The Distinctive Features of a Sumatran Tiger
Wild animals comes in many different forms, species, and sizes. The number of wild animals are endless – the most famous ones being the big cats (lions, tigers, cheetas), bears, and many alike. They are free to roam in the wild and feed on preys that follows the natural feeding cycle.
Tigers, being one of the most famous wild animal widely loved by man kind, is perhaps the largest cat species of the family. Their marble eyes and exotic fur has. These cats are no house cats, and they range from six different subspecies; one of them being the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae). This particular subspecies of tigers is arguably the most common one, considering their distinct features and shapes.
In general, the Sumatran Tigers are comparatively smaller in size by comparison of the other subspecies. They also lean on a darker shade of skin and fur in comparison to the other tigers – which starts from a reddish yellow and down to a dark orange. Another distinct, and much less fabulous , defining feature of a sumatran tiger is that they are officially marked critically endangered and are at an alarming risk of complete extinction.
As last marked in a data collected n 2004, there are only about 400 Sumatran Tigers walking about this earth. This alarming number is mostly due to two main reasons: the sky-rocketing rate of deforestation and the black market demands for illegal purchases of their body parts. The black market audience especially favour the Sumatran Tigers for their bold stripes, and would use them for expensive bags, belts, and other social status defining fashion statements.
Due to these man-cause reasons, activists and government establishments have infiltrated serious consequences and rules against illegal animal poaching. Governments have now establish sanctuaries and are taking serious actions to preserve their population rate. More so, modern fashion influencers and leaders have opted for faux fur and are making movements against this unethical hunting. The awareness has increasingly peaked by time, and society has slowly switched their views. The Sumatran Tiger is an exotic animal like no other, and selfish reasons has become a primary cause of their risk to extinction.
These exotic animals are really non to compare, and us as a society should be able to switch up their lifestyles in order to preserve this animal’s generational line. However, to stand with the movement and to know what you could do to help, people need to dedicate some time to understand the animal before. In this article, we will be discussing further on the distinctive features of the Sumatran Tiger.
1. Small Body Shape
As previously mentioned, a Sumatran Tiger has a comparatively smaller body shape in comparison to their neighbouring tiger subspecies. By average, an adult male Sumatran Tiger will develop to about 60 cm in height when all fours, the length of 250 cm, and the weight to about 140 kg. On the other end, an adult female Sumatran Tiger could develop up to 198cm in length and weigh about 91 kg. These are, however, generic observations and may vary according to their health status, genetics, and other external factors.
2. Originate from Sumatra
As their name implies, a Sumatran Tiger’s natural habitat is heavily concentrated in Sumatra, Indonesia. However, considering the illegal market and the access to proper care, some of these tigers are relocated to different places for different purposes. Unethical circuses that still utilise real animals for shows, can become one of the reasons for these obscure migration patterns of these Sumatran Tigers.
However, since the preservation rules have grown increasingly strict overtime, Sumatran Tigers abandoned from their natural habitat has either been migrated back to Sumatra, or are relocated to the nearest sanctuary and preservation centres. These professionals have been trained to raise these tigers back to health, and are fighting for the same cause.
3. A More Saturated Exterior
A Sumatran Tiger’s coat is vibrant and highly saturated in comparison the their neighbouring subspecies. The Sumatran Tigers’ patterns would shade from a reddish yellow and up to a dark orange. More so, the black stripes and markings are much wider in comparison, and have a smaller gap between each stripe. The degree of saturation and distance of their black stripes could vary due to their health, genetics, and other external factors – but they generally follow these rules.
4. Faster and Agile Movements
Due to their small sizes, the Sumatran Tigers could be regarded as a prey to other bigger cats or predators alike. With this is mind, it is no brainer that Sumatran Tigers have evolutionally learnt how to move around faster in an agile notion to avoid these dangerous predators. These movements are especially noted and seen in the wild, when animals all live within the same premises.
Their quick and agile movements are especially beneficial when it comes to hunting their prey as well. Their thick black stripes help camouflage them within the environment, that also helps them with hunting prey.
5. Marking Gaps are Thinner
As mentioned, the gaps between their black stripes are comparatively thinner than the rest of their subspecies. This distinctive exterior can be observed by afar, but may vary due to genetical and other external reasons.
6. A Longer and Thicker Facial Fur
One distinctive interesting feature many adult male Sumatran Tigers have is their long and thick facial fur, that could be seen as a feline beard. This anatomy of theirs is much longer and thicker in comparison to their subspecies cousins – though may vary due to many different factors.
7. Fur Change Post Birth
When a Sumatran Tiger mother has just gave birth, their fur and exterior has subtly changed to tint a slight green overall. The science behind it may be complex, but this is a general occurrence by all healthy Sumatran Tiger mothers and should not be a factor of concern. People should not that this change does not occur to male tigers, and should take direct action when it does.
8. Have Webbed Feet
An interesting observation that could be found in Sumatran Tigers is their webbed feet. Most people associate webbed feet with our bird friends, but Sumatran Tigers would need webbed feet to move around and hunt within the waters. Unlike most domestic cats we know, Sumatran Tigers have found a fondness for large bodies of water, and would sometimes be found around those areas to either hunt or cool off.
This marks the end of a list of the distinctive features of a Sumatran Tiger. Though these are just general rule of thumb and could vary due to several reasons, it is wise that people get a basic understanding on how a Sumatran Tiger looks like. We hope that this piece of information could be useful for future references!