Siberian tiger

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Siberian tiger
A male Siberian tiger in Leipzig Zoo
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. tigris
Subspecies: P. tigris altaica
Map of where the Siberian tiger lives (In red)

The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the "Amur Tiger", is the largest cat in the world. They live in eastern Russia's birch forests, though some are found in China and North Korea. It is estimated that there are around 400 to 500 Siberian tigers left in the wild.[1]

Description[change | change source]

Siberian tigers are the largest of all tigers, as well as the largest of all cats. They can grow up to the length of 6–9 ft (1.8–2.7 meters), but some can be as long as 11 ft (3.3 meters). They usually weigh around 300–600 pounds, but can weigh as much as 700 pounds or more. To keep themselves from becoming cold in the winters, Siberian tigers have thicker fur coats than tigers which live in southern Asia. They also have a thick layer of fat which helps keep them warm. Like all other tigers, Siberian tigers have orange fur with black stripes. Siberian tigers have extra fur around their necks and paws which helps them keep warm. Siberian tigers have less orange in their coats, and have fewer stripes.[2]

Where they live[change | change source]

Siberian tigers are located in northeast China, the Russian Far East and parts of North Korea. This region is called the "Amur Region", which is named after the Amur river. This region is covered with mountainous areas and coniferous forests. In the summer, the temperature is between mild and hot. In the winter, it may be very cold, especially at higher altitudes.[2]

Behaviour[change | change source]

Like other tigers, the Siberian tiger likes to live on its own. Each Siberian tiger has its own large amount of territory. Male tigers' territories will usually cross those of several females' territories, but will usually not cross the territories of other males. In their territories, Siberian tigers usually have a lair in a cave or another area.[2]

Feeding[change | change source]

Since Siberian tigers live in such cold regions, an adult needs to eat at least 9 kilograms (20 lb) of food every day to survive, but adults can eat as much as 50 kilograms of meat. Siberian tigers feed mainly on wild boar, elk and deer, but they also eat lynx and even bears. If the tiger cannot find larger prey it instead feeds on fish, rodents and rabbits. During normal conditions, around 50 percent of the tiger's diet will be of wild boar.[3]

Hunting[change | change source]

While hunting, a Siberian tiger can run faster than 50 miles per hour, and have been recorded up to 60 miles per hour but running at this speed takes a lot of energy, so the Siberian tiger will only run short distances. The Siberian tiger has good night vision and likes to hunt during the night, when it can surprise its prey. It also has good hearing and sense of smell which it uses to find and attack prey.[3]

Reproduction[change | change source]

A Siberian tiger cub with its mother in Buffalo Zoo

All tigers live alone and come together in mating season. Siberian tigers mate at any time of the year. Females are pregnant for around three to three and a half months before giving birth to their cubs in early spring. Females usually give birth to around 3–4 cubs at a time.

When born, the Siberian tiger cub, like most cats, is blind, toothless and small,no larger than a normal house cat. The cubs blind for about two weeks. The cubs are born blind in a sheltered den and are left alone when the female leaves to hunt for food. The mother starts teaching the cubs how to hunt when they are around a year old. The cubs then stay with their mother until they are 3–5 years old.

Cubs are divided equally between genders at birth. By adulthood there are usually two to four females for every male. Their large territory makes them more likely to be killed by poachers and other males.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Siberian Tigers, Siberian Tiger Pictures, Siberian Tiger Facts – National Geographic". 2012 [last update]. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Amur Tiger". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Siberian Tiger Facts". 2012 [last update]. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  4. Matthiessen P. & Hornocker M. 2001. Tigers in the snow. North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-596-2

Other websites[change | change source]