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The tiger is one of the largest of the big cats. Unlike most cats, tigers love the water and swim very well. They know the water is a good place to find food as well as cool off.
No two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. These markings help them blend into their surroundings, which allow them to move within 30 feet (9 m) of their prey before attacking. Tigers will then charge, dropping their victims with one paw on the shoulder and their teeth at the throat. Once they have their prey on the ground, they break its neck and drag it to a safe place to eat. Tigers bury leftovers to hide them from scavengers. They hunt at night and, while mainly solitary, may occasionally share a kill with another tiger. Their diet consists of deer, rabbit, pig, bear, elk, turtle, fish, and sometimes livestock.
Tigers serve a vital role in animal control. If there were no tigers, some species of deer and other animals would overpopulate, which could lead to disease and starvation.
Tigers mature in three to five years. After a gestation period of three and a half months, a female tiger gives birth to as many as six cubs. Mortality is usually high and only a few of the cubs survive. Born blind and weighing two to three pounds, tiger cubs grow rapidly and can kill for themselves at seven months of age. However, they stay with their mother for two years, learning how to survive.
Tigers are often seen at the circus. However, they are wild animals and can be fatally dangerous. In the wild, human attacks are often by old animals too weak to catch other game or by sick or injured tigers.
Some enemies of the tiger are wild dogs, crocodiles, and man. They are now protected from hunting.
Tigers have been crossed with lions. The offspring are called ligers. When God created the land animals on Day 6, He said He created kinds. He then said be fruitful and multiply. There can be changes within the kind, but it stays within the kind. Crossing two members of the cat family always produces cats. I wonder what the first cat looked like.
Carnivora • Felidae • Panthera tigris
Height: 3 feet (1 m)
Length: 9 feet (2.7 m); tail, 3 feet (1 m)
Weight: 400–500 pounds (180–230 kg)
Life Span: 25 years.
Special Design Feature: The tiger has stripes on its body making it practically invisible by blending into the surroundings.
Did You Know? The tiger is the largest member of the cat family.