Amur tiger

Latin Name
Panthera tigris altaica

Class
Mammals

Order
Carnivora

Description

The largest living felines, Amur tigers can reach up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 900 pounds. The species is known for its striped coat, with black markings appearing on a tan-yellow background. The striped pattern is believed to help the predator hide in vegetation by breaking up the outline of its body. The belly is white, and there are also white markings around the eyes and mouth.


 

Range

Amur tigers are named for their home, the Amur River basin on Russia’s eastern shore. The species was once named the Siberian tiger, but its name was changed to better reflect its range. Amur tigers once extended to China and Korea, but current populations are almost entirely limited to Russia.


Status

Amur tigers are critically endangered due to poaching and habitat loss. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Tiger Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Habitat

Amur tigers inhabit mixed deciduous and conifer forests in mountain areas.


Niche

Large predators, Amur tigers stalk their prey from thick vegetation. They are most active at night and typically feed on large hoofed mammals, such as boar, deer and elk, although they will eat other animals as well. The big cats are excellent climbers, swimmers and leapers, adaptations they employ to pursue their meals. Long, rectractile claws and muscular forearms let the animal grab and hold prey. A bite to the throat or back of the neck is used to kill.


Life History

Amur tigers are solitary, coming together only to breed. The large carnivores require sizable territories; they can range over hundreds of square miles. After mating, females give birth to an average litter of two-three cubs. The cubs leave the den at approximately two months of age, relying on their mother for care until 18–36 months after birth.


Special Adaptations
  • The species' rough tongue helps it to peel the skin of prey animals away from flesh and flesh away from bone.
  • Loose belly skin allows the Amur tiger to be kicked by prey with little chance of injury.


Bonus Content

Animal planning at Lincoln Park Zoo reflects a species life in the wild. Amur tigers, for instance, are naturally suited for solitary lifestyles, coming together only to breed.

How Are the Animals Paired Up?
Gorillas prefer social groups, Amur tigers enjoy the solitary life, but every pairing is carefully planned by experts.


Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit