Tigers are quite famous. You can look into ancient cultures from the West to the East and you’ll see that most of their ancient lore mentions these majestic creatures. Do you know that no two tigers have the same stripe patterns? Perhaps not, but that’s exactly why we’re bringing you this article.
As unbelievable as it sounds, tigers belong to the same family as our pet cats. The scientific name of the tiger is Panthera tigris. Other members of the Panthera genus are lions, jaguars, leopards, and snow leopards. Collectively, they are known as the Big Cats. There are currently six known subspecies of tigers.
Why the Stripes?
Among the Big Cat family, tigers are noticeably the only species to sport the iconic stripes. If you have only seen a tiger in a zoo, this predatory adaptation might not make much of sense; after all, stripes of orange and black only make them stand out in a backdrop of lush green. However, think about the usual habitat of a tiger - like a savannah, amidst the tall amber grass; there’s nothing else more perfect to render a hunter invisible than a tiger’s stripes.
A tiger’s main prey are usually herbivorous, hoofed mammals; these species of mammals are known for their limited ability to perceive a wide range of colors that we primates can. You can even say that compared to primates, a tiger’s usual prey is color-blind, so a tiger’s stripes can easily help it meld among the tall grasses that surround it.
What Do They Eat?
A tiger’s diet consists mostly of large prey like ungulates (water buffalo, wild cattle, deer, boars, and even elephant calves but occasionally smaller prey, primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish). As such, they are carnivorous mammals. While they are not known to attack humans for food, there have been documented instances when these creatures have killed and eaten people. This happens rather rarely and only when tigers are old, suffering from an illness, or their access into their usual prey is affected. When in the rare instance that a tiger shows a taste for human meat, they are often put down for the safety of the community.
Where Can You Find Them?
It is a testament to these magnificent creatures as they are mentioned in many ancient stories. They historically have lived mostly in Asia. Presently, you can still see some tigers in Southeast Asia, while a healthy population lives in countries such as India, Nepal, Russia, and Bhutan.
You will be amazed at a tiger’s resilience. They are known to thrive in habitats otherwise inhabitable by human standards. Whether it be in the harsh taigas in the Siberian region (where Siberian tigers are known to be larger compared to other species) or in tropical rainforests, swamps, and mangroves (tiger species in these areas are relatively smaller), tigers have done their best to adapt to whatever nature throws at them.
Due to intentional conservation efforts, India currently is home to almost half of the world’s remaining wild tigers. Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore and Kanha national parks are some of the places where one can observe these amazing felines in their natural habitat.
Wildlife photo safaris are great for amateur, professional and non-photographer, it’s not about only taking a picture , it is also about observing the behaviour… If you wish to join me on my next workshop, please feel free to contact me.
A Little bit about me
My name is Dalida Innes, I am originally from France and I live in Sydney Australia. My true loves are wildlife, landscape, travel photography and everything between. I travel as often as I can and try to see the best of the world. I enjoy my encounters with nature, this often takes me to incredible places where I meet fantastic people.
Adventurous spirit with camera in hand, I try to capture moments of wonder and serenity.
I am self-taught have a sincere passion for all things photographic.
Capturing images for me is like freezing the time and by looking back over my photos, I can get back to this whenever I need. I try to get that precise moment that your eye doesn’t have time to remember.