- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids


Tiger Facts

Size Up to 3.6 ft (1.10 m) (shoulder height)
Speed Up to 37 mph (60 km/h) (short distance)
Weight Up to 617 lb (280 kg)
Lifespan 12-25 years
Food Deer, antelopes, wild boars
Predators -
Habitat Asia
Order Carnivore
Family Cats
Scientific name Panthera tigris
Characteristics Big cat, black stripes

Main Characteristics

The world's largest wild cat is the Tiger. There are six sub-species, which live in different regions. Not only in the tropical rainforest and mangrove forests, but also in very cold zones, for instance the Siberian tiger in the snowy areas of Russia. The Bali tiger, the Javan tiger, and the Caspian tiger are no longer included in this list as they unfortunately became extinct between 1940 and 1970.

Anatomy and Appearance

Why Do Tigers Have Striped Fur?

Although the tiger has a striped coat, no prey animal would mistake it for a harmless zebra. But what are the stripes good for then? It is as simple as this: In the twilight the stripes look like grass or shadows. By the way: Not only the coat is striped, but also the skin.

Are There White Tigers?

There are also tigers with a coat striped black and white instead of golden-yellow and black. The color of their coat is the result of breeding. Yet, they are not albinos, otherwise they would have red eyes. White tigers have blue eyes.

Tiger Tiger - Photo: konmesa/Shutterstock


What Do Tigers Eat

Usually a tiger eats about 13-18 lb (6-8 kg) meat every day. Yet, after a successful hunting trip it sometimes does not hesitate and devours up to 44 lb (20 kg) in one go.

What Strategies Do Tigers Use to Hunt?

Every feline predator has its special hunting method. The lion chokes its prey. The tiger always sneaks up from behind and kills its prey with a bite in the neck. Larger animals get bitten in the throat. The people of India have developed a special trick: They wear masks with faces painted on them on the back of their heads. Since then there have been much less attacks on humans, because the mask makes the tiger think that it is looking into the face of its prey.

Senses and Abilities

Are Tigers Good Swimmers?

Tigers are extremely good swimmers.

Tiger Tiger - Photo: neelsky/Shutterstock

Tiger Species

The Biggest and the Heaviest Tiger

The Siberian tiger is the biggest of all. Including the tail, it is about 10.8 feet (3.30 meters) long. The second biggest ist the Bengal tiger. The smallest is the Sumatra tiger, which lives on Sumatra island.


• Siberian tiger (Amur tiger)
Coat: bright, long and dense
Habitat: North Korea, China, Russia

• South China tiger
Coat: bright colors, hardly any white
Habitat: China

• Bengal tiger
Coat: several variations
Habitat: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar

• Indochinese tiger
Coat: rather dark
Habitat: South East Asia

• Malayan tiger
Coat: more reddish than the Indochinese tiger
Habitat: Malaysia

• Sumatran tiger
Coat: bright colors
Habitat: Sumatra

Tiger Tiger - Photo: nattanan726/Shutterstock


After mating it takes about 103 days until the female tiger gives birth to two to five baby tigers. After two or three months they can follow their mother. After six months they start to eat meat. At this time they are not yet able to hunt because they do not lose their milk teeth before the age of 18-20 months.

Good to Know

Do Tigers Actively Hunt Humans?

Between 1902 and 1907, one single tiger killed 434 humans in India. Generally, tigers do not find the meat of humans particularly tasty. But if they are blind (for example after fighting with porcupines), have bad teeth, or injured paws, they sometimes go for easy prey.

The Tiger Is Related To:

Animals in the Same Biome:

Tiger Tiger - Photo: Denise Allison Coyle/Shutterstock

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