Genus & Species: Panthera Tigris Altaica
The Siberian tiger gets its name from its cold homeland, which is covered in snow for much of the year. Its range is larger than that of any other tiger subspecies, and it frequently embarks on long journeys in search of food.
The Siberian tiger occupies a very large territory. Ranges of more than 4,000 square miles have been recorded. The tiger may occupy the same territory for many years if food sources are stable within the area. If prey is scarce, it often migrates hundred of miles.
Both males and females mark the boundaries of their ranges with urine and by scratching trees. But only the male defends his territory against other males, concentrating on the most important parts, such as a boundary close to a female's territory or an area rich in food.The male tiger is solitary, shunning other males.He allows tigers of either sex to pass through his range but is more tolerant of females.The female is sometimes accompanied by her young.
Tigers mate at any time during the year. A female shows that she is ready to mate by leaving urine deposits and scratch marks on trees. In Siberia, where a tiger's range is vast, she may go in search of a male.The female is receptive for only three to seven days. During this time a pair will mate many times, after which the male leaves to mate with another female.After a gestation period of three to three and a half months, three or four blind cubs are born in a sheltered den. They are nursed by their mother, who rarely leaves them. At about two weeks old their eyes open and their first teeth begin to grow.
At three months the cubs start to leave the den, and the mother brings them meat to eat. They continue to take her milk until they are five or six months old. At this stage they may begin to accompany her on hunting trips.The cubs are less than a year old when they start to hunt for themselves. At two years old they can kill large prey, but they will not leave their mother until they are three to five years old. They then start to look for their own territories and mates.
The Siberian tiger spends a lot of time hunting because only about one in ten of its hunting trips is successful. It preys mainly on deer and wild pig, but it also eats fish.Creeping to within 30 to 80 feet of its victim, the tiger pounces and grabs the prey by the nape of the neck with its back feet still planted firmly on the ground.This nape bite kills small prey, but larger prey is brought to the ground before being killed by a suffocating bite to the throat. If the tiger misses its prey on the pounce, it may chase it for up to 650 feet but rarely catches it. When it does kill its prey, the tiger drags it to cover, usually near water. It then eats its fill, covers up the remains, and goes to sleep. Later it eats the restof the carcass.
The Siberian tiger's winter coat lacks the red stripes of tigers from warmer climates, but its white coat helps camouflage it in its snowy habitat. Because it has to with-stand temperatures as low as-50ø F, the Siberian tiger grows a longer and thicker coat than other tigers. It also develops a layer of fat on its flanks and belly that helps to insulate it.
The siberian tiger is much larger than its relative the Bengal tiger, which has a darker coat.
Large and heavily muscled, the Siberian tiger has great strength. The claws are kept in when resting or walking. Long, sharp claws spring out when hunting.
Along with its striped yellowish winter top coat, the Siberian tiger has white under-sides. The white extends to the back legs and the tail.
Pricked ears funnel sounds efficiently to the inner ear
The Siberian tiger has excellent binocular and color vision. Night vision is more than 5 times better than a human's.
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