The tiger is the largest member of the cat family. An adult tiger can weigh as much as 720 pounds. A large tiger can measure more than 3.5 feet tall and more than 9 feet long.
Tigers are known for their distinctive fur coats that are deep orange on the back and legs with a white belly, chest, throat, and parts of the face marked with dark stripes from face to tail. Tiger stripes range from brown to jet-black.
The most common tiger is the Bengal tiger. It is found in forests and mangrove thickets of India and Bangladesh. The Siberian tiger is larger than the Bengal tiger. It lives in the coniferous forests of Siberia. The Sumatran tiger is smaller and darker than the Bengal and Siberian tigers. It lives in the tropical jungles of Sumatra and Malaysia.
Tigers occupy large territories. They prefer dense forests. A tiger may have several dens in its territory.
Tigers are usually solitary, but they are not anti-social. A male may be seen resting or feeding with a female.
Tigers are usually nocturnal, but they will hunt during the day where they will not be disturbed by humans. Tigers eat mostly hoofed animals such as deer and wild pigs. They will occasionally eat large animals such as bison. A tiger will hide in the undergrowth until its prey comes close enough then it will spring from cover and use its weight to knock the prey to the ground. It will then deliver a deadly bite to the throat.
Tigers live 8 to 15 years years on average. The scientific name of the tiger is Panthera tigris.