It's said that a tiger can't change its stripes – and for good reason. Tigers have brown and black stripes not only among their orange fur, but also on their skin underneath. If a tiger had its fur shaved off, it would still have the exact same pattern of stripes on its skin. Though we recommend you take our word for it rather than checking for yourself.
A tiger's stripes are entirely unique. Each tiger has its own individual pattern of markings, just like every human being has a unique set of fingerprints (even twins). These stripes, a form of disruptive coloration, are used to help the big cats blend in with their environment, which can range from tropical forests to the snowy taiga. By hunting in the dark hours surrounding dusk and dawn, they are almost invisible to prey like deer, which can't distinguish tigers from the surrounding vegetation. Unlike lions, tigers are solitary hunters and don't have the speed of cheetahs, so they rely on stealth and camouflage. As an apex predator, a tiger's varied diet ranges from rodents to wild pigs to elephant calves.
The eye of the tiger:
- Due to factors such as poaching and deforestation, tigers inhabit less than 10% of their historic range.
- Tigers share over 95% of their DNA with domestic cats.
- A tiger can grow up to 10 feet (3 m) in length, and weigh up to 660 lbs (300 kg). They are similar in size to lions but heavier.