Tiger, Christchurch. South Island, New Zealand.

Ralph de Zilva

Cedar Creek, Australia

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347 views, 52 comments, favourited by 9 & 3 features as at 10.01.2012

Nikon D700 & Nikkor 80-400mm lens
@ 400mm

Featured in
Nature In Its Entirety on 11.05.2017
Paws & Claws in 2011
Islands, Islands, Islands in 2011

The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the tiger subspecies as compared to the Siberian tiger which is the largest.

Sumatran male tigers average 8 feet (2.438m) in length from head to tail and weigh about 265 lbs.(120.2 kg). Females average 7 feet (2.134 m) in length and weigh about 200 lbs (90.718 kg).

The smaller size of the Sumatran tiger makes it easier to move quickly through the jungle. Also, their stripes are narrower than other tiger species. The tiger’s patterned coloring is an adaptation for camouflage in their natural habitat, which is often tall grass. The males, especially, have a more bearded and maned appearance in which neck and cheek hair are well developed.

Webbing between their toes, when spread, enables the Sumatran tiger to be a very fast swimmer. It will, if given the chance, run hoofed prey, who are much slower swimmers, into the water.

The white spots on the back of tiger’s ears are called “eye spots” or “predator spots.” These spots are believed to function as false eyes as well as to make it look larger to any predator approaching from behind. This is particularly helpful in keeping cubs safe.

Sumatran Tigers commonly prey on larger ungulates like Wild Boar, Malayan Tapir, and deer, and sometimes also smaller animals such as fowl, monkeys, and fish. Orangutans could be prey, but since they spend a minimal amount of time on the ground, tigers rarely catch one. Sumatran tigers will sometimes prey upon mice and other small mammals when larger prey is scarce.

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