The Bengal Tiger is a creature that may surprise people because of how timid and smart they really are. In fact, while hunting, Bengal Tigers are intelligent enough to know to hit the animal in their weakest spot. For example, when a tiger is fighting a crocodile, they use their paws to go for the crocodile’s eyes because they know that that is their weakness. In fact, although they have extremely large and sharp teeth, Bengal Tigers tend to use their paws to protect themselves just as much. One swipe of their paws has enough power to smash a bear’s skull. Strangely when many tigers show up to a killed animal the males will wait until the females and cubs have eaten until they eat. Also, opposite of what lions do, Bengal Tigers rarely fight over a kill but simply take turns. The second unusual hunting habit for Bengal Tigers is when they imitate their prey’s mating call to attract their next meal. And, unlike other cats, Bengal Tigers are very strong swimmers. Bengal Tigers can generally swim several kilometers to cross a river or for hunting purposes. Even cubs will play in the shallow water and will even bathe themselves in rivers. On land, these tigers can reach speeds up to 60 mph and can leap about 6 meters far and 5 meters high to try and catch prey. Unfortunately only about one out of ten hunts for a tiger is successful so one Bengal Tiger can go several days without eating.
A video of a Bengal Tiger hunting
One common mistake is that Bengal Tigers can only come in an orange-red color, but in fact, due to a common gene mutation, these tigers can be white. People also assume that white bengal tigers are a different subspecies of tiger, which is incorrect. When they are white, not only will their fur color change but they eyes go from yellow to bright blue. Another gene mutation that is common for white tigers is being either cross-eyed or boss-eyed. Tigers can even mate with other large cats including lions to create hybrids in captivity.
Another part of the Bengal Tiger that stands out from other animals is their body. First of all the tiger markings, just like fingerprints, are all unique. And, the marking on the top of their heads closely resembles the Chinese symbol for king. These stripes help the tiger hunt in the dark because they camouflage them in the trees and bushes. Also, this large beast’s roar can be heard from two miles away. But, tigers only roar to communicate with each other, never to scare prey. To frighten their prey tigers will growl or hiss.
A Bengal Tiger’s body is so strong that its legs can remain standing even if they are dead. But, due to their large size, when they don’t eat for a few days they lose weight faster than any human. They can even starve to death in only 2-3 weeks while it takes humans 30-40 days. Interestingly, tigers saliva is antiseptic which means that when they lick their wounds they are actually disinfecting them. A tiger’s brain can weigh about 300 grams which is similar to the size of a chimpanzees. Not only are their brains similar to humans, but they see in color just like us.
Tigers travel in packs called an ambush or a streak, although they tend to stay along most of their lives. Male tigers have larger territories that overlap with a females smaller territory for mating purposes. But, a male territory will never overlap with another adult male and a female’s territory will never overlap with another adult female.
These animals are truly interesting and it is mind blowing how long they have existed on our earth. We must do everything in our power to save there quirky yet beautiful tigers. They are important to not only the planet but for the survival of other creatures.