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The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
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About Tigers / Pantera Tigris

Posted by WishbonE at 3:05 AM

Thursday, July 17, 2008

About Tigers / Pantera Tigris

Tigers (Pantera Tigris) are the largest member of the felidae or cat family. These mammal cats are the biggest and most powerful among genus Pantera. They sport long, thick reddish coats with white bellies and white and black tails. Their heads, bodies, tails and limbs have narrow black, brown or gray stripes. There were once nine subspecies of tigers: Bengal, Siberian, Indochinese, South Chinese, Sumatran, Malayan, Caspian, Javan and Bali. Of these, the last three are extinct and the rest are endangered.

The word "tiger" is taken from the Greek word "tigris", which is possibly derived from a Persian source meaning "arrow", a reference to the animal's speed and also the origin for the name of the River Tigris. The generic component of its scientific designation, Panthera tigris, is often presumed to derive from Greek pan- ("all") and ther ("beast"), but this may be a folk etymology. Although it came into English through the classical languages, panthera is probably of East Asian origin, meaning "the yellowish animal," or "whitish-yellow".

Tigers are the heaviest cats found in the wild, but the subspecies differ markedly in size, tending to increase proportionally with latitude, as predicted by Bergmann's Rule. Large male Siberian Tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) can reach a total length of 3.5 m and a weight of 306 kilograms. Apart from those exceptional large individuals, male Siberian tigers usually have a head and body length of 190–220 cm and an average weight of 227 kg (the tail of a tiger is 60–110 cm long). The heaviest wild Siberian tiger on record weighed in at 384 kg, but according to Mazak these giants are not confirmed via reliable references. Females are smaller - the size difference between male and female tigers tends to be more pronounced in the larger subspecies of tiger, with males weighing up to 1.7 times as much as the females. Consequently, females of the Siberian and Bengal subspecies weigh only between 100 and 181 kg. Island-dwelling tigers, such as the Sumatran subspecies, are much smaller than mainland tigers, with males usually weighing only 100–140 kg and females 75–110 kg. The extinct Bali Tiger was even smaller, with a weight of 90–100 kg in males and 65–80 kg in females. Tiger lifespan about 10 to 15 years.

Depending on geographic location, tigers can be found in a variety of habitats. These include tropical forests, evergreen forests, riverine woodlands, mangrove swamps, grasslands, savannas, and rocky country. Tigers occupy a variety of habitats from tropical forests, evergreen forests, woodlands and mangrove swamps to grasslands savannah and rocky country. They are mostly nocturnal (more active at night) and are ambush predators that rely on the camouflage their stripes provide. Tigers use their body weight to knock prey to the ground and kills with a bite to the neck. They are also very good swimmers and have been known to kill prey while swimming. Tigers essentially live solitary lives, except during mating season and when females bear young. They are usually fiercely territorial and have and mark their large home ranges.

Staples Sambar deer, wild pigs, water buffalo and antelope are the main diet of tigers. Also known to attack sloth bear, dogs, leopards, crocodiles and pythons as well as monkeys and hares. Old and injured tigers have been known to attack humans and domestic cattle.

The home ranges of male tigers are intrasexual territories. Male tigers exclude other males from their range, but not females. A male's home range usually overlaps the home range(s) of one to several females. Female and male tigers mark their home ranges chemically (through scent) and visually. Most marking is done along home range boundaries. The most common form of scent marking is through urine. A chemically modified urine called marking fluid, which has a strong, long-lasting smell, is sprayed on trees, bushes, and rocks. Scraping (abrading the ground with the hindfeet) is a common visual marker, placed in conspicuous areas along pathways. Scraping is often accompanied by deposits of feces or urine. Less common methods of marking include tree trunk clawing, cheek rubbing, and flattening of vegetation (through rolling) next to trails. Daily movement within the home range varies. Individuals will visit all parts of their range over a period of days or weeks. Siberian tigers have been recorded moving up to 60 km (37 mi.) per day, while Bengal tigers in Nepal covered about 10 to 20 km (6-12 mi.) per day. Adult female tigers (tigresses) tend to occupy the same home range for their entire lifetime, while males may shift or change their home range several times. Vacant home ranges in prime habitat are quickly filled by animals living in peripheral habitats, usually young adults.

In the historical past tigers were widespread in Asia, from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, to Siberia and Indonesia. During the 19th century the striped cats completely vanished from western Asia, and became restricted to isolated pockets in the remaining parts of their range. Today, this fragmented relic range extends from India in the west to China and Southeast Asia in the east. The northern limit is close to the Amur River in south eastern Siberia. The only large island inhabited by tigers today is Sumatra. Tigers vanished from Java during the second half of the 19th century, and in Borneo are known only from fossil remains.

In the early 1900s, there were around 100,000 tigers throughout their range. Today, an estimated total of around 3,000-4,500 exist in the wild. Below is a breakdown of numbers by subspecies.

Bengal tiger: less than 2,000

Indochinese tiger: 750-1,300

South Chinese tiger: less than 20

Siberian tiger: around 450

Sumatran tiger: 400-500

Malayan tiger: less than 500

Caspian tiger: extinct

Javan tiger: extinct

Bali tiger: extinct

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