Tigers Facts For Kids
We love all things animals, and the tiger is certainly high up there on our list!
A beauty of a beast, which has some interesting tales to tell. Here are some awesome facts about tigers. Enjoy and prepare to be amazed.
Did you know that the tiger belonged to the cat family?
Well if you did, it’s by far the biggest species out of all cats and a beauty too!
There are lots of different types of tigers including the Sumatran Tiger, Siberian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, South China Tiger, Malayan Tiger and Indochinese Tiger. Wow, there are loads.
The Caspian Tiger, Bali Tiger and Javan Tiger are all extinct which is very sad, and many others are endangered, which means they in big danger of becoming extinct.
The most endangered species is the South China tiger (also known as the Amoy or Xiamen tiger) they are listed in the top 10 of most endangered animals in the world.
Out of the entire population of tigers in the wild, only about 3% are left, which is not cool at all, and 97% were completely wiped out in a period of just 100 years. That is frightening to say the least.
Guess who their biggest enemy is? It’s none other than us humans as people hunt them for their fur or other parts of their bodies and ruin the areas that they live in, called habitats.
Unbelievably, there are more tigers kept as pets than there are in the wild. No, they’re meant to be in the wild!
Their ancestors are the sabre-tooth cat, and just like them, they rely on those big gnashes of theirs to survive. It they lose those large and powerful teeth, they can’t kill anymore and they will likely starve to death.
Can you believe that tigers lived as long ago as 2 million years back? There were fossil remains found in China. Wowzers!
Facts About Tigers and Cubs
Here are some amazing facts about tigers that will wow you! They are certainly a very interesting animal.
Tigers can reach a length of up to 11 feet (3.3 metres) and weigh as much as 720 pounds (330 kilograms). That’s heavier than a piano.
Have you ever tried to lift a piano?
Don’t do it alone as you’ll probably hurt yourself. That is one heavy cat. Imagine your cat at home being as big as that, there would be no space for them!
Tigers can live up to 10-15 years in the wild and up to 26 years when they’re kept in captivity.
Mother tigers give birth after approximately 100 days and they give birth to litters of between two to six cubs and they raise them alone with very little help from the father.
He’s probably out hunting!
Cubs only start learning to hunt when they are about 18 months old and leave their mothers when they’re about 2 years of age. Off they then go and find a territory just to call their own.
Around half of tiger cubs don’t live beyond two years of age. That’s so sad.
A group of tigers is known as an ‘ambush’ or ‘streak’.
Tigers are good swimmers and can swim up to 6 kilometers. That’s far. It’s the same as swimming 120 lengths of an Olympic sized swimming pool. Wow.
Have you heard of white tigers? Well they’re very rare and they have a gene in their bodies that are only found in 1 in every 10,000 tigers. It would be great to see one of these in the wild, such a rare find.
Tigers usually hunt alone at dawn or dusk, and sometimes in the dark. Unbelievably less than 10% of their hunts are successful.
So 90% of the time they don’t come home with dinner…not sure the family would be so happy about that.
Tigers have been known to reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour (65 kilometers per hour). That’s quite fast for an animal as big as the tiger.
That’s a bit slower than a car which goes at 60 miles per hour (about 97 kilometers per hour), if you’re following the speed limit of course.
Who would have known that these huge animals can easily jump over 20 feet (6 meters) in length. That’s almost the length of 4 adult men lying head to toe.
That is quite a jump that they can make.
They can do this because their forelimbs are shorter than their hind limbs, which actually help them to jump.
The forelimbs and shoulders are more powerful than the hind limbs. So now we know why they can jump so far.
Sometimes tigers breed with lions and give birth to hybrids known as tigons and ligers. Hmm, a whole new species.
The tiger is a feared predator – they can kill animals more than twice their size and are carnivores, so only eat meat.
A Bengal tiger can eat 46 pounds (21 kilograms) of meat in a night. Can you try and even imagine eating 21 kilograms of meat, that’s probably close to what you weigh.
They can also kill the equivalent of 30 buffaloes a year.
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Tigers mostly live alone and are very protective about their territories; what’s theirs is theirs, and no-one should dare enter! The mark their territories with urine, argh, or by scratching trees.
Apparently their urine smells like buttered popcorn. Well it can’t smell all that bad then.
Their territories can reach up to 62 miles squared (100 kilometers squared) in size. That’s big.
They clearly like their own space so don’t go moving in. It’s very rare to find territories of tigers that cross; they stick to their own space.
If you hear a tiger roar, don’t start running just yet; it can be heard from as far away as 1 mile (2 kilometers) at night.
Tigers are fast, but not that fast. They can’t outrun animals such as deer. What they do instead is creep up on their prey, and attack from the side or from behind.
The way a tiger edges up toward its victim is quite exciting as they initially creep up on them slowly and then they quickly and suddenly strike their prey.
Those powerful jaws will hold the prey by its neck, and will keep it there until it dies. These are cunning and clever cats.
When they do finally catch their prey, 10% of the time, and it’s large, they will eat some and then save the rest for later. At least we know they aren’t greedy.
They will drag the remains to a thicket and bury it under leaves and when the hunger pangs strike, off they go to get the rest.
Amazingly they will travel up to 20 miles (about 32 kilometers) just to find the right prey.
Believe it or not, but these large cats can purr just like the cats we have at home. Cool. But domestic cats purr when they breathe in and out, and tigers can only purr when they breathe out.
When tigers do purr, it’s 100 times louder than a domestic cat’s purrs…hold your ears tight!
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Tigers that live in hot and humid places are lighter and smaller than their brothers and sisters who live in colder areas.
The tigers in the colder areas obviously need more fur and meat to keep them warmer! Brr.
Tigers and Humans
You know that no two human finger prints are the same? Well it’s the same for tigers. No two tigers ever have the same stripes.
Cool, so if you studied them, you’d know exactly who was who. Also, their stripes aren’t just on their fur, if you had to shave them, which really isn’t advisable; they have stripes on their skin too.
There are more than 100 stripes on each tiger and they’re great as it helps them to hide when they’re hunting.
This is very interesting. When a tiger is trying to hide its tracks, it pulls in its claws so that it makes it harder to be found. Wow, very very clever.
People think that tigers are man-eaters!
They are definitely not. In fact if you had to bump into one on a stroll in the jungle, they’d probably just wander off into the woods.
Tigers’ eyes are different to domesticated cats.
Tigers have round pupils and domestic cats show slitted pupils. This is because tigers hunt at dawn or dusk, but can also be seen hunting at night, whereas cats are nocturnal, they only go out hunting at night.
Tigers have sharp night vision which is six times better than our ability to see at night, but they still don’t really hunt at night.
All tigers have yellow eyes, except for one; the white tiger is the only species that has blue eyes.
This is because of the fact that they have a gene which gives them the white fur, and this same gene gives blue eyes.
Weird to think that one tiger would have a different gene to all the rest. Nature is amazing.
Tigers don’t roar at other animals, they would only do so if they need to communication with each other. If there is a stand-off then even the tiger who wants to attack will make a hissing sound.
How weird is that?
But if a tiger does roar, do you know why? Well, there are two reasons; he might be defending his territory or inviting his counterparts to mate.
The powerful muscles of tigers are so strong that the cat could remain standing even when it dies. That’s mind-blowing!
Tigers only live on the continent of Asia, although of course some of their family members like leopards, lions and cheetahs live in Africa. But there is not one single tiger that lives in Africa outside of captivity.
The footprints of a tiger are known as ‘pug marks’.
Hope you enjoyed this cool overview of tigers. Do you have anything to add? Let us know!
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