Bengal tigers are the largest member of the cat family. They are also the most numerous tiger species left in the wild, but they have a population of only around 2,500, according to National Geographic. Tigers live a solitary lifestyle, with different actions during the day and night.
Bengal tigers are nocturnal and hunt at night. They stalk their prey from behind, relying on their strong eyesight and sense of smell. This species of tiger will also travel long distances to find wild pigs, buffalo, deer and other large mammals. The tigers have distinctive, camouflage coats that help them sneak up on unsuspecting prey. They aren't as fast as some of the prey they hunt, so they rely on surprise attacks. A hungry tiger can eat 60 pounds of food in one night, but they usually eat less.
Resting and Cooling Off
Bengal tigers live in the warm climates of India. Because they hunt at night, they often try to stay cool during the day. Tigers love water and spend their time bathing and cooling off in rivers and waterways during the day. They rest in their territory during the day to save enough energy to hunt at night.
Marking their Territory
Bengal tigers always mark and defend their territory. Bengals normally live alone, with the only exception being mothers and cubs or young siblings living together. A male tiger generally has territory of up to 60 square miles, but the size depends on rival tigers and the availability of food. Tigers scratch trees, leave droppings and leave scent markings to define the boundary. These territory markings tell other tigers the size and gender of the tiger living there.
When males are ready to breed, they find females by their markings, scents and roaring. Males and females mate any time during the day, and might mate up to 100 times over a two-day period. The female gives birth to cubs in her den, and the male leaves them to fend for themselves. Female Bengal tigers suckle their cubs until they are six months old. Mothers are forced to hunt often, but do not stray far from their cubs. The young cubs start hunting after one year, but do not travel on their own until after two.