Both wild animals belong to the species Panthera Thigris. However, the Bengal tiger is known by its scientific name “Panthera Tigris Tigris“. While the scientific name of the Siberian tiger is “Panthera Tigris Altaica“. To the naked eye, they are very similar animals, but with very marked differences.
If you are not well informed, you can easily confuse them. That is why at WildAnimals, we want to share with you the differences between these two animals. The differences range from where they live, their diet, and their adaptation to the environment, among others.
Read on and discover some curiosities about these beautiful animals, which are positioned as the largest felines in the world. The following are the differences between the Siberian tiger and the Bengal tiger.
- You might be interested in learning: all the information about tigers.
Differences between size and weight
If we look at length as a reference point, the largest tiger is the Siberian. In the past Siberian tigers were also the heaviest. However, due to food shortages due to poaching, some specimens may weigh less than the Bengal tiger.
We will now show you in more detail the weight and size of both tigers, using WWF and National Geographic data as a reference:
- The Siberian Tiger Size: measures between 1.9 and 2.3 m in length, excluding the tail, which is approximately 1 m long. It weighs between 180 and 300 kilograms.
- The Bengal Tiger Size: measures between 1.5 and 1.8 m in length, excluding the tail, which is between 0.5 and 1 m in length. The weight of this feline is around 110 and 225 kilograms.
As we have told you, the weight of the Siberian tiger has decreased, so that an adult male places its weight around 190 kilograms, not 300 kilograms, as in the last century. The causes of weight loss, in addition to poaching, are also due to global warming. It directly affects the habitat of these animals.
The weight of a Bengal tiger can vary greatly. It will depend on environmental factors, especially climate, which inevitably influences its physical characteristics. If we look at weight as a reference point, the Bengal tiger would be considered the largest. However, it is an open question that generates much debate among specialists.
In the image, you can see a specimen of the Bengal tiger:
Differences where they live
The differences can also be appreciated depending on where each species is found. For example, the Bengal tiger can be found in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, in various parts of these countries. There are very few specimens in the wild.
The Siberian tiger can be found in the extreme Southeast of Russia and on the border between China and Russia. In the past, it could be found in countries such as Mongolia and Korea. However, due to hunting and the Asian black market, its area of distribution is now reduced.
In terms of climate, the Bengal tiger inhabits hot desert areas and grasslands where the climate is humid and cold.
The Siberian tiger, on the other hand, is adapted to live in extreme cold conditions. They live in snowy places. Nevertheless, we can also find it in herbaceous plains, swampy areas, and grassland areas.
The photograph shows a specimen of a Siberian tiger in a freezing climate.
Are there dietary differences between these tigers?
In the diet between these two species, there are more similarities than differences. Both are carnivorous animals and devour practically any animal they are capable of knocking down.
The Bengal tiger hunts peacocks, buffaloes, monkeys, wild boars, and antelopes, among others. The Siberian tiger also eats a carnivorous diet, devouring wild boar, deer, lynx, and even bear-sized animals.
Both kill your 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 the victim’s neck until it is suffocated.
Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Is color a distinctive feature of these tigers?
Continuing with the differences between these two animals, the color of the coat is a particular characteristic 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, but almost imperceptible to the inexperienced eye. It also has the characteristic dark or black stripes, which run vertically along its sides and shoulders, which form rings on the tail. The volume of the coat in the case of the Siberian tiger is higher than in Bengal, in order to protect them from the cold.
There is also a false belief that the white tiger and the Siberian tiger are the same. White is a genetic mutation resulting in a white coat instead of orange or reddish-brown. A mutation present in both tiger species.
There is also an even rarer mutation, known as the golden tiger, which is also present in both species. In this case, the mutation affects the traditional black stripes, which in this case, tend to be reddish, of a color a little stronger than the color of the background skin. Golden tigers have only been seen in captivity. For all this, the color does not differentiate one species from another since they are very similar in that sense.
In the image, there is a specimen with a mutation known as a golden tiger.
Bengal tiger vs Siberian tiger: How to differentiate the Bengal tiger and the Siberian tiger?
In short, there are some ways in which these two species can be differentiated. The first is where they live. In the case of the Bengal tiger, it is an animal that prefers hot, humid, and cold climates. The Siberian tiger is an animal of cold climate.
The second way these felines can be differentiated is length. The Bengal tiger is much larger than the Siberian. Therefore it is an animal that looks thinner than its relatives living in Russia.
Weight is also a distinctive feature, as the Siberian tiger is much heavier and more visibly robust than its cousin living in India.
Another way these animals can be differentiated is that the Siberian tiger has much more coat than the Bengal, thanks to its adaptation to the cold.
All these differences are a little hard to distinguish. And even knowing them will not give us the certainty of knowing if it is one species or another. They can also be confused with any of the other four species that still exist.
In the photograph, you can see a specimen of a white tiger, a mutation that can occur in both species.
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