- A tiger can eat 100 pounds of meat a night! Compare that to 400 hamburgers! They need a lot of food because they go days between meals.
- Tigers have been called man eaters, yet they eat frogs, monkeys, porcupines fowl, and tortoises, especially when a good deer is hard to find.
- Tigers have eyes that are the brightest of any other animal in the world. At dusk, or in the beam of a torch, they blaze back the ambient light with awe-inspiring intensity.
- Tigers are the biggest cats in the world. They live in steamy hot jungles as well as icy cold forests. There are five different kinds or subspecies of tiger alive in the world today. These tigers are called Siberian, South China, Indochinese, Bengal, and Sumatran. Tigers are an endangered species; only about 5,000 to 7,400 tigers are left in the wild. Three tiger subspecies, the Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers have become extinct in the past 70 years.
- Depending on the subspecies, the head-body length of a tiger is about 41/2 to 9 feet (1.4-2.8 m). The length of the tail is 3 to 4 feet (90-120 cm). The foot pads vary in size with age, resulting in inaccurate estimates when used in censuring wild populations.
- The heaviest tiger recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records is a 1,025-pound male Siberian tiger.
- The size of a tiger's territory depends on the amount of food available, and usually ranges from about 10 to 30 square miles (26-78 sq. km). Siberian tigers sometimes have really big territories (as large as 120 square miles).
- Although tigers usually live alone, tiger territories can overlap. A male tiger's territory usually overlaps those of several female tigers.
- Tigers mark their territories by spraying bushes and trees with a special mixture of urine and scent gland secretions. They also leave scratch marks on trees.
- Tigers can see in the dark six times better than humans can. They can also see in color.
- Tigers have round pupils and yellow irises (except for the blue eyes of white tigers). Due to a retinal adaptation that reflects light back to the retina, the night vision of tigers is six times better than that of humans.
- Young tigers live with their mother until they are two to three years old, then they find their own territories.
- Unlike some big cats like lions, adult tigers like to live alone (except for mother tigers with cubs). This is partly because in the forest, a single tiger can sneak up and surprise its prey better than a group of tigers can.
- Most tigers have an orange coat with dark brown or black stripes accented with white. Tigers that live in cold climates (Siberian tigers) have thicker fur than tigers that live in warm climates.
- A tiger's tail is 3 to 4 feet long, about half as long as its body. Tigers use their tails for balance when they run through fast turns. They also use their tails to communicate with other tigers.
- No one knows exactly why tigers are striped, but scientists think that the stripes act as camouflage, and help tigers hide from their prey. The Sumatran tiger has the most stripes of all the tiger subspecies, and the Siberian tiger has the fewest stripes. Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints; no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes.
- Like domestic cats, tiger claws are retractable. Tiger scratches on trees serve as territorial markers.
- They often carry the Chinese mark of Wang or King on the forehead.
- The life span of tigers in the wild is thought to be about 10 years. Tigers in zoos live twice as long.