The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the biggest extant cat species and a member of the genus Panthera. It’s most recognizable for its darkish vertical stripes on orange-brown fur with a lighter underside. It’s an apex predator, primarily preying on ungulates comparable to deer and wild boar. It’s territorial and customarily a solitary however social predator, requiring massive contiguous areas of habitat, which assist its necessities for prey and rearing of its offspring. Tiger cubs stick with their mom for about two years, earlier than they change into unbiased and go away their mom’s house vary to determine their very own.
The tiger as soon as ranged extensively from the Jap Anatolia Area within the west to the Amur River basin, and within the south from the foothills of the Himalayas to Bali within the Sunda Islands. For the reason that the early 20th century, tiger populations have misplaced not less than 93% of their historic vary and have been extirpated in Western and Central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and in massive areas of Southeast and South Asia and China. As we speak tiger vary is fragmented, stretching from Siberian temperate forests to subtropical and tropical forests on the Indian subcontinent and Sumatra.
The tiger is listed as endangered on the IUCN Pink Listing. As of 2015, the worldwide wild tiger inhabitants were estimated to quantity between 3,062 and three,948 mature people, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets remoted from one another. The main causes of inhabitants’ decline embody habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, and poaching. This, coupled with the truth that it lives in among the extra densely populated locations on Earth, has triggered important conflicts with people.
The tiger is among the many most recognizable and standard of the world’s charismatic megafauna. It featured prominently in historical mythology and folklore and continues to be depicted in fashionable movies and literature, showing on many flags, coats of arms, and as mascots for sporting groups. The tiger is the nationwide animal of India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and South Korea.
There’s a notable sexual dimorphism between female and male tigers, with the latter being persistently smaller. The dimensions distinction between them is proportionally larger within the massive tiger subspecies, with males weighing as much as 1.7 occasions greater than females. Males even have wider forepaw pads, enabling intercourse to be recognized from tracks. It has been hypothesized that the physique measurement of various tiger populations could also be correlated with local weather and be defined by thermoregulation and Bergmann’s rule, or by distribution and measurement of obtainable prey species.
Typically, males fluctuate in complete size from 250 to 390 cm (8.2 to 12.Eight ft) and weigh between 90 and 300 kg (200 and 660 lb) with cranium size starting from 316 to 383 mm (12.four to 15.1 in). Females fluctuate in complete size from 200 to 275 cm (6.56 to 9.02 ft), weigh 65 to 167 kg (143 to 368 lb) with cranium size starting from 268 to 318 mm (0.879 to 1.043 ft). In both intercourses, the tail represents about 0.6 to 1.1 m (24 to 43 in) of the overall size. The Bengal and Siberian tigers are amongst the tallest cats in the shoulder peak. They’re additionally ranked among the many greatest cats which have ever existed reaching weights of greater than 300 kg (660 lb). The tigers of the Sunda islands are smaller and fewer heavy than tigers in mainland Asia, hardly ever exceeding 142 kg (313 lb) in weight
There are three color variants — white, golden, and stripeless snow white — that now hardly ever happen within the wild because of the discount of untamed tiger populations, however proceed in captive populations. The white tiger has white fur and sepia brown stripes. The golden tiger has a pale golden pelage with a blond tone and reddish-brown stripes. The snow-white tiger is a morph with extraordinarily faint stripes and a pale reddish-brown ringed tail. Each snow white and golden tigers are homozygous for CORIN gene mutations. A black tiger is a color variant attributable to pseudo-melanism. They’ve thick stripes shut collectively in order that the background color is barely seen between stripes.
The white tiger lacks pheomelanin (which creates the orange coloration) and has darkish sepia-brown stripes and blue eyes. This altered pigmentation is attributable to a mutant gene that’s inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, which is set by a white locus. It’s not an albino, because the black pigments are scarcely affected. The mutation modifications a single amino acid within the transporter protein SLC45A2. Each mother and father must have the allele for whiteness to have white cubs. Between the early and mid 20th century, white tigers had been recorded and shot within the Indian states of Odisha, Bihar, Assam and within the space of Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.
The native maharaja began breeding tigers within the early 1950s and saved a white male tiger along with its normal-colored daughter; that they had white cubs. To protect this recessive trait, just a few white people had been utilized in captive breeding, which led to an excessive diploma of inbreeding. Inbreeding despair is the primary motive for a lot of well-being issues of captive white tigers, together with strabismus, stillbirth, deformities, and untimely demise. Different bodily defects embody cleft palate and scoliosis.
The Tiger Species Survival Plan has condemned the breeding of white tigers, alleging they’re of combined ancestry and of unknown lineage. The genes chargeable for white coloration are represented by 0.001% of the inhabitants. The disproportionate progress in numbers of white tigers factors to inbreeding amongst homozygous recessive people. This may result in inbreeding despair and a lack of genetic variability.