Tigers are members of the cat family and stand as one of the most remarkable animals in the world. Classified under the Panthera generic name, tigers are the largest species from the Felidae species. In a group of different animals all in one place, a tiger can easily be recognized because of its conspicuous dark stripes. The stripes take a vertical direction across its orangish-brown fur and an underside that is somewhat lighter. An apex predator that likes to hunt ungulates like the deer and the wild boar, there are certain interesting facts about tigers.
1. Tigers can swim and love playing in water very much
Tigers are very good swimmers and are known to hunt fish during times of starvation by going into the water. Owing to their great strength and agility, a tiger has the capability to swim for a distance of up to 6 kilometers, which is almost the longest distance any land walking animal can last in the water. The ability to swim despite weighing up to 660 pounds, which translates to 300 kilograms is owed to its ability to float in water. Using the strong muscles on its front and hind limbs, a tiger can propel itself in forwarding motion while keeping its head above water for purposes of breathing and seeing the direction. The long tail also has some influence particularly when it comes to negotiating turns in finding direction.
Contrary to what domestic cats do, tigers enjoy playing in the water and swimming for many hours of the day. The art of swimming in tigers is nurtured from their cub stages with the support of tigresses. This is meant to make them better hunters as they are taught how to kill underwater.
2. If a tiger punches you, you may die
Yes, this is true. With just a single punch from a tiger, you can die. This is because of the enormous size of a tiger as well as its front limbs. The front hand is enough to kill a human being and even an animal and even go as far a breaking the bones. This ability is applicable or used during hunting. Upon pursuit, the tiger strives to get the opportunity to hit its prey as a means of rendering it immobile and therefore making for a good meal. This skill is also used when tigers are fighting off enemies as a defense mechanism that always brings the victory home.
3. Tigers are nocturnal animals
This means that tigers find engaging in most activities during the night more fascinating than during the day. Activities such as hunting are normally done at night but not always. It is also true to say that this is not the case for all the tigers. The preference to hunt at night can be attributed to the fact that tigers often prefer to avoid having a conflict with human beings that is more likely to be experienced during the day. It can also be attributed to the fact that tigers like to patrol and take account of their territories during the night in a bid to establish dominance and keep competition for food and mates from their kind.
4. The cub tigers are born while blind and only half of the birthed population survive
Upon birth, the tigers are unable to see and therefore stay in one place. The blindness goes away as the cubs grow, and eventually, their vision is enabled making them able to see. This takes place over a period of time, a move that inspires their parents to take better care of them during that early stage of their life. The parents, therefore, strive to remain within the territory while hunting for purposes of protecting their cubs especially from hyenas that tend to hunt the cubs. Also important to note is that only up to half of the cub tigers get to survive with the rest of the group dying at the early stages of their life. Aside from the conditions that may inspire their death, such as cold, hunger, fatigue, natural weakness, and probably infections, this death is a natural selection process that maintains an overall balance in the number of tigers within the demography of tigers. Research has also shown that some tiger cubs are normally eaten by the male adult tigers in a bid to make the tigress available for mating.
5. Tigers can live for over 20 years of age
According to research and statistics, the life expectancy of tigers is between 20 and 25 years. This is the case regardless of whether they are kept in captivity or are out in the wild. It is, however, the case that despite this standard, most tigers end up dying before they even attain the age of 20. This death can be due to an injury, infection or even disease. It is also probable that a tiger dies because of hunger during times of food scarcity.
A good example is the death of the popular Machli tiger in Ranthambore National Park at Rajasthan in India. A record of the oldest living tiger, the Flavel, which was rescued from the circus and sheltered in a zoo, was 25 years old. This was at Tampa in Florida.
6. An ambush or a streak is a group of tigers
Because of one situation or the other, tigers can be found sharing a place. Some of these situations include the activities of human beings. They are compelled into unnatural situations, making them have to share or stay in one place in specific areas as influenced by artificial environments. When this happens, and the tigers are in a group, they can be referred to as a streak or an ambush.
7. Tigers can mate with other big cats
Tigers are known to be able to mate with other big cats different from their kinds. A good example is the mating between a tiger and a lion that results in what is referred to as a Tigon. The Tigon is, therefore, a hybrid between the lion and the tiger. Tigons are the largest species in the cat family with the unique ability to grow larger than the tiger owing to the mix of breed between the male lion and female tiger (liger). A liger is about 4.5 feet high. It is imperative to note that Tigons can only be found in specific countries but never in Taiwan because in this country the action of cross-breeding in tigers is not acceptable.
8. The saliva of Tigers is an antiseptic
One of the most desirable qualities of Tigers is the fact they have antiseptic saliva. This means that their saliva can prove useful when you have an injury or cut and would want to disinfect them. As such, upon getting hurt, a tiger would normally lick the injury in a bid to prevent them from having an infection.
9. Tigers are very fast with the ability to sprint at over 60 km per hour
While the tiger is not the fastest member of the cat family, it is also very fast. The speed is owed to its very strong legs that make it possible for the animal to sprint at up to 60 km/hour but only for when it comes to long distances. This is because the speed builds up as the tiger gains momentum. For short distances, the tiger is known to run very slowly and is normally witnessed for instance, when they are trying to hunt for birds.
10. The penis of a tiger does not normally erect even when sexually aroused
There is a very sensible reason behind why the penis of a tiger does not erect when sexually aroused. This is because the penis for a tiger’s case is an internal extra-skeletal baculum or a penis bone. This is the case for all mammals and primates and drifts at the end of the penis. The baculum achieves much for when it comes to sexual reproduction and yields significant benefits to the male tiger because it locks the process mid-sex and therefore keeps the female from mating with other animals before its sperm is completely absorbed.
Tigers are very interesting animals when you get to know about them in detail. They prefer to hunt in an ambush, and their urine bears the smell of what appears to be buttered popcorn. When you study them, you find that these animals do not roar so much, and when they are amongst each other, they are very humble with each other in the group. Their skin also has the same stripes that are found on their fur. Like fingerprints to human beings, this is the case for tigers. It, therefore, acts as their identity, and if you shave the fur off a tiger, you will find the same pattern of stripes on their skin. While tigers look very scary, these animals are very friendly among each other and, as mentioned, do not regard human beings as being a prey, which is perhaps why they are every so often domesticated.