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Tigers

Tigers

The Siberian tiger, a subspecies of tiger, is the largest cat in the world. It averages about 3.3 m (11 ft.) in length, with a tail measuring 1 m (3 ft.).

Tigers have eyes with round pupils, unlike domestic cats, which have slitted pupils. This is because domestic cats are nocturnal whereas tigers are crepuscular – they hunt primarily in the morning and evening. Unlike almost all other big cats, tigers are adept swimmers. They enjoy bathing and often play in the water when young. As adults, they often swim several kilometers to hunt or to cross rivers, and at least one has been recorded to have swum almost 30km in a day.

Adult male Siberian tigers can weigh up to 320 kg (700 lb.), while females are significantly smaller, weighing up to 180 kg (400 lb.)

Despite not being strongly adapted to the dark, tigers’ night vision is about six times better than humans’. Most tigers have yellow eyes, but white tigers usually have blue eyes, due to the gene for blue eyes being linked to the gene for white fur. The gene for being cross-eyed, or boss-eyed, is also linked, so many white tigers have crossed blue eyes. Tigers scratch trees and use their urine to mark their territories. Their urine smells strongly of buttered popcorn. Tigers are the largest of all cats, but also have the most variability in size. The largest subspecies, the Siberian tiger, grows to over 3.5m long with a mass of over 300k.

The smallest subspecies, the Sumatran tiger, is only around 2m long and 100kg when fully-grown.. Tigers can tell the age, gender, and reproductive condition of other tigers by subtleties in the smell of urine markings

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