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large carnivore of the catcat,
name applied broadly to the carnivorous mammals constituting the family Felidae, and specifically to the domestic cat, Felis catus. The great roaring cats, the lion, tiger, and leopard are anatomically very similar to one another and constitute the genus
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 family, Panthera tigris, found in the forests of Asia. There are six subspecies of P. tigris: Amur or Siberian, Sumatran, Malayan, North Indochinese, Bengal, and South China or Amoy. The differences in subspecies are defined for the most part by their ranges. Amur tigers, commonly called Siberian, are native to the area of the Amur River in China, North Korea, and Russia. The Sumatran tiger is found only in Sumatra, the Malayan on the Malay Peninsula, the North Indochinese in parts of Indochina and S China; the South China tiger in central and E China, and the Bengal tiger in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar. Their habitats range from mountain forests to equatorial rain forests.

Tigers are the largest species of the cat family. Male tigers are generally about 8 to 10 ft (2.4–3 m) long, including the 3-ft (1.8-m) tail. The Siberian tiger may be 13 ft (4 m) long, including the tail, and weigh 650 lb (290 kg), much larger than any lion. The coat of the tiger is orange-yellow with numerous prominent black stripes; black and albino specimens are sometimes found. The Siberian tiger tends to be the lightest in coloring. The male tiger has no mane comparable to that of a lionlion,
large carnivore of the cat family, Panthera leo, found in open country in Africa, with a few surviving in India. Lions have short-haired coats of tawny brown, with the tail ending in a dark tuft.
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, although it may have a ruff around the sides of the head. Tigers and lions are quite similar anatomically and can be interbred.

Tigers are solitary animals and usually hunt at night. A male tiger will have a large range that will overlap with the ranges of several females. Females give birth to two or three cubs, which they raise and train for about two years. Tigers kill a variety of animals, including deer, antelope, wild pigs, and cattle. Tigers try to remain out of sight and hearing of their enemies, especially humans; they prefer fleeing to fighting. They can be killed by wild dogs, elephants, and water buffalos. Man-eating tigers are usually individuals who are too old or sick to capture wild animals. Tigers are good swimmers and enjoy bathing, especially in hot weather, which appears to make them quite uncomfortable. They are poor climbers, taking to trees only in emergencies.

The tiger is an endangered species. Trophy hunting of tigers was a common "sport" in the past, especially during the time of the Raj in India, when tens of thousands of Bengal tigers were shot. The greatest threats to the tiger now, however, are loss of natural habitat, loss of prey species such as deer and wild cattle to hunting by humans, and poaching. Tiger bone is used in traditional Chinese medicines to treat a variety of ailments, including rheumatism and impotence, and its sale and use continue despite a ban imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 1976.

Three tiger subspecies, the Caspian, Javan, and Balinese tigers, are extinct; the South China tiger is very near extinction. According to 1995 population estimates, the Bengal tiger is believed to be the most numerous, with a population of 4,000. It is followed by the Indochinese tiger (1,100), the Sumatran tiger (400), and the Siberian tiger (250). Some population rebounds have been noted since then, however, in eastern Siberia, Nepal, and some parts of India owing to increased conservation efforts, but the Bengal tiger population in India has suffered from serious poaching for the Chinese medicinal and animal skin markets. Its population was estimated to have fallen to nearly one third the 1995 estimate by 2008, but subsequently the numbers recovered to around 3,000. Captive breeding programs for tigers have met with considerable success but are plagued by a lack of space and the problem of maintaining genetic purity between subspecies that are defined more by range than by biological differences.

Tigers are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Felidae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Tiger is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. It refers to one of the 12 earthly branches that are used in Chinese astrology, together with the 10 heavenly stems. Such a branch designates one day every 12 days: the days are named according to a sexagesimal (60) cycle, made of 10 series of 12 branches.

The Tiger radiates gifts, luck, and often beauty. He is a remarkable leader, with a liking for grandeur and a lot of style, but he lacks elementary self-control: he does not like half-hearted people and he proves to be rather explosive. Proud, he fiercely enjoys his independence; he is rebellious and madly reckless. Extremely demanding, he cannot stand treachery. He has a thirst for adventures and exploits. His passionate attitude often borders on self-destruction.

—Michele Delemme

The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Panthera tigris), a mammal of the family Felidae. The tiger, one of the largest of recent predators, measures approximately 3 m in length and has a tail 1.1 m in length; its height at the shoulder is approximately 1.2 m. The tiger has powerful neck and paw muscles and short ears and whiskers. The coat is short and smooth in southern varieties and fluffy in northern ones. The background color of the back and sides is reddish, and of the throat and underparts, white; the body is covered with narrow black transverse stripes.

There are approximately seven geographic varieties of the tiger, found mainly in Southeast Asia, Pakistan, India, Indochina, and the Malay Archipelago. At one time tigers inhabited Transcaucasia and Middle Asia. Approximately 100 individuals now inhabit Primor’e Krai. The world population of tigers living in the wild, as high as 30,000 in the 1930’s, fell to approximately 2,500 by the 1960’s. The tiger is under international protection and is listed in the Red Data Book of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. In the early 1970’s, 12 tiger sanctuaries were established in India.

The tiger inhabits shrubs and thickets of reeds and bamboo, as well as mountain forests. It avoids very snowy regions but tolerates frosts well. It feeds chiefly on wild ungulates and occasionally attacks domestic livestock, dogs, and bears. Tigers attack human beings only very rarely; man-eaters are usually old or sick animals that are incapable of hunting ungulates. The tiger overtakes its prey with a mighty leap. It pursues the prey no more than 100–150 m when it fails to catch it on the first attempt.

A tigress reproduces once in two or three years and gives birth to two to four and, rarely, six young. The average gestation period is 105 days. Tigers build dens in clefts of rocks, caves, shrubs, and reed thickets. The life-span is usually 20 years or more. Tigers are primarily nocturnal animals of great strength, dexterity, and stamina. Their usual means of locomotion is walking; however, they are good swimmers. Only young tigers climb trees. Tigers can jump as much as 7 m in length and 2 m in height. The life of the tiger is sedentary if food is abundant.

Fossil tigers have been found in Pliocene and Pleistocene deposits in China and Primor’e Krai, USSR. Tigers were once prized by sportsmen and commercial hunters for their splendid fur. Tigers are caught live for zoos; they reproduce in captivity.


Baikov, N. A. Man’chzhurskii tigr. Harbin, 1925.
Kaplanov, L. G. Tigr, iziubr’, los’. Moscow, 1948.
Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2, part 2. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(vertebrate zoology)
Felis tigris. An Asiatic carnivorous mammal in the family Felidae characterized by a tawny coat with transverse black stripes and white underparts.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


aims at annihilating mankind. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 55]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a large feline mammal, Panthera tigris, of forests in most of Asia, having a tawny yellow coat with black stripes
2. any of various other animals, such as the jaguar, leopard, and thylacine
a. a country, esp in E Asia, that is achieving rapid economic growth
b. (as modifier): a tiger economy
4. Archaic a servant in livery, esp a page or groom
5. short for tiger moth
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(1) Version 10.4 of the Mac OS X operating system. Introduced in 2005, Tiger includes the Spotlight desktop search and RSS syndication support for the Safari Web browser. It also introduced Dashboard, a launching pad for mini applications known as "widgets" for functions such as weather, dictionary and address book. Dashboard became so popular, it spawned more than a thousand widget apps. See Mac OS X and Mac Dashboard.

(2) An earlier code name for Multimedia Server from Microsoft, which provided multimedia video-on-demand for Windows NT.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.


This large and very beautiful cat can symbolize femininity, power, anger, unforgiving vengeance, great force, and cunning. Tigers cannot be ignored, and usually they get exactly what they go after. Consider all of these characteristics and try to see if they apply to your or anyone else’s current mood or character.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.