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how much do siberian tigers weigh
how much do amur tigers weigh
Characteristics: Amur tigers are the largest living feline species. They can measure up to 12 feet in length and weigh up to 900 pounds. The average Amur tiger is around 600 pounds and 9 feet long. Tigers are very well known for their orange coat with vertical black stripes.
How Big Can a Siberian Tiger Get?
In the feline world, the tiger reigns as the largest of cats. There are currently only five of the original nine subspecies of tigers remaining in the wild today. The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of these subspecies, and the superlative honor of the largest is conferred to Russia’s Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger.
The Heavyweight Cats
If you have ever fantasized about a tiger purring away on your lap on a cold winter’s evening, this figure will be sobering as you ponder the consequence of being squashed. As the largest of the tigers, the average weight for an adult Siberian tiger is approximately 660 pounds. A male Siberian tiger can weigh in as high as 423 kilograms, or 933 pounds. Females, although considerably lighter, can tip the scales at 168 kilograms, or 370 pounds. That is a massive jump from the 1.7 to 3.5-pound weight of a newborn Siberian tiger cub.
Long and Lean
Despite the aforementioned numbers, tigers are long and lean. The average head and body length of an adult Siberian tiger is approximately 10.75 feet. The adult male tiger’s lithe body can measure as long as 3.7 meters, or 12 feet. Female Siberian tigers grow to 2.4 meters, or nearly 8 feet, in length. The tail length of ranges between two and three feet, and the tiger stands roughly 3.5 feet tall at the shoulder. For comparison, the Sumatran tiger is just over half of the size of the average Siberian tiger.
Athletic Build and Appetite
Tigers are muscular powerhouses that are built for hunting. Their huge forelimbs, athletic necks and broad shoulders provide the muscle mass and strength to fight and drag prey weighing up to nearly twice the tiger’s size. A tiger’s voracious appetite craves such prey as water buffalo, leopards, bears, antelopes, wild boar, monkeys, hares and deer. An average meal from a successful hunt provides these hungry predators with 40 to 90 pounds of meat to maintain their massive girth. Mothers must increase their kill rate by up to 50 percent in order to support the nutritional needs of herself and her young, growing cubs.
Size Makes No Difference
The Siberian tiger may be the largest of the wild cats, with powerful features and a formidable hunting prowess, but his population has fallen victim to the hunting quests of man. Today, there are less than 500 of these beautiful cats remaining in the wild. Black market fur trade of their pelts and the use of their body parts in eastern medicinal preparations are primarily to blame. Land development by man has also contributed to extensive habitat loss and a decrease in the prey that also roamed the tiger’s domain. Although protection programs have been instituted and poaching incidents have reduced, it continues to pose a threat to the survival of all of the world’s remaining tiger subspecies.
Amur Tiger Facts
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica, formerly known as the Siberian tiger) is one of the largest cats in the world and today, an estimated 500 – 550 can be found in the Russian Far East with a small number ranging across the border into China and possibly North Korea.
In the 1940s, it was on the brink of extinction with fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild. This was due to decades of almost continual political instability with the Russian Revolution and the formation of the Soviet Union.
In 1947 after WW2, Russia became the first country to ban tiger hunting and offer tigers full protection. Hunting of the main prey species, boar and deer, became restricted by annual quota based on the results of population counts. Poaching of tigers became relatively rare, because there was no market for skins and other tiger products, although hunters on occasion killed their “competitor” when an opportunity presented itself.
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Amur tigers are one of the larger tiger sub-populations. The average weight for males is 160-190 kg, while females are smaller, at 110-130 kg. Males, females and cubs can be distinguished by their tracks: a male’s paw pad measures 10.5 – 14.5 cm across, a female’s 8.5 – 9.5. cm, and a cub’s – from 5.5 – 10 cm. (Male cubs, after one year, usually have paw measurements already larger than their mothers’).
Amur tiger coat colour is a lighter orange than other tiger sub-populations and becomes even more so in winter. Their coat is longer and thicker than other sub-populations because of the colder climate and they have a thick mane around the neck and extra fur on their paws, which protects them against the cold.
Sexual maturity is reached around 4 years, but varies with gender and is earlier in zoo tigers. When a female is ready to mate she will signal by leaving scratch marks and urine deposits to attract males. Gestation last 3 to 3 1/2 months, litter size is 1-6, however, 2-4 is the most common.
In the wild, they can live between 10-15 years, but in captivity, they live nearer to 20 years old.
The Amur tiger needs large prey to survive, and its main prey species are ungulates – wild boar, sika deer and red deer. In the summer tigers may prey on smaller animals such as badgers and raccoon dogs. Bears comprise about 3% of the tiger’s diet in the Russian Far East. There are rare cases on record of adult brown bears being killed and eaten by Amur tigers. Brown bear cubs are killed more often (indicating that male tigers can drive away the defending mother bear) and the smaller Himalayan black bear also appears on the Amur tiger’s menu.
Research by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) together with Russian scientists has shown that a female Amur tiger has a home range of up to 20 x 20 kilometres, and some males patrol an area as large as 40 x 40 kilometres. These large home ranges are due to naturally low prey densities in the temperate climate found in the Russian Far East. The home range of a male in his prime can include that of several females. As a result of these extensive territories it is clear that a very large area, about the size of Italy, is needed to support a viable population consisting of several hundred animals.
The Siberian tiger is a tiger from a specific population of the Panthera tigris tigris subspecies native to the Russian Far East, Northeast China, and possibly North Korea. It once ranged throughout the Korean Peninsula, north China, and eastern Mongolia. The population currently inhabits mainly the Sikhote-Alin mountain region in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East.