Table of Contents - Jump to Section
- Pictures of Tigers
- Pictures of Tigers' Faces
- Pictures of Tigers Sleeping
- Pictures of Tiger Cubs
- Pictures of White Tigers
- Pictures of Tigers in Water
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Pictures of Tigers
The tiger is the largest cat species and is recognizable by its characteristic orange fur and black stripes. Like humans and fingerprints, no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. Researchers believe that tigers’ stripes serve as camouflage, concealing them in forest shadows as they hunt their prey.
Once numbering over 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century, the tiger has become an endangered species with 3,000-4,000 currently living in the wild, mainly in northeastern China, Korea, Russia, and parts of India and the Himalayan region. This dramatic population reduction is a result of habitat destruction and poaching for fur and body parts. Most tigers live in zoos, with the largest captive populations in the United States (about 4,700) and China (about 4,000).
In descending order of population, the six subspecies of tiger living today are the Bengal tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Siberian tiger, and the South China tiger. The Bengal tiger, also called the Indian tiger, is the most numerous subspecies. They have coats ranging from yellow to light orange in color and stripes that are either dark brown or black. Males weigh 180-260 kg (400-570 lb), with females a bit smaller.
Pictures of Tigers’ Faces
Bengal tigers, the most numerous tiger subspecies, have the longest canines of any large cat. Their canines can be as long as 10 centimeters (4 inches)! You can see these teeth up close in some of the photos below. Also notice that stripes around tigers’ eyes tend to be symmetrical, but stripes around the face are often asymmetrical.
Pictures of Tigers Sleeping
Tigers spend most of their time sleeping and resting. On average, they spend about 16 hours per day sleeping, twice as much as humans! Why do tigers spend so much time sleeping? Tigers live in a continual cycle of hunting, eating, and resting. A tiger’s hunt for prey uses a lot of energy, and only about one in every 10-20 hunts is successful. So, when they're not hunting, you'll usually see tigers resting and conserving energy.
Pictures of Tiger Cubs
A female tiger gives birth to a litter of about 2-3 cubs. She gives birth to her cubs in a sheltered den, such as a thicket or cave, and she rears her cubs alone. Cubs are born blind and helpless and don’t open their eyes until they are 1-2 weeks old. At age 3-6 months, cubs travel with their mother as she roams her territory, and she teaches them how to hunt. Cubs don’t separate from their mothers until they are about 2–2½ years old.
The next set of photos shows Siberian tiger cubs at the Buffalo Zoo in New York.
The next set of photos is of Siberian tiger cubs at the Zürich Zoo in Switzerland. A male named Lailek and two females named Luva and Liska were born on May 15, 2011 at the zoo.
The next set of photos is of Sumatran tiger cubs at the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany.
Pictures of White Tigers
Though some people mistakenly believe that the white tiger is its own subspecies, it is actually a rare genetic variation of the Bengal tiger. The white tiger’s color is a recessive trait caused by a lack of red and yellow pigments that produce the tiger’s normally orange color. White tigers are occasionally spotted in the wild, but they are more common in captivity. There are several hundred white tigers in captivity around the world, most of which have been deliberately bred. In addition to their unusual color, white tigers tend to be a bit larger than normal tigers.
Pictures of Tigers in Water
Tigers and jaguars are the only cats that enjoy swimming and resting in water. Tigers are such strong swimmers that they can swim up to 29 kilometers (18 miles) in a single day. Tigers will go into the water to hunt prey, swim for fun, or cool off on a hot day.