Bengal vs. Siberian tiger

Bengal vs. Siberian tiger

Bengal and Siberian tiger are the largest members of the cat family. These two subspecies of tiger are native to Asia. Bengal and Siberian tigers are solitary creatures and dominant predators in their habitats. Despite huge conservation efforts, number of Bengal and Siberian tigers in the wild is rapidly decreasing. They are on a target of poachers because of their fur and body parts which are very popular and commonly used in traditional Asian medicine. In areas near the human settlements, people often kill tigers to prevent attacks on humans and livestock. Bengal and Siberian tigers share many common features, but they can be easily distinguished via following characteristics:

Geographic Distribution and Habitat

Bengal tiger, also known as royal Bengal tiger, can be found in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam and China. It lives in areas with temperate to tropical climate, in wet mangrove or deciduous forests and grasslands. Siberian tiger, also known as Amur tiger, inhabits areas with much colder climate. It can be found in coniferous and birch forests in the northern parts of China and Korea and East Russia.

Size

Siberian tiger is larger and 2 to 4 inches taller than Bengal tiger. It can reach 10 to 12 feet in length and 675 pounds of weight. Bengal tiger can reach 8 to 10 feet in length and up to 525 pounds of weight. Siberian tiger is heavier than Bengal tiger because of the insulating layer of fat which keeps the body temperature stable in the cold climate. Females of both subspecies are much smaller than males.

Color

Siberian tiger has very thick, pale golden or rusty-red coat covered with black stripes. Belly is white colored. Bengal tiger has thin, light yellow fur with brown or black stripes. Belly and inner parts of legs are white colored. Some Bengal tigers are completely white.

Diet

Both Siberian and Bengal tiger are carnivores and apex predators. They are able to kill very large prey thanks to their sharp claws and large teeth. Siberian tiger usually hunts elk, deer, hares, rabbits and occasionally black and brown bears. Diet of Bengal tiger is based on wild pigs, water buffalo, sambar, gaur and other large ungulates.

Territory

Siberian tiger occupies territory of 2500 to 4000 square miles. It can cover area of 40 square miles to find food during the night. Bengal tiger occupies much smaller territory. It lives on a territory of 77 square miles during the summer and 42 square miles during the winter.

Conservation Status

Bengal tiger is the most numerous subspecies of tiger. According to some studies, there are around 1850 Bengal tigers left in the wild. Remaining population of Siberian tiger is much smaller and it doesn't exceed number of 500 animals.

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