The tiger is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.38 m over curves and exceptionally weighing up to 388.7 kg in the wild. One of the earliest portrayals of the tiger in India is found in the Harappan seals from the Indus valley culture, dating back to 2500 BC, and depicting an intricate association between people and tigers. The rock paintings of Warli tribe, which date back to around 3000 BC, also feature the tiger. Tigers are well adapted to stalking prey rather than running it down. Tigers primarily hunt at night, between dawn and dusk and usually rest during daytime.
On an average, tigers and tigresses without cubs kill once in eight days, whereas a tigress with cubs makes kill almost once every five days. However, the rate of kills depends on the number of successful attempts. The prey is killed mostly by a fatal throat bite causing suffocation, strangulation or severance of blood vessels. Sometimes nose bites are applied to suffocate the animal, when an effective throat bite is not an easy task, mainly in case of larger prey. Small prey is killed by a nape bite resulting in broken neck vertebrae or dislocation of head from vertebral column. Tigers are meat eaters. Their diet includes chital, sambar, gaur, barasingha, hog deer, barking deer, nilgai, pigs and cattle. Apart from large prey, tigers are also known to consume birds like peafowl and large rodents like porcupines. They are even known to attack elephants and rhino calves.
Tigers in the Sundarbans are known to feed on fish and crabs. The home to Royal Bengal Tigers (Indian Tigers or panthera tigris) is India Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma where these graceful animals live mostly in sanctuaries. The usual habitats for these animals are dense forest, mangrove swamps, savannahs, rocky countries and lush grassland. Bengal Tigers are the most numerous in population than any other Tiger subspecies. They are the largest living member of the cat family and the fastest running animal. The Bengal Indian tigers in the wild live for about 10 to 15 years while tigers in zoos usually live between 16 and 20. years. Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) are the most numerous tiger subspecies with its remaining wild populations estimated at around 2,500.
The Bengal tiger roams a wide range of habitats including high altitudes, tropical and subtropical rain-forests, mangroves, and grasslands. They are primarily found in parts of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Bengal tigers are sometimes called Indian tigers and account for over half of all tigers remaining in the wild. Poaching for tiger parts is their major threat. The Bengal tiger is classified as endangered by the IUCN.
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