The Siberian tiger may be one of the coolest, largest cats you could ever see or learn about. They are solitary animals and you most likely will never be able to find one in the wild. There are only nine different types of tigers. Six of them are endangered and 3 are already extinct.
Siberian tiger populations are drastically declining. With only about 400 Siberian tigers left in the world, this is one endangered species you should definitely learn about.
Siberian Tiger Facts
First, the tiger falls into the big cat family. The big cat family includes lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard, snow leopard, mainland clouded leopard, and Sunda clouded leopard.
Siberian tigers, or the tiger’s scientific name of Panthera tigris altaica, are subspecies of tigers. Being a subspecies means they are not their own species but rather are under the tiger species.
Siberian tigers are also known as Amur tigers. Unlike the white tiger, which is just a variation of the Mainland tiger, the Siberian tiger is its own subspecies.
The tiger species live in a variety of habitats. You’ll find tigers in southeast Asia, eastern Russia, and northeast China.
The Bengal tiger is the most common, and you have probably heard of them before. Their habitat is Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. But unlike the Bengal tiger, the Siberian tiger is much harder to find.
The Siberian tiger, or the Amur tiger, is only found in the mountain forest of northeast Russia. You may also find a small number of tigers living along the border of northeast China as well. However, you will not see a group of tigers in this area.
Siberian tiger likes to live alone. They will mark trees with their urine to tell other tigers that this is their area. This is called scent marking.
Siberian tigers cover a large area. A male tiger can have a territory of about 770 square miles, often overlapping with female Siberian tiger territories. Female territories are much smaller, with only about 95 to 150 square feet. They need large territories to be able to search for food.
Siberian Tiger Characteristics
Siberian tigers are large cats. This tiger is actually the world’s biggest cat. It is about 11 ft. in length, with a long tail measuring about 3 ft. Adult male Siberian tigers can weigh up to 700 lbs. Females are much smaller, weighing up to 400 lbs.
They are easily identified by their black stripes. These stripes are a lot like a human fingerprint. No two tigers have the same stripe pattern.
Like lions, Siberian tigers also have a mane. Their mane and their thick fur help keep them warm during the coldest time of the year. Since these tigers live in cold climates, they also have a thick layer of fat.
The Siberian tiger’s average lifespan is 15 years in the wild and up to 20-25 years in captivity.
Although these tigers are large animals, their body parts are still made for hunting and surviving. The hind legs are longer than their front legs. This allows them to leap forward large distances. They can also run really fast when traveling short distances. They can run up to 50 mph.
The claws of the Amur tiger or Siberian tiger can grow up to 4 inches in length and are used to grasp onto and hold their prey. Their claws are also retractable, which helps keep them sharp for catching prey. Siberian tigers also use their claws to communicate with each other.
Siberian tigers like to eat hoofed animals such as wild deer and wild boar or wild pigs. They have even been known to eat smaller prey like fish, birds. Some scientists say that these tigers may even try to eat predators like leopards and bears.
A female tiger’s gestation period is about 3 months. A litter size can range from two to six cubs.
Many of these babies will sadly not make it to adulthood and die before they are mature enough to mate. When cubs are born, the cubs weigh one and a half to three pounds.
Tiger cubs are blind for about six to fourteen days because a membrane covers their eyes. They are also born hairless and can not walk. Baby tiger’s eyes start out blue but will develop and turn into a golden color in adulthood.
Mother tigers take care of their babies for three years. By the age of two, the cubs can kill big prey on their own. They will still stay within their mother’s territory for another year until they can establish their own.
Siberian Tiger Threats
Although these large cats do not have any natural enemies, they are still at risk for extinction. This is largely due to human activities.
The main threats to amur tigers are poaching (killing), habitat loss, and illegal hunting of ungulates which are hoofed animals and the tiger’s main food source. Another major threat to tigers is the building of roads. These roads allow poachers and hunters easier access to their habitat and can also cause habitat loss.
Fun Tiger Facts
There are many interesting Siberian tiger facts out there. Here are just a few.
- The Siberian tiger eats about 9kg of food a day. This means it will eat about 135kg of food in the Siberian tiger’s lifespan.
- Siberian tigers have the thickest, longest fur of all the tigers.
- They have fewer paler stripes than other tigers.
- The Siberian tiger is a symbol of strength, power, and fortitude in many countries.
- 95% of Siberian tigers still live in the wild.
- They are the only tigers that can survive in snow.
- They like to stay by the water because they are excellent swimmers.
- They often never leave their territory once they have marked it.
This list of fun facts could go on and on because Siberian tigers are so fascinating and different from other tigers.
Siberian tigers are not only the largest cats in the world, but they may also be the coolest. These tigers are unique and independent and are not afraid to show anyone who is boss when they step into their territory.
Siberian tigers are endangered and that means they need our help and protection. It’s always a good idea to spread information about endangered species like these tigers, so don’t forget to share what you learned with family and friends.
Do you love tigers? Read White Tiger Facts for Kids to learn more!