When people picture tigers, they often picture a generic orange and black striped cat. However, not all tigers are identical, and the various breeds have their unique characteristics. There are six different tiger subspecies throughout the world.
Also known as Siberian tigers or Manchurian tigers, this is the largest breed of tiger. Males can reach up to 660 pounds. In addition to being larger, this breed is known for its muted coloration. Their fur is a lighter orange, white around the neck, and their stripes are dark brown instead of black. Less than 500 of these tigers live in the wild.
Also called the Indian tiger, this tiger breed is the most widespread tiger species. They have a classic tiger look, with a deep orange coat and bold black stripes. Bengal tigers are also unique because they are most likely to have white tigers.
The Indo-Chinese tiger is found in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. They are a little smaller than Bengals, weighing around 400 pounds to 250 pounds. Another difference is that their coloring is darker, ranging towards a deep rust-brown, and their stripes are narrower.
For many years, people assumed these tigers were Indo-Chinese tigers. Despite their similar coloration, they are a distinct breed. They tend to be smaller than Indo-Chinese tigers, and they are only found in southern Thailand and Malaysia.
South China Tiger
The defining characteristic of these tigers is their unusual skull shape shorter and broader than Bengal tigers. They also have a lighter, yellow-tinted coat. These tigers are almost extinct. There are only 47 currently living in zoos worldwide and no confirmed South China tigers in the wild.
These critically endangered tigers are only found in Sumatra. Sumatran tigers have the darkest coats out of all the tiger subspecies. Not only is their fur very dark, but their black stripes are often doubled or set right next to each other. They are also unique due to their tiny size. Even the biggest male Sumatran Tigers only weigh around 260 pounds.