Tigers: The Silent Assassins
Armed with razor like teeth and retractile claws in addition to their keen senses, tigers are silent assassins on top of the food chain. The magnificent striped panthera tigris, originally from Eastern Asia, once ranged an enormous span of the earth's surface. Over the past century, it is estimated that the tigers habitat and numbers have been depleted by up to 95%. Having been greatly limited as a result of many factors, mainly human impacts, the tiger has been driven out from over 30 countries that it originally occupied. Within the past 60 years already three of the original eight subspecies of tigers have sadly become extinct. In his best selling book from 1944 "Man Eaters of the Kumanon", Jim Corbett wrote, "The tiger is a large-hearted gentleman with boundless courage."
Unlike many of the other big cats, tigers prefer to live in densely covered areas where they are difficult to be spotted.
The dark stripes that are unique to each individual tiger help disrupt their outline making it difficult for them to be spotted, the stripes also act as camouflage in this thick brush, allowing them to ambush their prey. As a result of their adaptability, they are able to occupy a variety of habitats and climates. In the Far Eastern portion of Russia, tigers can tolerate temperatures as low as -31 and up to 118 in the northern parts of India.
Although tigers are solitary, mainly for hunting purposes which will be explained later, this does not mean they are unsociable. Occasionally tigers do meet and greet one another and perhaps share a kill, but most of their communication is achieved by leaving scent marks. These marks are mainly a result of releasing chemicals found in their glands which have a distinct...