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Tiger
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{{redirect|Tigress|other uses|Tiger (disambiguation)|and|Tigress (disambiguation)}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{good article}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2014}} {{Short description|Largest species of the cat family}}{{Speciesbox| taxon = Panthera tigris style="vertical-align: top;"|Bengal tiger style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;" style="vertical-align: top;"
Carl Linnaeus>Linnaeus, 1758)Early Pleistocene | Present}}| image = Panthera tigris tigris Tidoba 20150306.jpg| image_caption = Female Bengal tiger (P. t. tigris) at the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, India| status = EN| status_system = IUCN3.1 AUTHOR3 = MIQUELLE, D. AUTHOR5 = KAWANISHI, K. AUTHOR7 = HTUN, S. AUTHOR9 = KARKI, J. AUTHOR11 = KARANTH, U. PANTHERA TIGRIS > JOURNAL = THE IUCN RED LIST OF THREATENED SPECIES PAGE = E.T15955A50659951 IUCN > DATE = 2015 DOI = 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T15955A50659951.EN, 23 October 2018, | subdivision_ranks = SubspeciesMainland Asian tiger>P. t. tigris
| range_map = Tiger map.jpg
AUTHOR3=WIKRAMANAYAKE, E.AUTHOR5=SANDERSON, E.AUTHOR7=FORREST, J.AUTHOR9=HEYDLAUFF, A. JOURNAL=BIOSCIENCE ISSUE=6 YEAR=2007 ARCHIVEDATE=25 APRIL 2012 DEADURL=YES,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120425072057weblink">weblink | synonyms =
  • Tigris striatus {{small|Severtzov, 1858}}
  • Tigris regalis {{small|Gray, 1867}}
}}The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest species among the Felidae and classified in the genus Panthera. It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. It is an apex predator, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and wild boar. It is territorial and generally a solitary but social predator, requiring large contiguous areas of habitat, which support its requirements for prey and rearing of its offspring. Tiger cubs stay with their mother for about two years, before they become independent and leave their mother's home range to establish their own.The tiger once ranged widely from the Eastern Anatolia Region in the west to the Amur River basin, and in the south from the foothills of the Himalayas to Bali in the Sunda islands. Since the early 20th century, tiger populations have lost at least 93% of their historic range and have been extirpated in Western and Central Asia, from the islands of Java and Bali, and in large areas of Southeast and South Asia and China. Today's tiger range 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 Red List since 1986. As of 2015, the global wild tiger population was estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 mature individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other. Major reasons for population decline include habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and poaching. This, coupled with the fact that it lives in some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.The tiger is among the most recognisable and popular of the world's charismatic megafauna. It featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore and continues to be depicted in modern films and literature, appearing on many flags, coats of arms and as mascots for sporting teams. The tiger is the national animal of India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and South Korea.

Etymology

The Middle English tigre and Old English tigras (plural)WEB,weblink tiger, The Free Dictionary, Farlex, 6 April 2014, derive from Old French tigre, from Latin tigris. This was a borrowing of Classical Greek τίγρις 'tigris', a foreign borrowing of unknown origin meaning 'tiger' as well as the river Tigris.WEB, Liddell, H. G., Scott, R., yes,weblink τίγρις, A Greek-English Lexicon, revised and augmented, 1940, Oxford, Clarendon Press, The origin may have been the Persian word tigra meaning 'pointed or sharp', and the Avestan word tigrhi 'arrow', perhaps referring to the speed of the tiger's leap, although these words are not known to have any meanings associated with tigers.WEB, Harper, D., 2001–2011,weblink Tiger, Online Etymology Dictionary, Etymonline.com, 6 April 2014, The generic name Panthera is traceable to the Old French word 'pantère', the Latin word panthera, and the Ancient Greek word πάνθηρ 'panther'.WEB, Harper, D., 2001–2011,weblink Panther, Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 24 October 2011, The Sanskrit word पाण्डर pând-ara means 'pale yellow, whitish, white'.BOOK, Macdonell, A. A., 1929, A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation, and etymological analysis throughout, London, Oxford University Press, पाण्डर pând-ara, 95,weblink

Taxonomy and genetics

In 1758, Carl Linnaeus described the tiger in his work Systema Naturae and gave it the scientific name Felis tigris.BOOK, Linnaeus, C., 1758, Caroli Linnæi Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I, decima, reformata, Holmiae, Laurentius Salvius, 41, Felis tigris,weblink la, In 1929, the British taxonomist Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the species under the genus Panthera using the scientific name Panthera tigris.JOURNAL, Pocock, R. I., 1929, Tigers, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 33, 3, 505–541,weblink BOOK, Pocock, R. I., 1939, The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Mammalia: Volume 1, London, T. Taylor and Francis, Ltd., 197–210, Panthera tigris,weblink

Subspecies

(File:Tiger phylogenetic relationships.png|thumb|Phylogenetic relationship of tiger populations based on Driscoll et al. (2009).)Following Linnaeus's first descriptions of the species, several tiger specimens were described and proposed as subspecies.{{MSW3 Carnivora |id=14000259 |page=546 |heading=Species Panthera tigris}} The validity of several tiger subspecies was questioned in 1999. Most putative subspecies described in the 19th and 20th centuries were distinguished on basis of fur length and colouration, striping patterns and body size, hence characteristics that vary widely within populations. Morphologically, tigers from different regions vary little, and gene flow between populations in those regions is considered to have been possible during the Pleistocene. Therefore, it was proposed to recognize only two tiger subspecies as valid, namely P. t. tigris in mainland Asia, and P. t. sondaica in the Greater Sunda Islands.BOOK, Kitchener, A., 1999, Tiger distribution, phenotypic variation and conservation issues,weblink Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P., Riding the Tiger: Tiger Conservation in Human-Dominated Landscapes, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 19–39, 978-0521648356, dmy-all, Results of craniological analysis of 111 tiger skulls from Southeast Asian range countries indicate that Sumatran tiger skulls differ from Indochinese and Javan tiger skulls, whereas Bali tiger skulls are similar in size to Javan tiger skulls. The authors proposed to classify Sumatran and Javan tiger as distinct species, P. sumatrae and P. sondaica with Bali tiger as subspecies P. sondaica balica.JOURNAL, Mazák, J. H., Groves, C. P., 2006, A taxonomic revision of the tigers (Panthera tigris) of Southeast Asia, Mammalian Biology, Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 71, 5, 268–287, 10.1016/j.mambio.2006.02.007, In 2015, morphological, ecological and molecular traits of all putative tiger subspecies were analysed in a combined approach. Results support distinction of the two evolutionary groups continental and Sunda tigers. The authors proposed recognition of only two subspecies, namely P. t. tigris comprising the Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese, South Chinese, Siberian and Caspian tiger populations, and P. t. sondaica comprising the Javan, Bali and Sumatran tiger populations. The authors also noted that this reclassification will affect tiger conservation management. The nominate subspecies P. t. tigris constitutes two clades:JOURNAL, Planning tiger recovery: Understanding intraspecific variation for effective conservation, Wilting, A., Courtiol, A., P., Christiansen, J., Niedballa, A. K., Scharf, L., Orlando, N., Balkenhol, H., Hofer, S., Kramer-Schadt, J., Fickel, A. C., Kitchener, 2015, 11, 5: e1400175, 10.1126/sciadv.1400175, 26601191, 4640610, Science Advances, e1400175, 2015SciA....1E0175W,
  • a northern clade composed of the Siberian and Caspian tiger populations
  • a southern clade composed of all other mainland populations.
One conservation specialist welcomed this proposal as it would make captive breeding programmes and future rewilding of zoo-born tigers easier. One geneticist was sceptical of this study and maintained that the currently recognised nine subspecies can be distinguished genetically.JOURNAL, Kupferschmidt, K., 2015,weblink Controversial study claims there are only two types of tiger, Science, 10.1126/science.aac6905, 27 June 2015, In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group revised felid taxonomy and recognized the tiger populations in continental Asia as P. t. tigris, and those in the Sunda Islands as P. t. sondaica.JOURNAL, Kitchener, A. C., Breitenmoser-Würsten, C., Eizirik, E., Gentry, A., Werdelin, L., Wilting, A., Yamaguchi, N., Abramov, A. V., Christiansen, P., Driscoll, C., Duckworth, J. W., Johnson, W., Luo, S.-J., Meijaard, E., O’Donoghue, P., Sanderson, J., Seymour, K., Bruford, M., Groves, C., Hoffmann, M., Nowell, K., Timmons, Z., Tobe, S., 2017, A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, Cat News, Special Issue 11, 66−68,weblink The following tables are based on the classification of the species Panthera tigris provided in Mammal Species of the World. It also reflects the classification used by the Cat Classification Task Force in 2017:{| class="wikitable"
P. t. tigris {{small|(Linnaeus, 1758)}}! Populations !! Description !! Image
Linnaeus's scientific description of the tiger was based on descriptions by earlier naturalists such as Conrad Gessner and Ulisse Aldrovandi. Bengal tiger skins in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London vary from light yellow to reddish yellow with black stripes.(File:Tiger in Ranthambhore.jpg|frameless)
Caspian tiger {{small>formerly P. t. virgata (Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger, 1815)}}ILLIGER YEAR=1815 JOURNAL=ABHANDLUNGEN DER KöNIGLICHEN PREUßISCHEN AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN ZU BERLIN ISSUE= URL=HTTP://BIBLIOTHEK.BBAW.DE/BBAW/BIBLIOTHEK-DIGITAL/DIGITALEQUELLEN/SCHRIFTEN/ANZEIGE/INDEX_HTML?BAND=07-ABH/18041811&SEITE:INT=195, Illiger's description was not based on a particular specimen, but he only assumed that tigers in the Caspian area differ from those elsewhere. It was later described as having narrow and closely set stripes. The size of its skull did not differ significantly from that of the Bengal tiger. According to genetic analysis, it was closely related to the Siberian tiger.DRISCOLL >FIRST1=C. A. FIRST2=N. FIRST3=G. K. FIRST4=A. L. FIRST5=S. FIRST6=D. W. FIRST7=S. J. DOI=10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0004125 VOLUME=4 PAGES=E4125 PMID=19142238 BIBCODE=2009PLOSO...4.4125D, It had been recorded in the wild until the early 1970s and is considered extinct since the late 20th century.JACKSON, P. >AUTHOR2=NOWELL, K. TITLE=PANTHERA TIGRIS SSP. VIRGATA THE IUCN RED LIST OF THREATENED SPECIES >PUBLISHER=IUCN PAGE=E.T41505A10480967 URL=HTTPS://WWW.IUCNREDLIST.ORG/SPECIES/41505/10480967, (File:Panthera tigris virgata.jpg|frameless)
Siberian tiger {{small>formerly P. t. altaica (Coenraad Jacob Temminck, 1844)}}TEMMINCK, C. J. CHAPTER=APERçU GéNéRAL ET SPéCIFIQUE SUR LES MAMMIFèRES QUI HABITENT LE JAPON ET LES ILES QUI EN DéPENDENT LOCATION=LEIDEN EDITOR1=SIEBOLD, P. F. V. EDITOR3=SCHLEGEL, H.,weblink Temminck's description was based on an unspecified number of tiger skins with long hairs and dense coats that were traded between Korea and Japan. He assumed they originated in the Altai Mountains. The Siberian tiger was later described as having pale coats with few dark brown stripes.(File:Siberian Tiger sf.jpg|frameless)
South China tiger {{small>formerly P. t. amoyensis (Max Hilzheimer, 1905)}}HILZHEIMER, M. TITLE=ÜBER EINIGE TIGERSCHäDEL AUS DER STRAßBURGER ZOOLOGISCHEN SAMMLUNG VOLUME=28 URL=HTTPS://ARCHIVE.ORG/DETAILS/ZOOLOGISCHERANZE28DEUT/PAGE/596, Hilzheimer's description was based on five tiger skulls purchased in Hankou, southern China. These skulls differed in the size of teeth and jaw bones by a few cm from skulls of tigers from India. Skins of tigers from southern China in the fur trade were said to be vivid orange in colour with rhombus-like stripes. Because of differences in the shape of skulls, it was long thought to constitute the most ancient variety. It was noted to have a unique mtDNA haplotype.(File:2012 Suedchinesischer Tiger.JPG|frameless)
Indochinese tiger {{small>formerly P. t. corbetti Vratislav Mazák, 1968}}MAZáK YEAR=1968 JOURNAL=MAMMALIA ISSUE=1 DOI=10.1515/MAMM.1968.32.1.104, Mazák's description was based on 25 specimens in museum collections that were smaller than tigers from India and had smaller skulls.(File:Panthera tigris corbetti (Tierpark Berlin) 832-714-(118).jpg|frameless)
Malayan tiger {{small>formerly P. t. jacksoni Luo et al., 2004}}It was proposed as a distinct subspecies on the basis of Mitochondrial DNA and DNA sequences>micro-satellite sequences that differ from the Indochinese tiger.LUO, S.-J. >AUTHOR2=KIM, J.-H. AUTHOR4=VAN DER WALT, J. AUTHOR6=YUHKI, N. AUTHOR8=UPHYRKINA, O. AUTHOR10=QUIGLEY, H. B. AUTHOR12=BRADY, G. AUTHOR14=SUBRAMANIAM, V. AUTHOR16=HEAN, S. AUTHOR18=PAN, W. AUTHOR20=SUNQUIST, M. AUTHOR22=O'BRIEN, S. J. TITLE=PHYLOGEOGRAPHY AND GENETIC ANCESTRY OF TIGERS (PANTHERA TIGRIS) VOLUME=2 PAGES=E442 PMC=534810, 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020442, In pelage colour or skull size, it does not differ significantly from Indochinese tigers. There is no clear geographical barrier between tiger populations in northern Malaysia and southern Thailand.(File:Tiger in the water.jpg|frameless)
{| class="wikitable" P. t. sondaica {{small|(Temminck, 1844)}}! Populations !! Description !! Image style="vertical-align: top;"|Javan tigerTemminck based his description on an unspecified number of tiger skins with short and smooth hair. Tigers from Java were small compared to tigers of the Asian mainland.MAZáK, J. H. >AUTHOR2=GROVES, C. P. TITLE=A TAXONOMIC REVISION OF THE TIGERS (PANTHERA TIGRIS) VOLUME=71 PAGES=268–287 URL=HTTP://ARTS.ANU.EDU.AU/GROVCO/TIGER%20SEASIA%20MAZAK.PDF ARCHIVEDATE=6 SEPTEMBER 2007,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070906122850weblink">weblink (File:Panthera tigris sondaica 01.jpg|frameless) style="vertical-align: top;"Bali tiger {{small>formerly P. t. balica (Ernst Schwarz (zoologist), 1912)}}SCHWARZ YEAR=1912 JOURNAL=ANNALS AND MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY VOLUME=SERIES 8 VOLUME 10 URL=HTTPS://ARCHIVE.ORG/STREAM/ANNALSMAGAZINEOF8101912LOND#PAGE/324/MODE/2UP, 10.1080/00222931208693243, Schwarz based his description on a skin and a skull of an adult female tiger from Bali. He argued that its fur colour is brighter and its skull smaller than of tigers from Java. A typical feature of Bali tiger skulls is the narrow occipital plane, which is analogous with the shape of skulls of Javan tigers.MAZAK >FIRST1=V. FIRST2=C. P. FIRST3=P. TITLE=SKIN AND SKULL OF THE BALI TIGER, AND A LIST OF PRESERVED SPECIMENS OF PANTHERA TIGRIS BALICA (SCHWARZ, 1912) VOLUME=43 PAGES=108–113, (File:Bali tiger zanveld.jpg|frameless) style="vertical-align: top;"Sumatran tiger {{small>formerly P. t. sumatrae Reginald Innes Pocock, 1929}}POCOCK, R. I. TITLE=TIGERS VOLUME=33 PAGES=505–541,weblink Pocock described a dark skin of a tiger from Sumatra as type specimen that had numerous and densely-set broad stripes. Its skull was a little larger than the skull of a tiger from Bali. It is the smallest of all living tigers. The reasons for its Island dwarfing compared to mainland tigers are unclear, but probably the result of competition for limited and small prey. The population is thought to be of Asia mainland origin and to have been isolated about 6,000 to 12,000 years ago after a rise in sea-level created Sumatra.CRACRAFT LAST2=FEINSTEIN LAST3=VAUGHN LAST4=HELM-BYCHOWSKI TITLE=SORTING OUT TIGERS (PANTHERA TIGRIS): MITOCHONDRIAL SEQUENCES, NUCLEAR INSERTS, SYSTEMATICS, AND CONSERVATION GENETICS VOLUME=1 URL=HTTP://RESEARCH.AMNH.ORG/VZ/ORNITHOLOGY/PDFS/1998C.%20TIGER%20CONSERVATION.PDF YEAR=1998, 10.1111/j.1469-1795.1998.tb00021.x, (File:Panthera tigris sumatran subspecies.jpg|frameless)A study published in 2018 was based on 32 tiger specimens using the whole-genome sequencing approach for analysis. Results support six monophyletic tiger clades corresponding with the living subspecies and indicate that the most recent common ancestor lived about 110,000 years ago.JOURNAL, Liu, Y.-C., X., Sun, C., Driscoll, D. G., Miquelle, X., Xu, P., Martelli, O., Uphyrkina, J. L. D., Smith, S. J., O’Brien, S.-J., Luo, Genome-wide evolutionary analysis of natural history and adaptation in the world's tigers, Current Biology, 28, 23, 2018, 3840–3849, 10.1016/j.cub.2018.09.019, 30482605,

Evolution

(File:Longdan tiger.png|thumb|upright|Restoration of a Panthera zdanskyi skull, an extinct tiger relative whose fossil remains were found in northwest China)The tiger's closest living relatives were previously thought to be the Panthera species lion, leopard and jaguar. Results of genetic analysis indicate that about 2.88 million years ago, the tiger and the snow leopard lineages diverged from the other Panthera species, and that both may be more closely related to each other than to the lion, leopard and jaguar.JOURNAL, Johnson, W. E., Eizirik, E., Pecon-Slattery, J., Murphy, W. J., Antunes, A., Teeling, E., O'Brien, S. J., 2006, The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment, Science (journal), Science, 311, 5757, 73–77, 10.1126/science.1122277, 16400146, 2006Sci...311...73J, JOURNAL, Davis, B. W., Li, G., Murphy, W. J., Supermatrix and species tree methods resolve phylogenetic relationships within the big cats, Panthera (Carnivora: Felidae), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2010, 56, 1, 64–76, 20138224, 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.01.036, Fossil remains of Panthera zdanskyi were excavated in Gansu province of northwestern China. This species lived at the beginning of the Pleistocene about two million years ago, and is considered to be a sister taxon of the modern tiger. It was about the size of a jaguar and probably had a different coat pattern. Despite being considered more "primitive", it was functionally and possibly also ecologically similar to the modern tiger. Northwestern China is thought to be the origin of the tiger lineage. Tigers grew in size, possibly in response to adaptive radiations of prey species like deer and bovids, which may have occurred in Southeast Asia during the early Pleistocene.JOURNAL, 2011, Oldest Known Pantherine Skull and Evolution of the Tiger, PLoS ONE, 6, 10, e25483, 10.1371/journal.pone.0025483, 22016768, Mazák, J. H., Christiansen, P., Kitchener, A. C., 2011PLoSO...625483M, 3189913, Panthera tigris trinilensis lived about 1.2 million years ago and is known from fossils excavated near Trinil in Java.JOURNAL, Hemmer, H., Fossil mammals of Java. II. Zur Fossilgeschichte des Tigers (Panthera tigris (L.)) in Java, Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, B, 74, 1, 1971, 35–52, The Wanhsien, Ngandong, Trinil and Japanese tigers became extinct in prehistoric times.JOURNAL, Hasegawa, Y., Tomida, Y., Kohno, N., Ono, K., Nokariya, H., Uyeno, T., 1988, Quaternary vertebrates from Shiriya area, Shimokita Pininsula, northeastern Japan, Memoirs of the National Science Museum, 21, 17–36, Tigers reached India and northern Asia in the late Pleistocene, reaching eastern Beringia, Japan, and Sakhalin. Some fossil skulls are morphologically distinct from lion skulls, which could indicate tiger presence in Alaska during the last glacial period, about 100,000 years ago.BOOK, The Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives: An Illustrated Guide to Their Evolution and Natural History, Turner, A., Antón, M., 1997, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-10228-5,weblink Mauricio Antón, In the Philippine island of Palawan, two articulated phalanx bones were found amidst an assemblage of other animal bones and stone tools in Ille Cave near the village of New Ibajay. They were smaller than mainland tiger fossils, possibly due to insular dwarfism. Otherwise, it would appear that early humans had accumulated the bones,JOURNAL, Piper, P. J., Ochoa, J., Lewis, H., Paz, V., Ronquillo, W. P., The first evidence for the past presence of the tiger Panthera tigris (L.) on the island of Palawan, Philippines: extinction in an island population, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 2008, 264, 1–2, 123–127, 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.04.003, so it may be that the tiger parts were imported from elsewhere, or that the tiger colonised Palawan from Borneo before the Holocene, considering the proximity of the two islands.BOOK, Van der Geer, A., Lyras, G., De Vos, J., Dermitzakis, M., Evolution of Island Mammals: Adaptation and Extinction of Placental Mammals on Islands, Wiley (publisher), John Wiley & Sons, 15 (The Philippines); 26 (Carnivores), 220–347,weblink 2011, BOOK, Monks, G., Climate Change and Human Responses: A Zooarchaeological Perspective, Springer Publishing, Springer, Tiger, Ochoa, J., Piper, P. J., 79–80, 978-9-4024-1106-5,weblink 2017, Fossil remains of tigers were also excavated in Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Sarawak (Malaysia) dating to the late Pliocene, Pleistocene and Early Holocene.BOOK, Kitchener, A., Yamaguchi, N., What is a Tiger? Biogeography, Morphology, and Taxonomy,weblink Tigers of the World: The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris, 53–84, Tilson, R., Nyhus, P. J., 2010, Academic Press, Second, London, Burlington, 978-0-08-094751-8, The Bornean tiger was apparently present in Borneo between the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene, but whether it went extinct in prehistoric or recent times has not been resolved.JOURNAL, Piper, P. J., Rabett, R. J., Confirmation of the presence of the tiger Panthera tigris (L.) in Late Pleistocene and Holocene Borneo, Malayan Nature Journal, 2007, 59, 3, 259–267,weblink 2018-05-29, The potential tiger range during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene was predicted applying ecological niche modelling based on more than 500 tiger locality records combined with bioclimatic data. The resulting model shows a contiguous tiger range from southern India to Siberia at the Last Glacial Maximum, indicating an unobstructed gene flow between tiger populations in mainland Asia throughout the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. The tiger populations on the Sunda Islands and mainland Asia were possibly separated during interglacial periods.JOURNAL, Cooper, D. M., Dugmore, A. J., Gittings, B. M., Scharf, A. K., Wilting, A., Kitchener, A. C., 2016, Predicted Pleistocene–Holocene rangeshifts of the tiger (Panthera tigris), Diversity and Distributions, 22, 11, 1–13, 10.1111/ddi.12484,weblink Results of a phylogeographic study indicate that all living tigers had a common ancestor 72,000–108,000 years ago.The tiger's full genome sequence was published in 2013. It was found to have similar repeat composition to other cat genomes and an appreciably conserved synteny.JOURNAL, The tiger genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes, 10.1038/ncomms3433, 24045858, 3778509,weblink Nature Communications, 4, 2433, 2013, Cho, Y. S., Hu, L., Hou, H., Lee, H., Xu, J., Kwon, S., Oh, S., Kim, H. M., Jho, S., Kim, S., Shin, Y. A., Kim, B. C., Kim, H., Kim, C. U., Luo, S. J., Johnson, W. E., Koepfli, K. P., Schmidt-Küntzel, A., Turner, J. A., Marker, L., Harper, C., Miller, S. M., Jacobs, W., Bertola, L. D., Kim, T. H., Lee, S., Zhou, Q., Jung, H. J., Xu, X., Gadhvi, P., etal, 2013NatCo...4.2433C,

Hybrids

{{further|Felid hybrid|Panthera hybrid|Liger|Tigon}}Captive tigers were bred with lions to create hybrids called liger and tigon. They share physical and behavioural qualities of both parent species. Breeding hybrids is now discouraged due to the emphasis on conservation.WEB, Actman, Jani, 24 February 2017, Cat Experts: Ligers and Other Designer Hybrids Pointless and Unethical, National Geographic.com, 27 August 2018,weblink The liger is a cross between a male lion and a tigress. Ligers are typically between {{convert|10|and|12|ft|m|abbr=on}} in length, and weigh between {{convert|800|and|1000|lb|kg|abbr=on}} or more.BOOK, Markel, S., León, D., 2003, Sequence Analysis in a Nutshell: a guide to common tools and databases, O'Reily, Sebastopol, California, 978-0-596-00494-1,weblink Because the lion sire passes on a growth-promoting gene, but the corresponding growth-inhibiting gene from the female tiger is absent, ligers grow far larger than either parent species.WEB, Genomic Imprinting, Genetic Science Learning Center, Utah.org, 26 August 2018,weblink The less common tigon is a cross between a lioness and a male tiger. Because the male tiger does not pass on a growth-promoting gene and the lioness passes on a growth inhibiting gene, tigons are around the same size as their parents. Some females are fertile and have occasionally given birth to litigons when mated to a male Asiatic lion.JOURNAL, Singh, A., Okapis and litigons in London and Calcutta, New Scientist, 1985, 1453, 7,

Characteristics

File:Bengal Tiger Skeleton.jpg|thumb|Bengal tiger skeleton on display at the Museum of OsteologyMuseum of OsteologyThe tiger has a muscular body with powerful forelimbs, a large head and a tail that is about half the length of its body. Its pelage is dense and heavy, and colouration varies between shades of orange and brown with white ventral areas and distinctive vertical black stripes that are unique in each individual.BOOK, Guggisberg, C. A. W., 1975, Tiger Panthera tigris (Linnaeus, 1758), 180–215, Wild Cats of the World, New York, Taplinger Pub. Co., 978-0-7950-0128-4, JOURNAL, Mazák, V., 1981,weblink Panthera tigris, Mammalian Species, 152, 152, 1–8, 10.2307/3504004, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120309125526weblink">weblink 9 March 2012, dmy-all, 3504004, Stripes are likely advantageous for camouflage in vegetation such as long grass with strong vertical patterns of light and shade.BOOK, Miquelle, D., Tiger, 18–21, 2001, The Encyclopedia of Mammals, 2nd, MacDonald, D., Oxford University Press, 978-0-7607-1969-5, JOURNAL, Godfrey, D., Lythgoe, J. N., Rumball, D. A., 1987, Zebra stripes and tiger stripes: the spatial frequency distribution of the pattern compared to that of the background is significant in display and crypsis, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 32, 4, 427–433, 10.1111/j.1095-8312.1987.tb00442.x, The tiger is one of only a few striped cat species; it is not known why spotted patterns and rosettes are the more common camouflage pattern among felids.JOURNAL, Allen, W. L., Cuthill, I. C., Scott-Samuel, N. E., Baddeley, R., 2010, Why the leopard got its spots: relating pattern development to ecology in felids, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 278, 1710, 1373–1380, 10.1098/rspb.2010.1734, 20961899, 3061134, A tiger's coat pattern is still visible when it is shaved. This is not due to skin pigmentation, but to the stubble and hair follicles embedded in the skin, similar to human beards (colloquially five o'clock shadow), and is in common with other big cats.MAGAZINE,weblink Do Zebras Have Stripes On Their Skin?, L., Langley, 2017, National Geographic (magazine), National Geographic, They have a mane-like heavy growth of fur around the neck and jaws and long whiskers, especially in males. The pupils are circular with yellow irises. The small, rounded ears have a prominent white spot on the back, surrounded by black. These spots are thought to play an important role in intraspecific communication.BOOK, Leyhausen, P., 1979, Cat behavior: the predatory and social behavior of domestic and wild cats, Berlin, Garland Publishing, Incorporated, 281, 9780824070175, File:Panther tigris & Panthera leo skulls.jpg|thumb|Though the tiger's skullskullThe tiger's skull is similar to a lion's skull, with the frontal region usually less depressed or flattened, and a slightly longer postorbital region. The lion skull shows broader nasal openings. Due to the variation in skull sizes of the two species, the structure of the lower jaw is a reliable indicator for their identification.BOOK, Heptner, V. G., Sludskij, A. A., 1972, 1992, Mlekopitajuščie Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moskva: Vysšaia Škola, Mammals of the Soviet Union. Volume II, Part 2. Carnivora (Hyaenas and Cats), Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington DC, Tiger, 95–202,weblink The tiger has fairly stout teeth; its somewhat curved canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of up to {{convert|90|mm|in|abbr=on}}.

Size

File:Siberian Tiger by Malene Th.jpg |thumb|upright|Siberian tiger in Aalborg ZooAalborg ZooThere is a notable sexual dimorphism between males and females, with the latter being consistently smaller than males. The size difference between males and females is proportionally greater in the large tiger subspecies, with males weighing up to 1.7 times more than females. Males also have wider forepaw pads than females, enabling sex to be told from tracks. It has been hypothesised that body size of different tiger populations may be correlated with climate and be explained by thermoregulation and Bergmann's rule, or by distribution and size of available prey species.JOURNAL, McNab, B. K., 1971, On the ecological significance of Bergman'rule, Ecology, 52, 5, 845–854, 10.2307/1936032, 1936032, Generally, males vary in total length from {{convert|250|to|390|cm|ft|abbr=on}} and weigh between {{convert|90|and|306|kg|lb|abbr=on}} with skull length ranging from {{convert|316|to|383|mm|in|abbr=on}}. Females vary in total length from {{convert|200|to|275|cm|ft|abbr=on}}, weigh {{convert|65|to|167|kg|lb|abbr=on}} with skull length ranging from {{convert|268|to|318|mm|ft|abbr=on}}. In either sex, the tail represents about {{convert|0.6|to|1.1|m|in|abbr=on}} of total length. The Bengal and Siberian tigers are amongst the tallest cats in shoulder height. They are also ranked among the biggest cats that have ever existed. The tigers of the Sunda islands are smaller and less heavy than tigers in mainland Asia, rarely exceeding {{convert|142|kg|lb|abbr=on}} in weight.Large male Siberian tigers reach a total length of more than {{convert|3.5|m|ft|1|abbr=on}} over curves and {{convert|3.3|m|ft|1|abbr=on}} (:wiktionary:peg#Noun|between the pegs), with a weight of up to at least {{convert|300|kg|lb|abbr=on}}. This is considerably larger than the weight of {{convert|75|to|140|kg|lb|abbr=on}} reached by the Sumatran tiger. At the shoulder, tigers may variously stand {{convert|0.7|to|1.22|m|ft|abbr=on}} tall.Bengal tiger males attain a total nose-to-tail length of {{convert|270|to|310|cm|in|abbr=on}} and weigh between {{convert|180|to|258|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, while females range from {{convert|240|to|265|cm|in|abbr=on}} and {{convert|100|to|160|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Karanth, K. U., 2003, Tiger ecology and conservation in the Indian subcontinent, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 100, 2&3, 169–189,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121109123727weblink">weblink In northern India and Nepal, the average is larger; males weigh up to {{convert|235|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, while females average {{convert|140|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Smith, J. L. D., Sunquist, M. E., Tamang, K. M., Rai, P. B., 1983, A technique for capturing and immobilizing tigers, The Journal of Wildlife Management, 47, 1, 255–259, 3808080, 10.2307/3808080, Recorded body weights of wild individuals indicate that they are heavier than wild Siberian tigers.BOOK, Slaght, J. C., 2005, Chapter 6. Who's king of the beasts? Historical and recent body weights of wild and captive Amur tigers, with comparisons to other subspecies,weblink 25–35, Tigers in Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik: Ecology and Conservation, Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Goodrich, J. M., PSP, Vladivostok, Russia, Miquelle, D. G., Nikolaev, I. G., Goodrich, J. M., Smirnov, E., Traylor-Holzer, N. K., Christie, S., Arjanova, T., Smith, J. L. D., Karanth, K. U., The Siberian tiger is often considered to be the biggest tiger.BOOK, Nowell, K., Jackson, P., Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan,weblink 1996, IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland, 978-2-8317-0045-8, 55–64, Tiger, WEB, Bradford, A., Tigers: The Largest Cats in the World, LiveScience,weblink 2019, 2019-08-13, The heaviest captive tiger was a Siberian tiger which weighed {{convert|465|kg|lb|abbr=on}}. However, the largest wild tiger ever reported was a Bengal tiger from north India which was shot in 1967. It had a total body length of {{convert|3.38|m|ft|abbr=on}} over curves,BOOK, Wood, G., The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats, Guinness Superlatives, 1983, 978-0-85112-235-9,weblink and allegedly weighed {{convert|388.7|kg|lb|abbr=on}}, though it had a heavy meal before it was killed, without which it would have weighed significantly less.NEWS, The object at hand, Conover, A.,weblinkweblink" title="archive.is/20130202094033weblink">weblink yes, 2013-02-02, Smithsonian Magazine, 1995, 2014-04-07, BOOK, Brakefield, T., Big Cats: Kingdom of Might, Voyageur Press,weblink 44, 1993, 978-0-89658-329-0, The longest tiger skull was {{convert|16.25|in|mm|abbr=on}} measured "over the bone"; this individual was shot in 1927 in northern India.BOOK, Hewett, J. P., Hewett Atkinson, L., Jungle trails in northern India: reminiscences of hunting in India, Metheun and Company Limited, London, 1938, Statistics of Lengths and Weights of Tigers, 66−74,weblink

Colour variations

(File:Haifa White Tigers-9129-13.jpg|thumb|White tigers in Haifa Zoo)The white tiger lacks yellow pigments, and has dark sepia-brown stripes and blue eyes. This altered pigmentation is caused by a mutant gene that is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, which is determined by a white locus. It is not an albino, as the black pigments are scarcely affected.JOURNAL, Robinson, R., 1969, The white tigers of Rewa and gene homology in the Felidae, Genetica, 40, 1, 198−200, 10.1007/BF01787350, JOURNAL, Xu, X., Dong, G. X., Schmidt-Küntzel, A., Zhang, X. L., Zhuang, Y., Fang, R., Sun, X., Hu, X.S., Zhang, T. Y., Yang, H. D., Zhang, D. L., Marker, L., Jiang, Z.-F., Li, R., Luo, S.-J., 2017, The genetics of tiger pelage color variations, Cell Research, 27, 7, 954–957, 10.1038/cr.2017.32, 28281538, 5518981,weblink The mutation changes a single amino acid in the transporter protein SLC45A2. Both parents need to have the allele for whiteness to have white cubs.JOURNAL, 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.054, 23707431, The Genetic Basis of White Tigers, Current Biology, 23, 11, 1031–5, 2013, Xu, X., Dong, G. X., Hu, X. S., Miao, L., Zhang, X. L., Zhang, D. L., Yang, H. D., Zhang, T. Y., Zou, Z. T., Zhang, T. T., Zhuang, Y., Bhak, J., Cho, Y. S., Dai, W. T., Jiang, T. J., Xie, C., Li, R., Luo, S. J., Between the early and mid 20th century, white tigers were recorded and shot in the Indian states of Odisha, Bihar, Assam and in the area of Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. The local maharaja started breeding tigers in the early 1950s and kept a white male tiger together with its normal-coloured daughter; they had white cubs.JOURNAL, Gee, E. P., 1959, Albinism and Partial Albinism in Tigers, The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 56, 581−587,weblink To preserve this recessive trait, only a few white individuals were used in captive breeding, which led to a high degree of inbreeding. Inbreeding depression is the main reason for many health problems of captive white tigers, including strabismus, stillbirth, deformities and premature death.JOURNAL, Guillery, R. W., Kaas, J. H., 1973, Genetic abnormality of the visual pathways in a "white" tiger, Science, 180, 4092, 1287−1289, 10.1126/science.180.4092.1287, 4707916, 1973Sci...180.1287G, Other physical defects include cleft palate and scoliosis.WEB, Begany, L., Criscuolo, C. L.,weblink Accumulation of Deleterious Mutations Due to Inbreeding in Tiger Population, 2009,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20150510230909weblink">weblink 2015-05-10, The snow white tiger is a morph with extremely faint stripes and a pale reddish-brown ringed tail. The golden tiger has a pale golden pelage with a blond tone and reddish-brown stripes. Both snow white and golden tigers are homozygous for CORIN gene mutations. These morphs are rarely recorded in the wild.

Distribution and habitat

(File:Historical tiger distribution PLoS 2009.png|thumb|Historical distribution)The tiger historically ranged from eastern Turkey and Transcaucasia to the coast of the Sea of Japan, and from South Asia across Southeast Asia to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java and Bali. Since the end of the last glacial period, it was probably restricted by periods of deep snow lasting longer than six months.BOOK, Seidensticker, J., 1986, Large Carnivores and the Consequences of Habitat Insularization: ecology and conservation of Tigers in Indonesia and Bangladesh, 1−41, Cats of the world: biology, conservation and management, Miller, S. D., Everett, D. D., National Wildlife Federation, Washington DC,weblink BOOK, Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Merrill, T. W., Myslenkov, A. E., Quigley, H., Hornocker, M. G., Schleyer, B., 1999, Hierarchical spatial analysis of Amur tiger relationships to habitat and prey, Riding the Tiger. Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes, Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P., Cambridge University Press, London,weblink 71–99, 978-0521648356, Currently, it occurs in less then 6% of its historical range, as it has been extirpated from Southwest and Central Asia, large parts of Southeast and East Asia and Java and Bali. It now mainly occurs in the Indian subcontinent, the Indochinese Peninsula, Sumatra and the Russian Far East. In China and Myanmar, breeding populations appear to rely on immigration from neighbouring countries while its status in the Korean Peninsula is unknown.DOCUMENT, The Technical Assessment: Setting Priorities for the Conservation and Recovery of Wild Tigers: 2005–2015, Sanderson, E., Forrest, J., Loucks, C., Ginsberg, J., Dinerstein, E., Seidensticker, J., Leimgruber, P., Songer, M., Heydlauff, A., O'Brien, T., Bryja, G., Klenzendorf, S., Wikramanayake, E., 2006,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120118151415weblink">weblink WCS, WWF, Smithsonian, and NFWFe, 7 August 2019, The tiger is essentially associated with forest habitats.BOOK, Sunquist, M., What is a Tiger? Ecology and Behaviour, 2010, Tigers of the World: The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris, R. Tilson, P. J. Nyhus, Second, Academic Press, London, Burlington, 978-0-08-094751-8, 19−34,weblink Tiger populations thrive where populations of wild cervids, bovids and suids are stable.BOOK, Karanth, K. U., Sunquist, M. E., Chinnappa, K. M., 1999, Long-term monitoring of tigers: lessons from Nagarahole, Riding the Tiger. Tiger Conservation in Human-dominated Landscapes, Seidensticker, J., Christie, S., Jackson, P., Cambridge University Press, London, 114–122, 978-0521648356, On the Indian subcontinent, it mainly inhabits tall grasslands and riverine forests as well as the swamp forests of the Sundarbans. In Thailand, it inhabits mixed deciduous, dry evergreen and dry dipterocarp forests. In Sumatra, tiger populations range from lowland peat swamp forests to rugged montane forests.JOURNAL, Wibisono, H. T., Linkie, M., Guillera-Arroita, G., Smith, J. A., Sunarto, Pusarini, W., Asriadi, Baroto, P., Brickle, N., Dinata, Y., Gemita, E., Gunaryadi, D., Haidir, I. A., Herwansyah, 2011, Population Status of a Cryptic Top Predator: An Island-Wide Assessment of Tigers in Sumatran Rainforests, PLOS ONE, 6, 11, e25931, 10.1371/journal.pone.0025931, 22087218, 3206793, 2011PLoSO...625931W, In the Amur-Ussuri region, it inhabits Korean pine and temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, where riparian forests provide food and water, and serve as dispersal corridors for both tiger and ungulates.JOURNAL, Kerley, L. L., Goodrich, J. M., Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Quigley, H. G., Hornocker, M. G., 2003, Reproductive parameters of wild female Amur (Siberian) tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), Journal of Mammalogy, 84, 1, 288–298, 1383657, 10.1644/1545-1542(2003)0842.0.CO;2, Historical records in Iran are known only from the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and adjacent Alborz Mountains.JOURNAL, Faizolahi, K., 2016, Tiger in Iran – historical distribution, extinction causes and feasibility of reintroduction, Cat News, Special Issue 10, 5–13, Records in Central Asia indicate that it occurred foremost in Tugay riverine forests along the Atrek, Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Hari, Chu and Ili Rivers and their tributaries. In the Caucasus, it inhabited hilly and lowland forests.

Biology and behaviour

(File:Tigerwater edit2.jpg|thumb|upright|Tigers are comfortable in water and frequently bathe)

Social and daily activities

File:Tiger playing with a piece of wood in a pool.webm|thumb|A captive tiger swimming and playing with a piece of wood in a pool]]When not subject to human disturbance, the tiger is mainly diurnal.BOOK, Thapar, V., 1994, The Tiger's Destiny, Kyle Cathie, London, 978-1-85626-142-5, 47, 174–175, It does not often climb trees but cases have been recorded. It is a strong swimmer and often bathes in ponds, lakes and rivers, thus keeping cool in the heat of the day.BOOK, Sunquist, M., Sunquist, F., 1991, Tigers, Great Cats, Seidensticker, J., Lumpkin, S., Fog City Press, 97–98, 978-1-875137-90-9, Individuals can cross rivers up to {{convert|7|km|mi|abbr=on}} wide and can swim up to {{convert|29|km|mi|abbr=on}} in a day.BOOK, Novak, R. M., Walker, E. P., 1999, Panthera tigris (tiger),weblink Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 978-0-8018-5789-8, 825–828, During the 1980s, a tiger was observed frequently hunting prey through deep lake water in Ranthambhore National Park.The tiger is a long-ranging species, and individuals disperse over distances of up to {{cvt|650|km|mi}} to reach tiger populations in other areas.JOURNAL, Joshi, A., Vaidyanathan, S., Mondol, S., Edgaonkar, A., Ramakrishnan, U., 2013, Connectivity of Tiger (Panthera tigris) Populations in the Human-Influenced Forest Mosaic of Central India, PLoS ONE, 8, 11, e77980, 10.1371/journal.pone.0077980, 24223132, 3819329, 2013PLoSO...877980J, Radio-collared tigers in Chitwan National Park started dispersing from their natal areas earliest at the age of 19 months. Four females dispersed between {{cvt|0|and|43.2|km|mi}}, and 10 males between {{cvt|9.5|and|65.7|km|mi}}. None of them crossed open cultivated areas that were more than {{cvt|10|km|mi}} wide, but moved through forested habitat.JOURNAL, Smith, J. L. D., 1993, The role of dispersal in structuring the Chitwan tiger population, 124, Behaviour, 3, 165–195, 10.1163/156853993X00560, Adult tigers lead largely solitary lives. They establish and maintain territories but have much wider home ranges within which they roam. Resident adults of either sex generally confine their movements to their home ranges, within which they satisfy their needs and those of their growing cubs. Individuals sharing the same area are aware of each other's movements and activities.BOOK, McDougal, Charles, 1977, The Face of the Tiger, 63–76, Rivington Books and André Deutsch, London,weblink The size of the home range mainly depends on prey abundance, geographic area and sex of the individual. In India, home ranges appear to be {{cvt|50|to|1000|km2|sqmi}} while in Manchuria, they range from {{cvt|500|to|4000|km2|sqmi}}. In Nepal, defended territories are recorded to be {{cvt|19|to|151|km2|sqmi}} for males and {{cvt|10|to|51|km2|sqmi}} for females.Young female tigers establish their first territories close to their mother's. The overlap between the female and her mother's territory reduces with time. Males, however, migrate further than their female counterparts and set out at a younger age to mark out their own area. A young male acquires territory either by seeking out an area devoid of other male tigers, or by living as a transient in another male's territory until he is older and strong enough to challenge the resident male. Young males seeking to establish themselves thereby comprise the highest mortality rate (30–35% per year) amongst adult tigers.To identify his territory, the male marks trees by spraying urineJOURNAL, Burger, B. V., Viviers, M. Z., Bekker, J. P. I., Roux, M., Fish, N., Fourie, W. B., Weibchen, G., 10.1007/s10886-008-9462-y, Chemical Characterization of Territorial Marking Fluid of Male Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, Journal of Chemical Ecology, 34, 5, 659–671, 2008, 18437496,weblink 10019.1/11220, JOURNAL, 10.1016/0003-3472(89)90001-8, Scent marking in free-ranging tigers, Panthera tigris, Animal Behaviour, 37, 1–10, 1989, Smith, J. L. David, McDougal, C., Miquelle, D.,weblink {{Dead link|date=July 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} and anal gland secretions, as well as marking trails with scat and marking trees or the ground with their claws. Females also use these "scrapes", as well as urine and scat markings. Scent markings of this type allow an individual to pick up information on another's identity, sex and reproductive status. Females in oestrus will signal their availability by scent marking more frequently and increasing their vocalisations.Although for the most part avoiding each other, tigers are not always territorial and relationships between individuals can be complex. An adult of either sex will sometimes share its kill with others, even those who may not be related to them. George Schaller observed a male share a kill with two females and four cubs. Unlike male lions, male tigers allow females and cubs to feed on the kill before the male is finished with it; all involved generally seem to behave amicably, in contrast to the competitive behaviour shown by a lion pride. Stephen Mills described a social feeding event in Ranthambhore National Park:
male nilgai – a very large antelope. They found her at the kill just after dawn with her three 14-month-old cubs, and they watched uninterrupted for the next ten hours. During this period the family was joined by two adult females and one adult male, all offspring from Padmini's previous litters, and by two unrelated tigers, one female the other unidentified. By three o'clock there were no fewer than nine tigers round the kill.BOOK, Mills, S., 2004, Tiger, 89, BBC Books, London, 978-1-55297-949-5, }}
File:Panthera tigris altaica (27.08.2012).JPG|thumb|left|A Siberian tiger swimming at Wuppertal ZooWuppertal ZooOccasionally, male tigers participate in raising cubs, usually their own, but this is extremely rare and not always well understood. In May 2015, Amur tigers were photographed by camera traps in the Sikhote-Alin Bioshpere Reserve. The photos show a male Amur tiger pass by, followed by a female and three cubs within the span of about two minutes.Wildlife Conservation Society. (2015). Tiger dad: Rare family portrait of Amur tigers the first-ever to include an adult male. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2015.In Ranthambore, a male Bengal tiger raised and defended two orphaned female cubs after their mother had died of illness. The cubs remained under his care, he supplied them with food, protected them from his rival and sister, and apparently also trained them.WEB,weblink T-25 Dollar Dominant Male Tiger in Ranthambore National Park, Male tigers are generally more intolerant of other males within their territories than females are of other females. Territory disputes are usually solved by displays of intimidation rather than outright aggression. Several such incidents have been observed in which the subordinate tiger yielded defeat by rolling onto its back and showing its belly in a submissive posture.BOOK, Thapar, V., 1989, Tiger: Portrait of a Predator, Smithmark, New York, 978-0-8160-1238-1, Once dominance has been established, a male may tolerate a subordinate within his range, as long as they do not live in too close quarters. The most aggressive disputes tend to occur between two males when a female is in oestrus, and sometimes resulted in the death of one of the males.(File:Tiger's_Flehmen_Response_-_Kanha_National_Park.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Tigress in Kanha National Park showing flehmen)Facial expressions include the "defense threat", where an individual bares its teeth, flattens its ears and its pupils enlarge. Both males and females show a flehmen response, a characteristic grimace, when sniffing urine markings, but flehmen is more often associated with males detecting the markings made by tigresses in oestrus. Like other Panthera, tigers roar, particularly in aggressive situations, during the mating season or when making a kill. There are two different roars: the "true" roar is made using the hyoid apparatus and forced through an open mouth as it progressively closes, and the shorter, harsher "coughing" roar is made with the mouth open and teeth exposed. The "true" roar can be heard at up to {{convert|3|km|abbr=on}} away and is sometimes emitted three or four times in succession. When tense, tigers will moan, a sound similar to a roar but more subdued and made when the mouth is partially or completely closed. Moaning can be heard {{convert|400|m|abbr=on}} away. Chuffing—soft, low-frequency snorting similar to purring in smaller cats—is heard in more friendly situations.JOURNAL, 10.1023/A:1020620121416, 1999, Peters, G., Tonkin-Leyhausen, B. A., Evolution of Acoustic Communication Signals of Mammals: Friendly Close-Range Vocalizations in Felidae (Carnivora), Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 6, 2, 129–159, Other vocal communications include grunts, woofs, snarls, miaows, hisses and growls.

Hunting and diet

File:Panthera tigris -Franklin Park Zoo, Massachusetts, USA-8a (1).jpg|thumb|An adult tiger showing incisors, canines and part of the premolars and molars, while yawning in Franklin Park ZooFranklin Park ZooIn the wild, tigers mostly feed on large and medium-sized mammals, particularly ungulates weighing {{convert|60|–|250|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Hayward, M. W., Jędrzejewski, W., Jędrzejewska, B., 2012, Prey preferences of the tiger Panthera tigris, Journal of Zoology, 286, 3, 221–231, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00871.x, Range-wide, frequent prey species include sambar deer, Manchurian wapiti, barasingha, hog deer, chital and wild boar.JOURNAL, Diet and prey profiles of three sympatric large carnivores in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, India, Andheria, A.P., Karanth, K.U., Kumar, N.S., Journal of Zoology, 2007, 273, 2, 169–175, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2007.00310.x, JOURNAL, Food habits and prey selection of tiger and leopard in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, India,weblink Ramesh, T., Snehalatha, V., Sankar, K., Qureshi, Q., yes, Journal of Scientific Transactions in Environment and Technovation, 2009, 2, 3, 170–181, 10.20894/stet.116.002.003.010, JOURNAL, Karanth, K. U., Sunquist, M. E., yes, Prey Selection by Tiger, Leopard and Dhole in Tropical Forests, 5647, 10.2307/5647, Journal of Animal Ecology, 64, 4, 1995, 439–450, In particular, sambar, wild boar and possibly wapiti and barasingha are significantly preferred. Whilst hunting sambars, which comprise up to 60% of their prey in India, tigers have reportedly made a passable impersonation of the male sambar's rutting call to attract them. Tigers are capable of taking down larger prey like adult gaur but will also opportunistic eat much smaller prey, such as monkeys, peafowl and other ground-based birds, hares, porcupines, and fish. They also prey on other predators, including dogs, leopards, pythons, sloth bears, and crocodiles. Although almost exclusively carnivorous, tigers will occasionally eat vegetation for dietary fibre such as fruit of the slow match tree.File:Amitava banerjee tiger wild boar tadoba.jpg|thumb|left|Bengal tiger subduing an Indian boar at Tadoba National ParkTadoba National ParkIn Siberia, in addition to wapiti and wild boar (the two species comprising nearly 80% of the prey selected), tigers may prey on sika deer, moose, roe deer, and musk deer.JOURNAL, Food habits of Amur tigers in the Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik and the Russian Far East, and implications for conservation,weblink Miquelle, Dale G., Smirnov, Evgeny N., Quigley, Howard B., Hornocker, Maurice G., Nikolayev, Igor G., Matyushkin, Evgeny N., yes, Journal of Wildlife Research, 1996, 1, 2, 138, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121101192450weblink">weblink 1 November 2012, Asiatic black bears and Ussuri brown bears may also fall prey to tigers,BOOK, Amur tiger, David Prynn, Russian Nature Press, 2004, 115, JOURNAL,weblink Seryodkin, 2003, Denning ecology of brown bears and Asiatic black bears in the Russian Far East, Ursus, 14, 2, 159, etal, and they constitute up to 40.7% of the diet of Siberian tigers depending on local conditions and the bear populations.BOOK, Seryodkin I. V., Goodrich J. M., Kostyrya A. V., Schleyer B. O., Smirnov E. N., Kerley L. L., Miquelle D. G., 2005, Relationship among tigers, brown bears, and Himalayan black bears, Tigers of Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik: Ecology and Conservation, 19, In Sumatra, prey include sambar deer, muntjac, wild boar and Malayan tapir.JOURNAL, Linkie, M., Ridout, M. S., 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00801.x, Assessing tiger-prey interactions in Sumatran rainforests, Journal of Zoology, 284, 3, 224–229, 2011, Tigers generally do not prey on fully grown adult Asian elephants and Indian rhinoceros but incidents have been reported.NEWS, 2008,weblink Trouble for rhino from poacher and Bengal tiger, The Telegraph, 3 June 2014,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140927093927weblink">weblink 27 September 2014, yes, dmy-all, NEWS, 2009,weblink Tiger kills elephant at Eravikulam park, The New Indian Express, More often, it is the more vulnerable small calves that are taken.JOURNAL, Karanth, K. U., Nichols, J. D., yes, 1998,weblink Estimation of tiger densities in India using photographic captures and recaptures, Ecology, 79, 8, 2852–2862, 10.1890/0012-9658(1998)079[2852:EOTDII]2.0.CO;2, 176521, However, occasionally adult rhinoceros have in fact fallen victims to tigers, as has been documented in at least three separate incidents.NEWS,weblink Tiger kills adult rhino in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, 29 January 2013, www.thehindu.com, The Hindu, Tigers have been reported attacking and killing elephants ridden by humans during tiger hunts in the 19th century.Frank Leslie's popular monthly, Volume 45, 1879, edited by Frank Leslie, New York: Frank Leslie's Publishing House. 53, 55, & 57 Park Place. p. 411 When in close proximity to humans, tigers will also sometimes prey on such domestic livestock as cattle, horses, and donkeys.BOOK, Perry, Richard, The World of the Tiger, 1965, 260, Old or wounded tigers, unable to catch wild prey, can become man-eaters; this pattern has recurred frequently across India. An exception is in the Sundarbans, where healthy tigers prey upon fishermen and villagers in search of forest produce, humans thereby forming a minor part of the tiger's diet.BOOK, Bright, M., 2002, Man-Eaters, Macmillan, 53–54, 978-0-312-98156-3, File:037tiger.jpg|thumb|upright|Tiger dentition (above) and Asian black bearAsian black bearTigers are thought to be mainly nocturnal predators, but in areas where humans are absent, remote-controlled, hidden camera traps recorded them hunting in daylight.BBC (2008). Tiger: Spy In The Jungle. John Downer Productions They generally hunt alone and ambush their prey as most other cats do, overpowering them from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock the prey off balance. Successful hunts usually require the tiger to almost simultaneously leap onto its quarry, knock it over, and grab the throat or nape with its teeth. Despite their large size, tigers can reach speeds of about {{convert|49|-|65|km/h|mph|abbr=on}} but only in short bursts; consequently, tigers must be close to their prey before they break cover. If the prey catches wind of the tiger's presence before this, the tiger usually abandons the hunt rather than chase prey or battle it head-on. Horizontal leaps of up to {{convert|10|m|ft|abbr=on}} have been reported, although leaps of around half this distance are more typical. One in 2 to 20 hunts, including stalking near potential prey, ends in a successful kill.File:RANTHAMBORE TIGER RESERVE.jpg|alt=Tiger attacking a sambar in Ranthambore|thumb|left|Bengal tiger attacking a sambar in Ranthambore Tiger ReserveRanthambore Tiger ReserveWhen hunting larger animals, tigers prefer to bite the throat and use their powerful forelimbs to hold onto the prey, often simultaneously wrestling it to the ground. The tiger remains latched onto the neck until its target dies of strangulation.BOOK, Schaller, G., 1967, The Deer and the Tiger: A Study of Wildlife in India, Chicago Press, Chicago, By this method, gaurs and water buffaloes weighing over a ton have been killed by tigers weighing about a sixth as much.Sankhala, p. 17 Although they can kill healthy adults, tigers often select the calves or infirm of very large species.BOOK, Hunter, Luke, Carnivores of the World, Princeton University Press, 2011, 978-0-691-15228-8, Healthy adult prey of this type can be dangerous to tackle, as long, strong horns, legs and tusks are all potentially fatal to the tiger. No other extant land predator routinely takes on prey this large on its own.BOOK, Sunquist, M., Sunquist, F., Wild Cats of the World, Tiger Panthera tigris (Linnaeus, 1758), 2002, University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, 343–372,weblink 978-0-22-677999-7, With smaller prey, such as monkeys and hares, the tiger bites the nape, often breaking the spinal cord, piercing the windpipe, or severing the jugular vein or common carotid artery.Sankhala, p. 23 Though rarely observed, some tigers have been recorded to kill prey by swiping with their paws, which are powerful enough to smash the skulls of domestic cattle, and break the backs of sloth bears.BOOK, Mills, Stephen, Tiger, 2004, 168, 978-1-55297-949-5, Firefly Books, Richmond Hill, Ontario., After killing their prey, tigers sometimes drag it to conceal it in vegetative cover, usually pulling it by grasping with their mouths at the site of the killing bite. This, too, can require great physical strength. In one case, after it had killed an adult gaur, a tiger was observed to drag the massive carcass over a distance of {{convert|12|m|ft|abbr=on}}. When 13 men simultaneously tried to drag the same carcass later, they were unable to move it. An adult tiger can go for up to two weeks without eating, then gorge on {{convert|34|kg|lb|abbr=on}} of flesh at one time. In captivity, adult tigers are fed {{convert|3|to|6|kg|lb|abbr=on}} of meat a day.

Enemies and competitors

File:Tigerdholes.jpg|thumb|Tiger hunted by wild dogs (dholedholeTigers usually prefer to eat prey they have caught themselves, but are not above eating carrion in times of scarcity and may even pirate prey from other large carnivores. Although predators typically avoid one another, if a prey item is under dispute or a serious competitor is encountered, displays of aggression are common. If these are not sufficient, the conflicts may turn violent; tigers may kill competitors as leopards, dholes, striped hyenas, wolves, bears, pythons, and crocodiles on occasion. Tigers may also prey on these competitors.BOOK, Mazak, V., 2004, Der Tiger, Westarp Wissenschaften Hohenwarsleben, 978-3-89432-759-0, (in German)WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20101025150122weblink">weblink 25 October 2010, Tiger, Oaklandzoo.org, 7 March 2009, BOOK, Sunquist, Fiona, Sunquist, Mel, yes, 2002, Tiger Moon, University of Chicago Press, 978-0-226-77997-3, Mills, Gus; Hofer, Heribert (1998). weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130506084714weblink">Hyaenas: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Hyena Specialist Group. {{ISBN|2-8317-0442-1}}.Miquelle, D.G., Stephens, P.A., Smirnov, E.N., Goodrich, J.M., Zaumyslova, O.Yu. & Myslenkov, A.I. (2005). Tigers and Wolves in the Russian Far East: Competitive Exclusion, Functional Redundancy and Conservation Implications. In Large Carnivores and the Conservation of Biodiversity. Ray, J.C., Berger, J., Redford, K.H. & Steneck, R. (eds.) New York: Island Press. pp. 179–207 {{ISBN|1-55963-080-9}}. Attacks on smaller predators, such as badgers, lynxes, and foxes, are almost certainly predatory. Crocodiles, bears, and large packs of dholes may win conflicts against tigers and in some cases even kill them.BOOK, A History Of The Earth, And Animated Nature, Volume 2, O., Goldsmith, Nabu Press, 2010, 978-1-145-11108-0, 297, BOOK, Mills, Stephen, Tiger, 2004, 168, 978-1-55297-949-5, Firefly Books, Richmond Hill, Ont., The considerably smaller leopard avoids competition from tigers by hunting at different times of the day and hunting different prey.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080213000715weblink">weblink 13 February 2008, Sympatric Tiger and Leopard: How two big cats coexist in the same area, Ecology.info In India's Nagarhole National Park, most prey selected by leopards were from {{convert|30|to|175|kg|lb|abbr=on}} against a preference for prey weighing over {{convert|176|kg|lb|abbr=on}} in the tigers. The average prey weight in the two respective big cats in India was {{convert|37.6|kg|lb|abbr=on}} against {{convert|91.5|kg|lb|abbr=on}}.JOURNAL, Karanth, K. Ullas, Sunquist, Melvin E., 2000, Behavioural correlates of predation by tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Nagarahole, India, Journal of Zoology, 250, 255–265, 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2000.tb01076.x, 2, With relatively abundant prey, tigers and leopards were seen to successfully coexist without competitive exclusion or interspecies dominance hierarchies that may be more common to the African savanna, where the leopard exists with the lion. Golden jackals may feed on the tiger's kills.Sillero-Zubiri, C., Hoffmann, M. and Macdonald, D.W. (eds). 2004. Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. {{ISBN|2-8317-0786-2}} Tigers appear to inhabit the deep parts of a forest while smaller predators like leopards and dholes are pushed closer to the fringes.JOURNAL, Thinley, P., etal, 2018, The ecological benefit of tigers (Panthera tigris) to farmers in reducing crop and livestock losses in the eastern Himalayas: Implications for conservation of large apex predators, Biological Conservation, 219, 119–125, 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.08.007,

Reproduction

{{Redirect|Tiger cub|other uses|Tiger Cub (disambiguation){{!}}Tiger Cub}}File:Panthera tigris altaica 13 - Buffalo Zoo.jpg|thumb|A Siberian tigress with her cub at the Buffalo Zoo, New York ]]The tiger mates all year round, but most cubs are born between March and June, with a second peak in September. Gestation ranges from 93 to 114 days, with an average of 103 to 105 days. A female is only receptive for three to six days.JOURNAL, Sankhala, K. S., 1967, Breeding behaviour of the tiger Panthera tigris in Rajasthan, International Zoo Yearbook, 7, 1, 133−147, 10.1111/j.1748-1090.1967.tb00354.x, Mating is frequent and noisy during that time. The female gives birth in a sheltered location such as in tall grass, in a dense thicket, cave or rocky crevice. The father generally takes no part in rearing. Litters consist of two or three cubs, rarely as many as six. Cubs weigh from {{convert|780|to|1600|g|lb|abbr=on}} each at birth, and are born with eyes closed. They open their eyes when they are six to 14 days old. Their milk teeth break through at the age of about two weeks. They start to eat meat at the age of eight weeks. At around this time, females usually shift them to a new den. They make short ventures with their mother, although they do not travel with her as she roams her territory until they are older. Females lactate for five to six months. Around the time they are weaned, they start to accompany their mother on territorial walks and are taught how to hunt.File:Tigerbabys Zoo Frankfurt.jpg|thumb|Two cubs playing with soccer ball at Frankfurt ZooFrankfurt ZooA dominant cub emerges in most litters, usually a male. The dominant cub is more active than its siblings and takes the lead in their play, eventually leaving its mother and becoming independent earlier. The cubs start hunting on their own earliest at the age of 11 months, and become independent around 18 to 20 months of age. They separate from their mother at the age of two to two and a half years, but continue to grow until the age of five years. Young females reach sexual maturity at three to four years, whereas males at four to five years. Unrelated wandering male tigers often kill cubs to make the female receptive, since the tigress may give birth to another litter within five months if the cubs of the previous litter are lost. The mortality rate of tiger cubs is about 50% in the first two years. Few other predators attack tiger cubs due to the diligence and ferocity of the mother. Apart from humans and other tigers, common causes of cub mortality are starvation, freezing, and accidents. Generation length of the tiger is about eight years.JOURNAL, Generation length for mammals, Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P., Rondinini, C., Nature Conservation, 2013, 5, 87–94, The oldest recorded captive tiger lived for 26 years.

Conservation

{| class="wikitable sortable floatright"|+ Global tiger population!Country!Year!EstimateRussia}} Russia 2016 align="right"|433China}} China 2016 align="right"|34Viet Nam}} Vietnam 2016 align="right"|

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