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The Tiger Essay

817 words - 3 pages

Tigers are the largest members of the cat family. They live in Asia and belong to the same genus as the lion, leopard, and jaguar. Two major subspecies of the tiger are the Siberian tiger and the Bengal tiger. The tiger is thought to have originated in northern Asia during the Pleistocene Epoch.

Scientific classification:
Tigers belong to the family Felidae. The scientific classifications of each tiger are listed in the "Types of Tigers" section of this report.

Appearance
The Siberian tiger measures 4.6 to 9.2 ft long, excluding the tail, which is 27 to 37 in long. The Siberian Tiger weighs 400 to 675 lb. It has thick yellow fur with dark stripes. The Bengal tiger is about 10 ft long, including the tail, and weighs around 400 to 569 lb. It is found in southeastern Asia and in central and southern India. Its coat is flatter than the Siberian tiger's coat, it has a darker color, and the stripes are darker. The Sumatran tiger is even smaller and darker.

Ears
The tiger's ears are its main advantage when hunting. Tigers have white spots behind their ears to help identify one another in the jungle. Hearing is the tiger's sharpest sense.

Eyes
The tiger's night vision is six times greater than ours. They have a mirror like layer at the back of the eye that reflects extra light. Tigers also have very good colorful eyesight.

Mouth
Tigers have long, canine teeth that they use to stab and kill their prey. The molars behind them are like scissors. They slice strips of flesh from the carcass. The tigers tongue has a rough surface. This sandpaper like surface allows the tiger to drink, groom themselves, and it helps them remove the last little bit of meat from their kill.

Legs
The tiger's legs are very powerful. The tiger can leap up to 30 feet.

Paws
The tiger's paws are like a soft pad. They are not rock hard as they appear. The tiger's claws are very sharp. They can reach up to 4 - 5 inches in length and are retractable. When tigers walk, they retract their claws, in order to keep them sharp.

Behavior
Hunting:
Tigers are very good hunters. They like to hunt large animals, such as: deer, antelope, wild oxen, pigs, and buffalo. Some tigers attack elephant calves when the calves are unprotected. Tigers also prey on small animals such as: monkeys, tortoises, and frogs.

Tigers a re very fast while running short distances. They can leap up to 30 feet. After a tiger has killed an animal, it eats everything except for the bones and the stomach.

Territory:
Most adult male tigers claim a territory and keep other males out of it. Sometimes, their territory can range up to 250 sq. miles. Tigers mark...

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