November 15, 2012

Tiger Dynasty Facts

  • The tiger is one of the largest of the big cats, and the only cat with stripes.

  • Machli has a unique stripe pattern, like a human fingerprint.

  • Machli is well adapted for hunting large prey, with short, heavily-muscled forelimbs and long, sharp, retractable claws.

  • Unlike most other cat species, tigers like Machli are keen swimmers and often cool off in streams and lakes to escape the midday heat.

  • Machli is an Indian or Bengal Tiger - the most numerous of all tiger sub-species with around 1,850 left in the wild.

  • Bengal tigers have the longest canines of any living large cat, from three to four inches (7.5 to 10 cm) in length.

  • Machli's tongue is covered with hard papillae, to scrape flesh off the bones of prey.

  • A tiger can consume up to 40 kg of meat at one time.

  • When Machli has cubs she has to increase her killing rate by 50% in order to have enough for herself and her cubs to eat. Male tigers do not provide parental care.

  • From 5 to 6 months old cubs Machli's begin to take part in hunting.

  • Bengal Tigers are endangered.

  • We have lost 97% of our wild tigers in just over a century.

  • Poaching and illegal killing, for example by livestock owners, remains one of today's major threats to the survival of this species, particularly with the growing demand for tiger bones in Asian 'medicine.'

  • Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (515 sq miles, 1334 sq km) is home to over 40 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 45 species of reptiles and over 300 species of plants. However it is the "relatively easy sightings" of Machli and other tigers that have made Ranthambhore famous all over the world.

  • Out of all the tiger reserves in India, Ranthambhore gets the least amount of rainfall - as a result there are very few tall grasses, so Machli is easy to see.

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