Tigers are symbols of beauty, bravery. The Royal Bengal Tiger, India’s national animal, puts the country on the map as a tiger-friendly destination for tiger tours. The stately gait of this feline beast is enough to show why it is acknowledged as one of the world’s most fascinating species. This dangerous-looking animal has specific characteristics that distinguish him from other large cats in his family, which is why people come across continents to see them in India’s tiger reserves.
There might not be a single person who won’t be astonished by this stunning Indian big cat, which has canines longer than lions and can devour 30 to 40 kilograms of meat in one meal. Tigers are most often depicted as ruthless animals however they are kind and protective of their family. From replicating the sounds of various animals to entice their prey or to even run at a pace of 60 km/h over short distances. This isn’t all; there are several more fascinating facts about this endangered species that one should be aware of.
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Some facts about tigers
Species of Bengal tigers:
There were eight different subspecies of tigers at one time. However, three have extinct, putting the tiger species as a whole in threat of extinction. The Bengal tiger, officially known as the Royal Bengal tiger, is a tiger that belongs to a subspecies of Panthera Tigris Tigris exclusive to the Indian subcontinent. Poaching, habitat loss, and fragmentation have all been risks to this species, which is expected to have less than 4000 wild individuals by 2018.
Tiger Eye Sight:
Tigers have forward-facing eyes rather than one on each side of their head. This provides binocular vision because each eye’s field of vision overlaps creating a three-dimensional image. Binocular vision allows them to judge distances and depths correctly, which is incredibly essential for exploring their complicated habitat and pursuing prey.
Speaking Scientifical tigers have more rods than cones in their eyes. Rods are responsible for visual acuity for shapes whereas cones are responsible for colours. The increased number of rods enables them to detect prey movement in the dark, where colour vision is ineffective.
Reproduction and Life Cycle:
There are no set mating or birth seasons for tigers. A female Bengal tiger, unlike most other mammals, is only fertile for 4 or 5 days out of the year. The gestation phase lasts about 103 days if conception is successful. Predominantly the cubs are born between December and April. But tiger cubs have also been spotted in March, May, October, and November.
In the 1960s a study suggested features of tiger behaviour at Kanha National Park, that the peak of sexual activity was from November to around February, with some mating perhaps occurring all year. Males mature at 4–5 years of age, whereas females mature at 3–4 years. A tiger will come into heat every 3–9 weeks and then will be receptive for 3–6 days. 2–4 cubs are born in a shelter in tall grass, thick vegetation, or caves during one gestation period of 104–106 days.
Most litters have two to four cubs. New-born cubs weigh between 780 and 1,600 g (1.72 and 3.53 lb) and have a thick woolly coat that sheds after 3.5–5 months. They have their eyes and ears closed. Their milk teeth grow about 2–3 weeks after birth and are eventually replaced by permanent dentition between both the periods of 8.5 and 9.5 weeks.
They suckle for 3–6 months before starting to eat minimal amounts of solid food at the age of two months. They begin to accompany their mother on her hunting outings at this age and begin to engage by the age of 5–6 months. They began to separate themselves from their mother at the age of two to three years and then start becoming reclusive. They begin to search for their territory and set out to mark their territory. In comparison to female cubs, young male cubs tend to find territory more away from their mother.
Bengal tigers, adore water and are excellent swimmers. They can swim approximately 4 miles at a time. A Bengal tiger may plunge into the water to cool off and might hunt its victim into the water. Look at how tigers have reformed through becoming ardent swimmers in the mangrove ecology, which is an affluent habitat for them. Even in the water, prey cannot escape their formidable jaws.
Hunting and Diet:
Mostly tiger approaches their prey from the side or behind from as close a distance and grasp its throat to kill them quickly. Then they drag their kill inside cover before eating them. There have been cases where it has been found that tigers drag their kill over several hundred meters to secure their kill. Tigers hunt large ungulates like chital, sambar, and gaur, as well as barasingha, water buffalo, nilgai, serow, and takin to a limited extent.
Wild boar, hog deer, Indian muntjac, and grey langur are among the medium-sized prey species it kills. Porcupines, hares, and peafowl are small prey species that make up a modest part of their diet. It also preys on domestic livestock as a result of human encroachment into tiger habitats. The tigers at Nagarahole National Park prefer games weighing more than 176 kg, according to scat analyses, and tiger prey weighed an average of 91.5 kg.
Tiger is a territorial animal:
Tigers may appear to be indolent animals during the day, dozing and relaxing, but once awake, they are known to travel great distances, protecting and owning a territory that can reach up to 200 square miles at times.
Strips and Teeth:
Bengal tigers facts demonstrate that when it comes to looks, 2 different tigers are never the same. Any Bengal tiger’s stripes are unique to that animal, just like people’s fingerprints are different. You won’t find two tigers with the same stripes.
Bengal tigers are evolved from the well-known Sabre-tooth cat, whose elongated canine teeth make it easily identifiable. Bengal tigers do not have the same tooth length as their forefathers, yet still rely on their large, sharp teeth to hunt prey. They would be unable to hunt if they lost these teeth owing to old age or injury, and would most likely die of malnutrition.
- Although many people believe that white tigers are a distinct subspecies, you might be surprised to hear that white tigers are Bengal tigers. Their distinctive coloring is due to a DNA mutation found in only one out of every 10,000 tigers. This means that a white tiger cub can be born to two orange Bengal tigers. However, white tigers haven’t been seen in the wild since the 1950s. There are some white tigers currently exclusively found in private institutions.
Some Interesting Tiger facts
Bengal tigers have a built-in first–aid kit:
You may have seen a tiger licking its fur on several occasions. It appears that they do this to groom and clean themselves, but this is a natural defense mechanism. Natural antimicrobial components in tiger saliva prevent wounds from becoming infected. These elements also improve the healing process. This is critical because Bengal tigers might sustain injuries while defending their territories or hunting.
Male Tigers are Gentlemen:
Because tigers are solitary animals, they normally hunt alone, but when there are cubs involved, the eating procedure is a little different. Before taking any of his prey, a male Bengal tiger will let the cubs and their mother consume it first. This is in contrast to its close relative the lion, which always eats first despite the fact that the females accomplish all of the hunting.
Tigers also Purr:
Like house cats, tigers also purr, however, this sound is frequently mistaken for a growl since it is so loud and rough.
In the wild, there are only a few tigers surviving and India is home to the majority of them. India is the best place to see these magnificent species in their natural habitat. The main tiger reserves to witness tigers are Kanha National Park, Corbett National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, and Ranthambhore National Park. In any of these national parks, a tiger safari might boost your chances of seeing these big cats.