch than larger, older and faster animals
  • Tigers consume up to 40kg (88 pounds) of meat at once
  • It is estimated that every tiger consumes about 50 deer-sized animals each year, about one per week.
  • A tiger can eat 100 pounds of meat a night


Adaptations

Bengal Tigers are adapted because they are quick and aile, enabling them to hunt down escaping prey with ease. They also have very powerful jaws for biting the neck/ throat of their prey when hunting. An adaptation for the bengal tiger is that it has soft pads on its paws so that they can creep up silently on prey. The Bengal tiger can catch big animals, but prefers killing either young or old animals because they don't run as fast. The paws have retractable claws which are used for gripping and tearing flesh. The Bengal tiger scratches at trees to sharpen claws, and it serves as a territorial mark. An adaptation for the bengal tiger is that it has soft pads on its paws so that they can creep up silently on prey.

Threats

Wild tiger numbers are at an all-time low. We have lost 97% of wild tigers in just over a century. Tigers may be one of the most revered animals, but they are also vulnerable to extinction. As few as 3,200 exist in the wild today. Tigers have lost 93% of their historic range. Their habitat has been destroyed, degraded and fragmented by human activities, including the clearing of forests for agriculture and timber trade and development activities such as the building of road networks. Fewer tigers can survive in small, scattered islands of habitat, which lead to a higher risk of inbreeding. These small islands of habitat also make tigers more vulnerable to poaching. As forests shrink and prey gets scarce, tigers are forced to hunt domestic livestock, which many local communities depend on for their livelihood. Therefore the consequence is getting captured and killed.

Life cycle of a Bengal Tiger

Females give birth to litters of two to six cubs, which they raise with little or no help from the male. Cubs cannot hunt until they are 18 months old and remain with their mothers for two to three years, when they disperse to find their own territory. Tiger cubs are born blind and weigh only about 2 to 3 pounds (1 kg), depending on the subspecies. They live on milk for 6-8 weeks before the female begins taking them to kills to feed. Tigers have fully developed canines by 16 months of age, but they do not begin making their own kills until about 18 months of age. Most young are born between February and May, and after a gestation between 98 and 108 days, give birth to a litter of 1 to 6 cubs (usually 2 to 4) of 1.1 kg. The life expectancy for male Bengal tiger is between 10 to 12 years, while for female is slightly longer, but the specimens in captivity can live to 26 years.