Siberian Tigers – Habitat
Siberian or Amur Tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) historically inhabited forests of eastern Asia, northern China, Korea and Manchuria. Siberian Tigers are found mostly in harsh and cold land, covered with snow for most of the year. The usual habitats of these animals are taiga and mixed deciduous and coniferous forests in mountain areas. The last viable population of Siberian Tigers survives in Ussuiland of Russia, which is situated along the Sikhote-Alin mountain range.
If you want to see some Siberian tigers, expect to spend a lot of time walking and exploring their habitat. Make sure you have a comfortable pair of walking shoes and get a professional guide.
Siberian Tigers – Diet
Siberian Tigers are truly carnivores and hunt big game: various deer and wild boars. Occasionally Siberian Tigers eat fish. Being very large animals they need about 20 lbs of food every day to survive in the cold climate. Unlike humans who need to cook or grill their meat, in one meal, a Siberian Tiger is able to consume up to 100 lbs of raw meat.
Like all cats, Siberian Tigers stalk the prey and when the changes of a success are rather great, they pounce on the victim, bite it to the neck and suffocate it. Tigers drag the kill and hide it from other predators on the trees. If the animals cannot eat all the prey, it takes a nap and then finishes the meal off.
Siberian Tigers have a reputation of being vicious killers, because they spend much time hunting. But this reputation is not true-to fact. Siberian Tigers have to cover large distances searching for prey. Only 10% of all hunting trips are successful and usually elderly, young or ill animals fall a prey of Siberian Tigers.
Siberian Tigers – Description
Siberian Tigers are the largest of the living cats. Their average weight is 500-700 pounds and the length of the body is 8-10 feet. The record weight for this species is 845 pounds. These animals can be easily recognized by their remarkable coat, which is long, dense and very warm. In summer the coat is more reddish than in winter. The dark stripes on the yellowish coat disrupt the outline of the body in dense cover and make Siberian Tigers almost invisible to the prey. Of all Tiger species Siberian Tigers have the palest coat and the fewest stripes.
Siberian Tigers are very massive and powerful with heavily muscled limbs and shoulders. All their body is adapted to hunt large prey. Hind limbs of a Siberian Tiger are longer than forelimbs to facilitate jumping. Their paws are very large and equipped with long retractile claws that are ideal for grabbing and holding the prey.
The jaws are very strong and the teeth are sharp. Eyes of a Siberian Tiger are situated in the front that allows for evaluating the distances better. These creatures are able to peel skin away from the prey and rasp flesh away from bone with a rough tongue. Siberian Tigers have a loose skin in the belly to minimize the hurt of kicking by prey.