Tigers are powerful wild cats that captivate people worldwide. While these magnificent predators may be one of the world’s most formidable animals, they’re also extremely mysterious and captivating creatures.
Tigers are fascinating animals with many interesting facts ranging from antiseptic saliva and false eyes on the backs of their ears to having antimicrobial properties and false eyes in the front of their ears. Read on to gain more knowledge about this elusive species!
They can’t see
Tigers possess extraordinary senses, which help them survive in the wild and hunt for food. Their eyesight is six times more sensitive than human vision in low light conditions, giving them an advantage when hunting at nighttime. Furthermore, their sense of smell is ten times stronger than ours allowing them to track odors up to three miles away and their hearing five times more sensitive allowing them to hear faint sounds far away while their whiskers also provide tactile information on the environment around them.
Tiger stripes are an integral component of their camouflage, helping them blend in with surrounding vegetation and conceal themselves from potential predation. Their colors and width can differ between species; for instance, Sumatran tigers’ stripes tend to be narrower and denser than other subspecies’ so as to better blend into jungle canopy environments. Furthermore, each tiger’s unique fur pattern – as distinct as human fingerprints – helps it hide among its fellow predators.
While tigers’ orange coats may look beautiful to us, they were designed specifically to hide them from herbivorous prey. Pheomelanin pigment produces this beautiful hue in their fur which blends in well with grasses and other plant life. Meanwhile, their bodies feature black and white stripes which serve to break up their silhouette and make it harder for prey to spot them.
Tiger eyesight is enhanced by a structure called the tapetum lucidum in their retina that acts like a mirror to reflect light that has not been absorbed into their eye into a brighter image, helping it see more clearly in low light conditions and when tracking prey moving from place to place.
Tigers only perceive two colors due to the high concentration of rods and low number of cones found in their eyes, and only perceive shades of blue and green due to this difference. Due to this trait, deer often perceive tigers as green which allows them to avoid hunters. Dr Fennell points out that deer may have become colourblind over time to increase chances of survival – though this remains unclear at present.
They can’t purr
Tigers and other members of the Panthera genus cannot purr, due to stiff cartilage in their larynxes that prevents vibrational movements like cats use when meowing. Instead, these creatures produce other sounds for communicating such as chuffs, click-growls and hisses; their roars can often be heard for miles around and used to mark territory, display aggression or draw in potential mates.
Tigers are aquatic predators that do not fear water; they can navigate it effortlessly for hours or even kilometers! Their powerful muscles enable them to swim long distances, and their antiseptic saliva keeps wounds free of infection. Although wild tigers prefer solitude, captivity allows them to live alongside other tigers as well as humans and develop relationships. Furthermore, large enclosures allow tigers to hunt freely.
Though many assume tigers cannot purr, they actually produce numerous other noises to communicate. While some might find these sounds intimidating, they actually serve as signs of affection and loyalty between tigers. A satisfied tiger might chuffle its jaw closed in pleasure – something similar to human snorting which could serve as a greeting between potential mates or mothers to their cubs.
Tigers also emit another noise known as a growl that resembles a roar, yet is deeper and more aggressive. A growl can be heard for miles away and used by these powerful animals to establish dominance or warn off intruders. As bigger animals have more elastic vocal cords, producing this noise is relatively effortless.
Tiger cubs may be born blind, but they will quickly learn to follow their mother’s scent to locate food and safety. Swimming also helps avoid predators while teaching them how to hunt in water – skills which will serve them well later as adult tigers. Furthermore, their unique ability to sense odors allows them to find prey such as squid, octopus, and fish more quickly in nature.
They can’t swim
Felines often come to mind as creatures who avoid water. This may not always be true though; some big cats actually enjoy taking dips into rivers and lakes to swim or even take baths from them! Swimming provides numerous advantages to them in the wild such as cooling off during hot seasons, replenishing fluid reserves via sweat release, releasing heat through sweat release mechanisms, as well as hunting prey that seek refuge near bodies of water.
Tigers are extremely capable swimmers due to their powerful bodies and webbed paws, enabling them to cross rivers of up to seven kilometres (4.3 miles). Furthermore, this ability may come in handy should one need to chase after fish into open waters in order to catch it.
Tigers may be strong swimmers, yet they prefer not to submerge their heads underwater for fear of getting water in their eyes – similar to how humans avoid ruining their hairdos by submerging themselves underwater. To prevent this, tigers often enter the water backwards or cover their faces with their tails while submerged.
Tigers don’t submerge their heads underwater because it would require them to inhale a great deal of cold air just to stay afloat, which could put strain on their breathing systems and sap energy reserves. Furthermore, water movements could create turbulent currents which disrupt balance and cause further problems for them.
Tigers also possess an organ in their roof of mouth known as Jacobson’s organ that directs scent particles from air that they inhale to nerves that detect odors; these nerves then send signals back to the brain to identify certain odors.
While many large cats prefer land to aquatic environments, tigers don’t share this sentiment; in fact they actively seek out bodies of water such as rivers and lakes to take baths from in order to stay cool during hotter periods of the day. When bathing, they’ll submerge themselves partially into the waters for up to one hour at neck level only before rising out again for another bath session.
They can’t hear
Tigers utilize both smell and hearing as sensory tools to recognize food by taste, but also have excellent hearing capabilities that allow them to hear sounds that humans don’t – such as leaves rustling in the wind or approaching prey from far away.
Tigers communicate through various frequencies and pitches, but their deepest sounds are known as roars. Roaring is used to mark territory, call for their cubs, find mates and mark territory boundaries. Roaring can include both audible noises as well as infrasound frequencies which cannot be heard by human ears and travel great distances.
Lions may also roar, but none can match the depth and intensity of a tiger’s voice. This deep sound is produced through vibration of its larynx (vocal cords). Other mammals such as cheetahs or wolves do not produce such deep sounds due to having different sets of vocal cords than big cats.
Researchers from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo conducted a study and discovered that Siberian and Sumatran tigers can produce sounds with frequencies below human hearing range, known as infrasounds. This low frequency noise travels through walls and buildings, penetrate dense forests, and even cross mountains – providing an audible experience even at distance.
Tigers hearing infrasounds that they couldn’t detect responded by either crouching or leaping towards speakers, helping scientists better understand how these big cats maintain large hunting territories and attract mates. This discovery may aid scientists in their explorations.
Tigers leave various marks in trees and rocks, such as claw marks or spraying a mixture of urine and secretions from their anal glands. They can also burrow carcasses for protection from scavengers before uncovering them later to devour as meals.
Tiger whiskers are not there just for decoration – they are sensors that detect sensory information. Each whisker contains a capsule of blood which moves when touched by something, helping the cat identify objects, locate food sources and avoid potentially hazardous situations. Furthermore, whiskers also serve to detect other animal movements within its surroundings, helping tiger focus their hunting instincts towards prey that’s moving closer towards them.