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  • Writer's pictureDevika Shastri

Tigers: The Perfect Hunters

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Tigers are called ‘The Perfect Hunters’ and for a good reason.

They have evolved to maximize their chances of hunting and dominated the top tier of the food chain. Tigers have a distinct stripe pattern on their body that helps them camouflage their rather large frame in tall blades of grass. I only recently learnt that tigers have predator spots behind their ears, which helps in two distinct ways: firstly, while gracefully walking through the tall grass or thick jungle brush, the cubs can identify where the mother is heading and navigate the direction the mother is moving towards.

Secondly, the predator spots also tend to appear uniquely as another pair of eyes to another predator that might pose a potential threat. And that is the raw beauty of nature!

There are many ways tigers mark their territory. The most effective one being the urine spray. The other ways of marking their territory are through scratch marks, scrape marks and scat marks. Did you know, these listed ways of marking a tiger’s territory leave pheromones in the air through which other tigers analyse a lot of data and communicate with each other. This keeps their territorial areas distinctly marked enabling a good ratio of predator to prey. Once again, nature's way to maintaining harmony and a perfect balance amongst it wonderful creatures.

When tigers hunt, they do so upwind; against the direction of the wind to maximize their chances of successfully bringing down a prey. Some animals, especially the sambar deer, which also happens to be the favourite item on a tigers dinner menu, have a sharp sense of smell. When the tigers stalks its prey by staying upwind, it does not give away its presence. This drastically increases its success in making a kill!

When tigers hunt through the grassland, they are stealthy and stalk with grace and poise. They can surprise the friskiest of deer and catch them unawares.

Hence, the tail comes useful like a rudder, moving and navigating through the grass while the tiger is in this game of the hunt and the hunted.

Tigers preys on its kill by first breaking the spinal cord – which instantly punctures and suffocates the brain making the prey immobile and the making the hunt clean and effective.

No wonder, tigers by design have evolved to be called the Perfect Hunters.

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Apr 18, 2021

Great pics! Lovely!

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