Did you know that tigers are the largest cats in the world? They can weigh up to 660 pounds and grow up to 10 feet long. And there are currently only around 4,500 tigers left in the wild. Learn more interesting facts about tigers in this blog post.
In this blog post, we will share a bunch of interesting tiger facts for kids. From their diet to their stripes, tigers have a lot of unique features that make them special. We hope you enjoy learning about these amazing creatures!
Are you ready to be surprised? Let’s get started!
1. Tigers are the largest members of the cat family
The cat family is both large and diverse, but do you know who the largest member of the family is? You’re right; it’s the Tiger. The length of their bodies, between their nose tip and tail, ranges from 8-10 feet.
And they’re not just big but also heavy, with their body weight ranging between 400-660 pounds. That’s the weight of six average-sized humans combined!
2. Tigers are obligate carnivores
You must be familiar with how big cats like tigers eat meat. But did you know that it is not just by choice? These felines are true or obligate carnivores, meaning that they’re incapable of digesting a plant-based diet and can only survive on meat.
What’s more shocking is that obligate carnivorism isn’t limited to just tigers or lions and other big cats. It runs in the entire feline family. Even the tiny house cat that’s your neighbor’s pet is an obligate carnivore!
3. Tigers are apex predators
Do you know what an apex predator is? Just as apex means the highest point of any structure, apex predators are creatures that occupy the highest rank in the food chain. In other words, they have no other natural predator on Earth.
4. Tigers are terrific runners
If someone weighs 600 pounds, how fast could they possibly run? Not much if they’re humans. But if they’re tigers, their mass does little to impact their speed. These felines are terrific runners and can even reach the speed of 35-40 miles per hour when needed.
That’s more than double the global average speed of cars, which is 18.6 miles per hour. So, if you’re ever in a car escaping from a tiger, you better drive fast!
5. Tigers love water
If you’ve ever had a pet cat or know someone who does, you’d already be familiar with how much they dislike water. Well, their larger relatives do not share their hatred.
Tigers enjoy being in the water, and for a good reason. These large cats can easily get overheated during the hottest parts of the day and take a dip in the surrounding waterbodies to cool themselves off.
Furthermore, despite being terrestrial animals, tigers have also mastered the art of swimming and can swim anywhere between 9-18 miles in a day. Is there anything these cats can’t do?
6. Tigers are nocturnal hunters
Although tigers are large and strong, they’re not keen on working too hard. And because hunting during the daytime means covering long distances in the hot weather to look for food, they’ve adopted a nocturnal lifestyle.
Tigers’ physical features complement this lifestyle as well. They have better night vision (six times better than that of a human) and an incredible sense of hearing, both of which come in handy while hunting in the darkness of the night.
7. Tigers don’t live long
For all their majestic appearance and raw strength, tigers’ lifespan isn’t as impressive as you’d think. These cats only live for 8-10 years in the wild. In captivity, where they do not need to worry about hunting for food, they can live as long as 20-25 years, but that’s about it.
Even the oldest living tiger in the world, named Bengali, died at the age of 26 years.
8. The population of tigers is critically endangered
Despite their massive size and strength, these wild cats are still struggling to survive in our world today. If you’re wondering how, we have two answers for you: hunting and habitat destruction.
These threats have already wiped out three of the eight tiger species that originally existed, with the other five on the verge of following them.
There are roughly 13,000 tigers remaining in our world today, with 8,000 of them being in captivity and the other 5,000 living in the wild. It’s up to us to conserve their population from extinction.
9. Of all the surviving tigers, the number of Bengal Tigers is the highest
As we just discussed above, only five species of tigers have survived today. Are you curious about which of these species is leading in population?
Wonder no more, for we have your answer right here: the Bengal Tigers, a species found in the Indian Subcontinent, have the largest population among all living species.
Moreover, this species also happens to be the largest of all tiger species alive today.
10. A tiger’s roar is surprisingly loud
Although lions are praised universally for their mighty roars, the roars of their cousins aren’t half bad. Tigers’ roars are measured at 110 decibels on average, which is quite close to the loudness of an ambulance’s siren. Their roars can also be heard up to 2 miles.
11. Roaring isn’t the only sound tigers can make
While tigers can roar loudly, roaring is not the only sound they produce. In fact, you’d be surprised that roaring among tigers isn’t that common. The other, more common sounds made by these felines include growling, hissing, moaning, grunting, snarling, and hissing.
12. Tigers are great at mimicry
Besides the diverse range of their own sounds, tigers are also good at mimicking other animals. These smart cats have mastered the art of mimicking the sounds of their prey, which proves to be a major advantage for hunting.
There have been many instances where tigers are recorded making the pook calls of Sambar to lure them out and then attack them. It is this combination of brain and brawn that places them at the top of the food chain.
13. Tigers can also produce infrasound
Are you familiar with infrasound? These are sounds produced at a frequency below 20 hertz, which are inaudible to humans.
Tigers are also known to produce infrasound, which they use for two reasons: to either attract a mate or drive an enemy away from their territory.
14. Tigers have teeth longer than your middle finger!
Adult tigers have 30 teeth, four of which are canines: two placed on their upper jaw and the other two on their lower jaw. Their upper canines are slightly longer and measure 3.5 inches, while the lowers ones are 3 inches long.
Tigers’ canines are the longest in the entire feline family and are used by them to hold on to their prey. They’re even longer than an average-sized adult’s middle finger!
15. Tigers can throw deadly punches
Can you imagine a tiger punching? While it’s true that these mammals cannot make fists to throw a punch, the mere slap of their paws can break several bones of a human’s body and even kill them in some cases.
The next time you visit the tiger in the zoo, make sure you stay away from their face as well as their paws!
16. Tiger’s babies are blind when they’re born
Did you know that the younger ones of tigers are called cubs? Even if you did, we’re sure you wouldn’t have known this one: these cubs are born blind!
Yes, you read that right. The eyes of newborn cubs are covered with thin membranes that break after 5-10 days around their birth, which is when they first open their eyes.
17. Not all the cubs of a tiger survive
The tigers’ litter typically consists of 7 cubs, out of which only 2 are likely to survive, while the remaining fall prey to diseases, food shortages, or a predator lurking nearby.
Another interesting fact about the cubs’ survival is that the females’ chances of survival are higher. This is because males have a stronger tendency to wander off on their own, which is how they generally end up dead.
Think about that the next time you want to plan an adventure of your own!
18. Tigers can kill their own babies!
Ever heard of a parent killing their own child? Because in the world of tigers, it’s not that unusual.
While the mama tiger raises its cubs for a year, in some cases, they’ve been found to kill some of them as well. There are several reasons behind this understandably disturbing act, including food shortage and deformities in the cub.
19. Tigers are sleepy heads
Despite the difference in their size, tigers are very similar to house cats in many ways. One of these ways includes their fondness for rest.
Can you guess how long these large cats sleep for? About 16-20 hours a day! Yes, you read that right. Sleeping typically takes up about 75% of their daily time. Imagine what luxurious lives they must lead!
20. Tigers are highly territorial
Much like house cats, their larger relatives are also very particular about their personal space. They’re solitary creatures that prefer to live on their own and do not appreciate other tigers trespassing their territory.
Studies have found that male tigers need a larger territory than females and are known to defend their territory more aggressively than the latter.
21. Not all tigers are orange
While most tigers have furs colored in different shades of orange, some individuals also have white fur. Contrary to popular belief, the white tigers aren’t a separate species but merely a result of a genetic mutation called Leucism.
Although people admire the elegant white fur of these tigers, it is ironically a liability for them. Because the color white doesn’t blend in with their surroundings, white tigers are more vulnerable to threats and have a lower hunting success rate.
22. Tigers have interesting collective nouns!
Although finding a group of tigers hanging out together is a rare happening, if you ever come across one, what would you call them? Let us help you out. A group of tigers is called a streak or an ambush.
23. Tigers could starve to death sooner than us!
While humans cannot compete with tigers in size, strength, or speed, in case of food scarcity, we can survive much longer than them (provided they don’t eat us first).
While an average healthy human can survive anywhere between 40-70 days, the tigers can barely go for longer than a couple of weeks.
24. Tigers are good at sharing stuff
Who could’ve thought you could learn lessons on sharing from these big cats?
While tigers are lone hunters and prefer to enjoy their own company most of the time, if they’ve landed a large kill, they don’t mind sharing it with other tigers. This generous behavior is rarely seen among other big cats.
25. Tigers can also mate outside of their community
It’s no secret that tigers mate with tigers: that’s the law of Nature. But did you know that these felines can mate with other big cats as well? Yes, that’s right. The cat family has many hybrid species, both big and small.
Outside of their species, tigers can breed with lions, leopards, and jaguars. In fact, the hybrids between lions and tigers are also given separate names and treated as a separate species.
For instance, ligers are hybrid offsprings of female tigers and male lions, whereas tigons are born out of the crossbreeding between male tigers and female lions.
26. Tigers’ tongues can peel your skin off
Have you ever seen a tiger’s tongue from up close? We highly doubt it, but if you had, you’d know that they’re full of small, whitish needle-like projections called papillae.
These papillae give their tongue a rough texture and help strip the fur and feathers from their prey. If a tiger licks you on the same spot several times, it can rip off your skin!
27. Tigers’ saliva has antiseptic properties
Do you know how tigers treat their wounds without a doctor? Well, they have their saliva for that. Tigers’ saliva contains a protein that is known to have antiseptic properties and speeds up the wound recovery process.
28. It is illegal to keep tigers as pets
Wouldn’t it be awesome to keep a pet as large, strong, and fierce as the tigers? No, not really.
Tigers are called wild cats for a reason and are unsuitable for a domesticated life. In fact, a majority of states within the US have declared it illegal to keep them, as well as all the other big cats, as pets.
29. The urine of tigers smells like buttered popcorn
Doesn’t the smell of buttered popcorn remind you of comfort and familiarity? We don’t want to gross you out, but the smell of a tiger’s urine is more or less the same. These scents have been picked up around their territory, which they mark by urinating.
We understand your urge to test this comparison but are afraid you’ll have to take our word for it.
30. Tigers have great cultural significance in India
Tigers are not only the national animal of India but also hold a high reverence in the country’s culture. In Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga is known to ride on a tiger, which is seen as a symbol of magnificence, valor, and bravery.
31. Tigers do not see us as food
While tigers are indeed dangerous animals, they’re not our predators, at least not out of choice. In truth, these cats are highly wary of humans and wouldn’t attack them until they feel threatened or are starving.
Studies have also shown that they do not find human meat desirable and would much rather feed on a deer.
32. Tigers play a crucial role in our ecosystem
Do you know what a keystone species is? It’s a species whose population has a high impact on holding its ecosystem together. Tigers are one such species. Wondering how? We’ll tell you.
As one of the largest carnivores on land, these cats feed on the herbivores to maintain a balance between their population and the flora.
Without tigers, there would be no one to stop these herbivores from grazing on entire forests. And their steady clearing away of forests would create a scarcity of clean air, making our survival impossible.
Wrapping it up
While humans have seen tigers as their enemies for a long time, we’ve only recently come to understand the importance of their existence in our ecosystem. We hope we’ve helped you realize how necessary it is for us to take steps to bring their population back from the verge of extinction.