Investigation on Panthera tigris

Andrew Park
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Panthera tigris. © 2008 Andrew Park. Used a photo taken by $hexentanz of deviantART as a reference.


Tigers might be massive, but they are still cats.  © 2005 World66.

Tiger's Teeth.

Vibrissae of a tiger. © 2008 Black Stripe

As tigers have warm blood and hair (fur), and since they also give live birth, they are categorized under the Class Mammalia. They are meat eaters, therefore the classification under the order of Carnivora. Felidae, the family of cats. Lastly, Genus of Panthera is for large, yellow cats. 


Tigers are the largest of all species of the Family Felidae. The different subspecies of tigers grow up to 1.4 to 3 m and weights of 100 to 300 kg. Their distinctive feature compared to other species of the genus Panthera is their orange body with long black stripes vertically running down their body. The coat also has a few white markings on the face and on the belly. P. tigris inhabit Eastern Asia. The largest subspecies of P. tigris is P. tigris altaica, the Siberian tiger. They mostly inhabit the farthest Eastern corner of the Asian continent in eastern China, eastern Russia and in the Korean Peninsula.

Habitat, Diet and Adaptation to the Environment

Although the range of distribution has dwindled, tigers still can be found at various locations. Tigers inhabit areas from tropical rainforests to frigid Siberia wherever there is vegetative cover, access to water and ungulate prey such as deer and wild boars.

Tigers prey on wild boars, large deer and wild cattle. Sometimes, they will even feed on livestock. Tigers eat about 13 to 16 kg of meat a day. Tigers developed the typical predatory sequence of stalking and striking at the last minute. They have powerful legs which allow a tiger to run at the speed of 60 km/h and strike with their deadly jaws. However, typically, tigers have only one successful kill per 10 to 20 hunts.


Male and female tigers meet only briefly to mate. During that period, they mate frequently. The gestation period is between 100 to 112 days, and between 2 to 4 cubs are born. The mother protects her offspring until they are able to become independent around the age of 18 months. However, these tiger cubs only have a 50% chance of surviving until they become independent from their mother, and then, only 40% of these survivors live to establish their own territories and mate. When a young male grows up, he wanders far away from his birthplace in search for new territories, but young females establish territories adjacent to their mothers.


The tiger is an endangered species. Commercial poaching and loss of habitat are the major reasons for the declining of the tigers' population. Tigers were also killed for livestock predation, and in the 20th century, they were hunted in large numbers in China and Russia as they were considered pests. Tigers were also hunted for their skin, as well as for oriental medication usage. As the human population has grown it expanded into the tigers' habitats reducing the number of tigers an area can support.

Importance to the Ecosystem

As P. tigris is a top trophic level carnivore, it maintains the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation which they feed upon.

Tiger Crossword

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Can you solve this crossword puzzle about tigers?

Information on the Internet


National Geographic Society. "National Geographic Book of Mammals". Vol.2 . (The Society: 1981)

Lloyd, J & Mitchinson, J. "The Book of General Ignorance". (Faber & Faber: 2006)

Harman, A. "Tigers" (Benchmark Books: 1996)

Learning Information

About This Page

Treehouse built by Andrew Park, written materials by Andrew Park and Can Ergoecman. An enormous thanks to... $hexentanz of deviantART, the admins of ToL (for patiently waiting for my treehouse), and Ms. Wall. (also for patiently waiting for my treehouse to be finished).

Author: Andrew Park
Classroom Project: Organism Research and Creative Story Telling
Ashbury College School
Ottawa, Ontario K1M 0T3 Canada

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to , Ashbury College School

 Treehouses are authored by students, teachers, science enthusiasts, or professional scientists. Anyone can sign up as a treehouse contributor and share their knowledge and enthusiasm about organisms. Treehouse contributions are checked for general accuracy and quality by teachers and ToL editors, but they are not usually reviewed by expert scientists. If you spot an error, please get in touch with the author or the teacher. For more information about quality control of Tree of Life content, see Status of Tree of Life Pages.

close box

This page is a treehouse that is attached to a leaf of the Tree of Life.

Treehouses are ToL pages designed for children and the young at heart.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box

Panthera tigris

Treehouse Content

articles & notes




Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page