Difference Between Siberian Tigers and Bengal Tigers (With Table)

The largest member of the cat family is tigers. The scientific name of tigers was coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 as Felis Tigris. Tigers are highly endangered species and there are constant conservation efforts all over the world. The most popular and common types of tigers are Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers.

Siberian Tigers vs Bengal Tigers

The main difference between Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers is that Siberian tigers have thick and heavy coats to survive in the freezing temperatures while Bengal tigers have thin, light fur which is light yellow with dark brown or black stripes.

Siberian tigers are mainly found in areas like eastern Russia, Korea, and parts of China. Siberian tigers are bigger and heavier. The male Siberian tigers can weigh up to 300 kg. Siberian tigers can cover over 100 square kilometers in a single night hunt.

While Bengal tigers are mainly found in India especially in Bengal, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bhutan, and in parts of China. The Bengal tigers are comparatively smaller than Siberian tigers. The maximum weight of a Bengal tiger can be up to 240 kg. Bengal tigers can cover up to 50 square kilometers in a single night hunt.

Comparison Table Between Siberian Tigers and Bengal Tigers

Parameters of ComparisonSiberian TigersBengal Tigers
Size Bigger and can weigh up to 675 pounds Smaller and can weigh up to 525 pounds
Type of fur or coat Thicker and heavier and stores fat underneath Thinner and lighter
Suitable climate Colder areas, especially in coniferous and birch forests where the temperature is as low as -45°C Tropical and wet region, especially in mangrove and deciduous forests and grasslands
Area of habitat Eastern Russia, Korea and parts of China India especially in Bengal, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bhutan, and in parts of China
Other names Machurian tiger, Ussurian tiger, and even Korean tigers Royal Bengal tiger, Indian tiger

What are Siberian Tigers?

Siberian tiger belongs to the population of Panthera tigris altaica. Siberian tiger is native to Russian Far East, North Korea, and Northeast China. The subfamily of the Siberian tigers is Patherinae. Siberian tigers show a genetic closeness to Caspian tigers, which have currently become extinct. Siberian tigers are also known by names like ‘Machurian tiger’, ‘Ussurian tiger’, and even ‘Korean tigers’.

Reports on the genetic makeup of Siberian tigers show that the single mtDNA haplotype dominates the maternal lineage of wild Siberian tigers. And also shows that the species may have experienced a recent genetic bottleneck due to human pressure. The color of the Siberian tiger is reddish-rusty or even rusty-yellow.

The length of the body is about 150 cm and the length of the skull is about 250 mm. The weight of the male Siberian tigers is around 180 – 306 kg and that of the female Siberian tigers is around 100 – 167 kg. The skull is larger than most of the other tigers. The canine region of the tigers is large and prominent. But the female skull is usually smaller.

The color of the fur of the tiger is usually pale, sparse, thick, and coarse. The coat of the Siberian tigers which are found in the Western part is brighter than others. There is a difference in the summer and winter coats of the Siberian tigers. The summer coat is coarse whereas the winter coat is softer, denser, longer, and silkier. The prey of Siberian tigers is deers, bears, moose, boar, and even small animals like pikas, hares, rabbits, and salmon.

What are Bengal Tigers?

Bengal tigers belong to the species of Panthera tigris Tigris. It is a native species of the Indian subcontinent. The Bengal tiger is also called the Royal Bengal tiger. Bengal tigers are considered the biggest wild cats alive today.

The species belong to the charismatic megafauna of the world. The color of the coat of the Bengal tiger is yellow to light orange and the stripes on the body are usually dark brown to black. The interior region of the tiger is white and lighter in shade. Some Bengal tigers are also White tigers which are not an example of Albinism.

The body length of the Bengal tigers is around 270-310 cm in males while the females are usually between 240-265 cm. The tail of the Bengal tigers is long and is around 85 to 110 cm. The weight of the Bengal tiger can be around 175-260 kg of males while the female can weigh around 100-160 kg. The smallest Bengal tiger was 75-80 kg which was found in Sundarbans and Bangladesh. The Bengal tigers are endangered species and conserved by Tiger Conservation Units (TCUs).

The prey of the Bengal tigers is ungulates like gaur, sambar, and chital, and also water buffalo, takin, barasingha, serow, nilgai, wild boar, grey langur, Indian muntjac, and hog deer. Small species like hares, porcupines, and peafowl are also hunted. The most common preys of Bengal tigers are leopard, wolf, jackal, crocodile, fox, and bears.

Main Differences Between Siberian Tigers and Bengal Tigers

  1. The length of the Siberian tiger is around 10 to 12 feet while the length of the Bengal tiger is around 8 to 10 feet.
  2. The weight of the Siberian tiger is around 675 pounds while the weight of the Bengal tiger is around 525 pounds.
  3. The coat of the Siberian tiger is pale, thick, and golden or rusty red while the coat of the Bengal tiger is thin, and light yellow with dark brown or black stripes.
  4. The prey of Siberian tigers is deer, elk, bears, rabbits, and hares while the prey of Bengal tigers is pigs, gaur, Buffalo, sambar, and other kinds of ungulates.
  5. The territory occupied by Siberian tigers is larger while the territory occupied by Bengal tigers is smaller.

Conclusion

Both the type of tigers look similar from distant but have distinct differences in size, color, habitat, fur quality, and hunting habits. The differences in the habitat can lead to different kinds of diets and preying habits. The size and the weight of the body of Siberian and Bengal tigers are different from each other.

The largest member of the cat family, is tigers, are endangered. Tigers are the top predators in any food chain and conservation of the same is essential. Poaching of tigers should be banned and establish a balance and minimize human-tiger conflicts.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/91/3/737/847109
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/84/1/288/2373422
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