Just Emkaying: Know your tiger Part 1

Feb 9, 2010

Know your tiger Part 1

As part of our ongoing campaign to contribute towards the "Save our Tigers"campaign , we have planned a series of posts about Tigers. This is to create awareness about these beautiful creatures and educate people about them.

(Most of the information has been studied and learnt form other sites, and the links will be given at the end of the post)

What are Tigers?

Tigers are part of the cat family, scientifically known as Panthera Tigris. They are apex predators and are Carnivores(am sure you knew that!!!), which means they are on the top of the food chain, and survive from nutrients in their prey's flesh.

( From the Family:Felidae, Sub Family:Pantherinae, Genus:Panthera)

Tigers are part of the" Panthera" Genus which they share with what are also known as the Big Four Cats, namely Lions (Panthera leo), Leopards (Panthera Pardus) and Jaguars (Panthera Onca)

Other famous members of the Felidae family are the Cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus) and Domestic Cats (Felius Catus) However they belong to another Sub Family all together (Feline)

How Do Tigers Look?

Tigers are large Cats . They can reach lengths of more than 3 meters and weigh up to 300 kilograms. These animals are characterized by large dark stripes from the top to the bottom of their body, which run along thick fur;tthe colour of which ranges from a dark orange/red to near white with lighter under colours.

A popular misunderstanding is that the white coloured tigers are a seperate sub species. However that isnt true.The White Bengal tiger, for instance isnt a "white" tiger. Its colour arises from a recessive gene which gives it the pale white colour and blue eyes.

Another example is of the white siberian Tiger, the existence of which has not been proved, though there have been reported sightings of white tigers in the areas where Siberian tigers live.It could also be possible that Siberian tigers that had a gene for natural white coating have been extinct long back.

Additionally,there have been so far no white siberian tigers born in captivity, and the white siberian tigers that you see at Zoos are because of the breeding of the Bengal Tiger and Siberian Tigers. The Bengal tiger most commonly has the gene for white coating.

Where did the name Tiger come from?

Wikipedia says...
"The word "tiger" is taken from the Greek word "tigris", which is possibly derived from a Persian source meaning "arrow", a reference to the animal's speed and also the origin for the name of the Tigris river. "

Where do they live?

Tigers are usually found in the dense cover of Forests. These forests can range from mangroves to semi evergreen to deciduous forests. Unlike lorides of Lions, dense vegetation is well suited for Tigers to hunt. Most Tiger habitats will have easy access to prey and water and dense cover.Tigers are good at swimming and will actively seek out water body's to relax in the high temperatures of the day.

The Problem today...

Tiger Habitats once extended from Western Asia to Siberia and Indonesia. In the 19th century the Tigers vanished from Western Asia. Modernization and human civilization along with poaching has lead to these magnificent creatures disappearing from their habits. Today Tigers are endagered and protected species. Their Major habitats are now around India, Sumatra, China and south East Asia. The Tigers on Java and Bali were extinct in early 20th century, and the tigers of Borneo are only recognized by their Fossil Remains.

There are numerous programs which have been up to save these creatures, but unfortunately corruption,poaching and illegal hunting of these creatures have driven tiger populations to the brink of extinction.

This is part one in a series of Posts on the Tiger in an effort to create awareness on Tiger conservation. More interesting topics coming up. Meanwhile please log on to www.saveourtigers.com

Keep Roaring!!!


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