About Bengal Tigers
The Bengal tiger, also known as the royal Bengal tiger,
is the most common species of tiger. The taxonomic name
Panthera tigris typically refers to the Bengal tiger,
but more specifically, the Bengal tiger is scientifically
named Panthera tigris tigris. Despite its relative abundance,
the Bengal tiger has been classified as an endangered
species since the year 2010, with only about 2,500 Bengal
tigers remaining in the wild.
As an endangered species, the Bengal tiger has a relatively
small range in the wild. It is most numerous in India,
where roughly 1,700-1,900 individuals reside. Its second
largest natural population of 440 individuals can be
found in Bangladesh. Small populations of the Bengal
tiger may also be found in Nepal, where between 160
and 250 individuals live, and Bhutan, where only 67
to 81 Bengal tigers reside. The preferred habitat of
the Bengal tiger is grasslands and forests.
The Bengal tiger boasts the pale orange or yellow coat
and black stripes typically associated with tigers,
featuring white marks on its face and on the interior
of its limbs. However, a mutation can produce an entirely
white Bengal tiger. This condition is not albinism,
and causes affected tigers to have blue eyes. Though
this mutation is rare in the wild, it is relatively
common in zoos due to its popularity. Though there are
no natural health defects associated with having a white
coat, this fact causes the inbreeding of many white
Bengal tigers which causes them to live shorter and
less healthful lives.
An adult male Bengal tiger can reach an impressive
weight of 717 pounds and length of about 11 feet at
a maximum, though the average weight is closer to 500
pounds. Female Bengal tigers are smaller than their
male counterparts with an average weight of around 300
pounds. The weight of a Bengal tiger can vary from its
average by at least 50 pounds in either direction, and
depends on the region in which the tiger lives.
An exclusive carnivore, the Bengal tiger hunts for
its food. The Bengal tiger's preferred prey is large
ungulates, though it also hunts and eats wild boar.
Smaller animals make up only a very small part of its
diet, which includes porcupines, peacocks, and hares.
Because human activity has encroached on much of the
Bengal tiger's natural range, the Bengal tiger may also
hunt livestock kept by humans.
The Bengal tiger is a fairly solitary animal, with
most adults living and hunting alone within their own
ranges and only rarely congregating with other tigers.
An exception to this trend is the tendency of female
Bengal tigers to remain with their young offspring.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals
http://www.wildlife-animals.com an educational wildlife
and animal website.