Siberian and Bengal tiger are one of the largest members of the cat family. These two subspecies of tiger are native to Asia. Siberian and Bengal tigers are solitary creatures and dominant predators in their habitats. Despite big conservation efforts, number of Bengal and Siberian tigers in the wild is rapidly decreasing.
Siberian tiger and Bengal tiger both are the subspecies of Panthera Tigris. Next to this, both of these felines are among the most excellent creatures of nature. They are additionally among the most solid and overwhelming animals. So it is quite confusing to decide on who will win this fight of the two big cats- A Siberian tiger or Bengal tiger.
There are some numbers of differences between these two subspecies. So let us have a look at these two animals interesting facts and significant differences. It might then be just to at last close who will win the clash of Siberian tiger versus Bengal tiger.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat
Bengal tiger, also called as royal Bengal tiger, can be found in India, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Nepal, Vietnam and Bhutan. 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, Korea and East Russia.
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.
In the diet between these two species, there are more similarities than differences. Both the species are carnivorous animals and consume practically any animal they are capable of knocking down.
The Bengal tiger hunts peacock, buffaloes, monkeys, polar bears, and antelopes, and many others. The Siberian tiger also feeds on a carnivorous diet including wild boar, deer, lynx, and even bear-sized animals.
Both the animals kill their prey with a bite. If it is a small, medium, or large animal, it knocks it down with a claw and then closes its powerful jaws over its prey’s neck until it is suffocated.
Enduring the differences between these two animals, the color of their skin is a particular feature between them. Both are very similar. The Bengal tiger is reddish-orange with black or grey and white stripes at the bottom.
The Siberian tiger is reddish-brown, a little paler than its Bengal relative. It also has the characteristics of dark or black stripes that run vertically along its sides and shoulders which form rings on the tail. The volume of coat in the case of the Siberian tiger is higher in Bengal to protect them from the cold.
Siberian tigers occupy the territory of 2500 to 4000 square miles, and it can cover the area of 40 miles to find food during the night. However, Bengal tiger occupies smaller territory; it lives on a region of 77 square miles during the summer and 42 square miles during the winter.
Both of these cats possess similar features as well as behavioral patterns. There is a possibility that a Siberian tiger will win the battle because of its large size and weight. Being a giant animal, the Siberian tiger can dominate the Bengal tiger.
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.
|Length||Up to 396 cm (males)||270 to 310 cm (males)|
|Weight||475 to 660 lbs (males)||397 to 569 lb (males)|
|Coat Color||Pale dull brown in winter||Bright yellow to orange|
|Greatest Skull Length||406 mm||376 mm|
|Habitat||Korean pine broadleaf forests||Tropical evergreen forests|
|Distribution||Russian Far East||Indian Subcontinent|
|Primary Diet||Sika deer, amur moose||Chital, sambar, nilgai|
|Newborn cubs’ weight||1.2 kg||1.6 kg|
|Total population||540 individuals||2,226 individuals|
|Threats||Poaching, human hunting||Poaching, habitat loss|
|Maximum lifespan||18 years (wild)||15 years (wild)|
Panthera tigris altaica
- 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.). Adult male Siberian tigers can weigh up to 320 kg (700 lb.), while females are significantly smaller, weighing up to 180 kg (400 lb.).
- Siberian tigers are distinguishable by their striped fur. Similar to people’s unique fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped pattern. Siberian tigers differ from other tigers because they have fewer, paler stripes, and they also have manes. The mane, in addition to their thick fur, helps keep them warm.
- Also known as the Amur tiger, the Siberian tiger resides in a small region in the southeast region Russia. They are also located in small numbers in China and North Korea.
- Siberian tigers are solitary animals, marking their scent on trees to keep other tigers away. They roam many miles and hunt often. They stalk their prey, which include elk, boar, bears, and deer, until they are close enough to pounce. When successful, they drag their kill to a secluded area before devouring the meat. Tigers also hunt smaller animals like rabbits, pikas, and fish.
- Because tigers are not always successful on their hunts, they need to hunt often. They can eat up to 27 kg (60 lb.) if they are very hungry, but generally they eat about 9 kg (20 lb.) of meat in one sitting.
- The gestation period in Siberian tigers is 3-3.5 months. Female tigers give birth once every two years at any point during the year.
- A litter consists of two to six cubs. The mother tiger will care for the cubs by herself, at times, leaving the babies alone while she hunts. Often she cannot catch enough food for the cubs, and some will die.
- At 3 months, the babies will be able to leave the den; they may even go on hunts with their mother. At 18 months old, they are able to hunt on their own, but will not leave their mother’s den. When they reach 2-3 years old, they will leave the den and begin life on their own.
Bengal Tigers Hunt at Night
One of the more intense Bengal tiger facts tells us about their unique hunting technique. Many might assume that because of the animal’s speed, they chase their prey and tackle it.
Instead, Bengal tigers find an area in which to hide, often by a water source and at night, and wait patiently for their prey to come their way. A Bengal tiger is able to take down prey that is twice its size but it usually chooses prey that is about its own size or smaller, including deer, wild boar, goats and cattle.
Bengal Tigers Have a Difficult Time Reproducing
Because of the danger of extinction, it is very important that Bengal tigers reproduce. But, unlike most other mammals, a female Bengal tiger is only fertile for 4 or 5 days out of an entire year.
If conception is achieved, the gestation period lasts about 103 days. Most litters consist of 2 to 4 cubs. The cubs are blind for the first week and rely on their mother heavily until they are about 18 months old. They leave their mother after they are 2 years of age.
Bengal Tigers Purr… But Not Like a House Cat
One of the more surprising Bengal tiger facts is that a roar doesn’t usually mean aggression. Bengal tigers usually only roar when they are trying to communicate with other tigers that are not within their immediate area.
If a Bengal tiger is attacking prey or fighting with another tiger over territory, it will usually hiss or growl. The Bengal tiger does make a purring noise, but this sound is often so loud and rough that it is confused with a growl.
Bengal Tigers Are Great Swimmers
If you try to give a house cat a bath, it’s likely neither you nor the cat will enjoy the process! Bengal tigers, however, love the water and are great swimmers. They can swim almost 4 miles at a time. A Bengal tiger might jump into the water to cool itself off, or it might follow its prey into the water.
In 2011, a Bengal tiger was killed by a crocodile as it swam across a river. While it is common for tigers to kill crocodiles, this was the first recorded incident where a crocodile came out as the victor.
A Bengal Tiger’s Stripes Are Unique
Bengal tigers facts reveal that no two tigers are alike when it comes to their appearance. Just like all humans have unique fingerprints, any Bengal tiger’s stripes are unique to that animal and you will not find two tigers that match.
Though most people automatically picture an orange tiger with black stripes, Bengal tigers can also have more of a yellowish tint and dark brown stripes. It may surprise you to learn that if a tiger was to lose all of its fur, the same stripe pattern would be found on its skin as well.
Bengal Tigers Can Run Extremely Fast. But Not For Long
Bengal tigers can run up to 40 mph but only for short distances. This is why they rely on their specific hunting technique that allows them to spend more time resting rather than chasing their dinner.
Just like a house cat, their paws have plenty of surface area and spongy pads that allow them to push off fast while they are running. Bengal tigers are exceptional jumpers as well and can reach heights of up to 13 feet in the air!
Bengal Tigers Need Their Teeth to Survive
Bengal tigers are a descendant of the well-known Sabre-tooth cat, who can be instantly recognized by its elongated canine teeth. Bengal tigers don’t have the same tooth length as their ancestor but they rely on their long and sharp teeth to catch their prey.
If they were to lose these teeth due to old age or injury, they would be unable to hunt and would most likely die from starvation. While a human could survive for over a month without food, a Bengal tiger can only survive a couple of weeks without eating.
Bengal Tigers Have Built-in First Aid Kits
If you ever have the chance to observe a Bengal tiger, you might notice it licking its fur. You may think they only do this to clean themselves but one of the more surprising Bengal tiger facts will tell you that this is a natural defense mechanism against infection.
A Bengal tiger’s saliva contains natural antiseptic elements that can prevent wounds from becoming infected. These elements also encourage faster healing. This is important because Bengal tigers can be injured protecting their territories or while hunting.
Bengal Tigers Are a Popular Circus Animal
Bengal tigers were some of the first animals incorporated into popular circus acts. They have been trained to follow their trainer’s instructions and jump through hoops, climb ladders or perform other acts to please a crowd.
In more recent years though, these acts have come under fire as more is learned about how the animals are treated. They travel in cramped cages and often spend most of their time in chains. To train the tigers, whips and electric shocks are sometimes used. A circus must nowadays obtain official permits In order to keep Bengal tigers.
Even Trained Bengal Tigers Are Dangerous
Bengal tiger facts tell us about an unfortunate story regarding an American trainer that took place in February of 2013. During a circus performance in Mexico, a Bengal tiger mauled the trainer suddenly and in front of the circus audience.
The trainer died a few days later from blood loss and other injuries. The animal was also killed as a result of the incident. This was not the first incident of a circus animal attacking their trainer, and had led to more circuses moving away from working with dangerous animals.
What threats the Bengal Tigers face?
The main threats facing the Bengal Tiger are poaching and habitat loss. Those tigers living within the mangrove area are also sensitive to climate change as sea levels rise and alter the structure of mangrove systems.
Wildlife crime is high and well organized poaching gangs exist to continue the illegal trade between India, Nepal and China. Bengal Tiger body parts and bones are of high value, and even in protected areas it is difficult to halt illegal activity in the pursuit of these items.
Conflict with humans is also high for Bengal Tigers living in close proximity to towns and settlements. In areas where both tigers and humans thrive, sightings of Bengal Tigers are frequent and create fear within communities. Myths and stories of ‘man-eating’ Bengal Tigers fuel the act of hunting, and farmers often use poison as to avoid prosecution for shooting. As increasing human populations spread throughout Bengal Tiger territory, these conflicts will continue to occur.
What can we do to help Bengal Tigers?
In India and Nepal there are 11 main protected areas existing to protect prime Bengal Tiger habitat. The Tiger Project, established in the 1970’s, has helped stabilize Bengal Tiger populations in these reserve areas although overall populations are still decreasing.
The Wildlife Protection Society of India watches over any poaching activity, carrying out confiscations at borders. Although they are able to confiscate and prosecute poachers, locating the operations source is very difficult and origins remain unclear. In order to target entire gangs, they are working to improve this method.
In 2012, WWF created a global campaign called ‘Save Tigers Now’ which works against Bengal Tiger threats and aims to increase the population by 2022. They actively promote a ban on public contact with tigers in the U.S. as it promotes unnecessary breeding, and encourage consumers to stop buying wildlife products when travelling abroad.
Amur tigers (also known as Siberian, Manchurian, Ussurian, or Northeast China tigers) are the largest of the tiger subspecies. Males can grow up to more 10.5 feet (3.3 m) from head to tail and weigh up to 660 pounds (300 kilograms).
Both belonging to the species Panthera Thigris, the Bengal tiger is known by its scientific name Panthera Tigris Tigris while the Siberian tiger for is called by its scientific name Panthera Tigris Altaica.
Lions may face a challenge to the species’ long reign as king of the jungle, after scientists from Oxford University found that tigers have the bigger brains. "However, the tiger has bigger cranial volume than the lion.
And pound for pound, the bite of a jaguar is the most powerful of the big cats, even more than that of a tiger and a lion. The way they kill is different, too. Tigers and lions, and the other large cats, go for the necks or soft underbellies. Jaguars have only one way they kill: They go for the skull.
Coalitions of male lions usually fight as a group against territorial rivals, so a tiger may have an advantage in a one-on-one encounter, since this is the typical mode of combat for a tiger. However, a lion coalition of 2–3 males would have a clear advantage over a lone tiger.
A tiger is generally physically larger than a lion. Most experts would favor a Siberian and Bengal tiger over an African lion."
Jaguar (Panthera onca) are the largest cat in the Americas and have a powerful bite to match. For their size, they are the strongest of any cat, allowing them to dispatch monstrous prey - even caiman crocodiles.
Machli was first spotted in 1997 and quickly became popular among tourists due to her serene bearing and dominance among the park’s tigers. She has featured on postage stamps and wildlife documentaries and is said to have helped spark the revival of Ranthambore.
Male gorillas can reach up to 400-500 lb body weight, but adult male tigers can reach over 600 lb. If a gorilla was confronted by a tiger, the gorilla could fight, take flight, or freeze – these are the three types of anti-predator responses.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the largest cat species apart from the tiger. Adult tigers can run as fast as 30-40 miles per hour in short bursts.
Siberian tiger and Bengal tiger both are the subspecies of Panthera Tigris. Beside this, both of these cats are among the most beautiful animals of nature. They are also amongst the most strong and daunting creatures. There are some numbers of differences between these two subspecies discussed in this article.