Tigers are largest members of the cat family with distinctive reddish coats with white and black markings that are used for camouflage. The coats are unique to each animal – no two tigers have the same markings.

Depending on their environment, these powerful hunters can feast on deer, wild pigs, water buffalo, antelope, leopards, crocodiles and pythons. Tigers can eat as much as 27 kilograms in one meal.

With the exception of mating season tigers are solitary mammals. Females will give birth to between two and six subs per litter and raise them with little help from the male.

The Bengal tiger, scientific name Panthera tigris tigris, are the most common tiger species making up around half of the tigers in the wild.

The Siberian tiger, scientific name Panthera tigris altaica, is predominantly found in eastern Russia with smaller population in China and North Korea.

The Sumatran tiger, scientific name Panthera tigris sumatrae, is found only on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. It’s the smallest tiger species, weighing in at around half of the Siberian tiger.

Three species of tiger became extinct in the 20th century. Hunting and habitat destruction have had a drastic impact with the overall population thought to now be down to between 3,000 and 5,000 tigers.

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay