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ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION - A - THE TIGER (Panthera tigris)

Brazil Matias Offline
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Normally I do not post on these subjects (fighting between animals, whether of the same species or not), since I believe that it presents hypothetical, intuitive and deductive knowledge. It is very unlikely to obtain practical results that would serve as a model for measuring results, and thus, provide objective knowledge. Let's see: a Gaur takes how many years to become an adult. He is not a migratory animal. So if this Gaur inhabits tiger territories, imagine how many times they both meet ... that is, if it were easy for a tiger to kill a Gaur they would be rare in tiger land? Or I talking bullshit?


Regardless of the answers that come ... nature has its balance and no animal develops for thousands of years if it does not have effective means of facing its predators and balancing the game.


Another thing: A weakened tiger, aware of the importance of feeding himself as fast as possible, will behave quite differently from perfect health, some with true suicidal acts. Knowing the outcome of the combat is easy. Knowing all the circumstantial forces that surround the two animals when they face each other is impossible. I believe that when a Tiger encounters a Gaur, most of the time, there is no predation, and for reasons that are not possible to know, the clash does not happen. Some say that Statistics is the science of lies, because it alone is not able to measure the facts and events that gave its result. The facts narrated in book by hunters have value yes, however I see in a singular and not pluralized way the result of these clashes between different species.


Are not affirmations, just to reflect !!!
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-07-2018, 06:07 AM by peter )

(09-03-2018, 01:27 PM)Vegeta San Wrote: @peter can i ask you why my replies are not appearing here? 

Did I done anything wrong? I don't think I was. This is a argument right, i know the forum rules and regulations. I didn't surpassed that. 

But then, why my replies getting disappeared?

At the moment, I don't have time to post. For this reason, the tiger thread is moderated by Rishi. 

Apart from posting good info, Rishi edited a number of posts. In my opinion, he has been very lenient. I'm not saying the debate on tigers and large herbivores didn't produce anything at all, but it took a long time to get a kind of result.  

As to the topic discussed. 

There are many hundreds of books about tigers written by hunters, planters, naturalists and Forest Officers. In most of them, you'll find a lot of information on interactions between tigers and the animals they hunt. In old journals like 'The Indian Forester' and the 'Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society', you'll find letters written by planters, hunters and Forest Officers. In quite a few of them, struggles between tigers and large herbivores are described. In the last two decades in particular, a lot more was added by biologists, rangers and (professional) photographers. To keep it short: reliable observations say tigers hunt calves of elephants, water buffaloes, gaur and rhinos. There's also no question that some individuals progress from calves to adults. 

The debate initiated by Paul Cooper has been concluded, that is. Time to move on.

Matias (see the previous post) proposed a different way of getting to knowledge on tigers and the animals they hunt. New perspective. Could be interesting.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2018, 07:58 AM by peter )

THAI TIGERS

Today, in the thread about tigers in southeast Asia, Guate posted a very interesting document about tigers in Thailand. Although 9 pages only, it has a lot of information. Use the translator:

https://wildfact.com/forum/attachment.php?aid=1445

If you like tables, visit the thread about tigers in southeast Asia. Guate did a bit of work and compared tigers in India, Russia, Thailand, the Sunderbans and Sumatra.

Here's a photograph of a male tiger in the Temana Negara National Park (2012). It's not from the document above:


*This image is copyright of its original author
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2018, 11:56 AM by GuateGojira )

(04-19-2018, 06:40 AM)peter Wrote: BETTY

Good find. Your post might have an unexpected effect.

Before continuing, I want to offer my sympathy to the relatives of the 43-year old keeper of the Cologne zoo. Although she had plenty of experience, she apparently made a mistake and paid the ultimate price.

1 - THE TIGER

Male Amur tiger 'Altai' was 4 years of age when he was shot by zoo director Theo Pagel after he had killed the zoo keeper. The tiger had been moved to Cologne in April 2011 to meet 'Hanya', a tigress from a French facility. The meeting had an effect, as 'Hanya' gave birth to 3 cubs.

2 - AUTOPSY REPORT

An interdisciplinry team, consisting of a veterinarian pathologist, a forensic pathologist and autopsy technicians, performed an autopsy on tiger 'Altai'. The tiger measured 240 cm. from nose to tail root. The tail measured 96,5 cm. The length of the canines ranged between 35 and 70 mm.

The total length of the tiger was 336,5 cm. (11 feet and about half an inch), that is. Very long, even for a male Amur tiger. The question is in what way he was measured.

Dr. P. van Bree of the former Zoological Museum of Amsterdam told me he measured big cats in a straight line ('between pegs'). Dr. D. Morike of the Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Stuttgart also told me that big cats should be measured in that way. As tiger 'Altai' was measured by, or in the presence of, a veterinarian pathologist and a forensic pathologist, I assume that the tiger was measured in the correct way: in a straight line.

This means that the tiger was almost as long as the record tiger shot in northern India in the late sixties of the previous century. That male, at 11.1 in total length measured in a straight line and 11.7 'over curves', is the longest I know of.

3 - SKULL

Good photographs of big cat skulls are few and far between. Betty's post has three, of which two will be used in this post. Both photographs have scales. Here they are again (sorry about the notes I made):


*This image is copyright of its original author


It is about the scale used in the two photographs. It's the same scale, I think. The length of the longest wing is 10 cm. The short wing is 5 cm. I'll start with the first photograph.

3a - Photograph 1

This photograph shows the canines and the rostrum. The scales enables a few measurements. I measured the width of the rostrum and the length of the left upper canine (from the tip to the insertion). 

How did I get to a measurement in both cases? I first printed the photograph and measured the length of the long side of the scale. We know that the long wing has a length of 10 cm. In the print, the long wing isn't 10, but 5,20 cm. (520 to make things easy). The width of the rostrum (referring to the print) is 6,50 cm. (650). In order to find the real width of the rostrum, we have to divide 650 by 520, knowing that 520 is 10,00 cm. The result is 1,25. This means that the rostrum is about 125,00 mm. Never saw a rostrum that wide. The length of the left upper canine (measured in a straight line from the tip to the insertion) is 79,80 mm. Also the longest I saw.

3b - Photograph 2

Another excellent photograph showing the skull with a scale. It's the same scale used in the first photograph. The scale, however, poses a problem. We know the long wing is exactly 10 cm., but what about the width of the short part that is added? To keep it short: the scale has a total length of 12,50 cm.

As for the printed photograph. On the print, the length of the scale is 275 units (275 in the photograph). The total length of the skull is 950 units. When we divide 950 by 275, the result is 3,4545. In order to get to the real length of the skull, we have to multiply 3,4545 with 12,50. The result is 431,818 mm. for greatest total skull length. Unheard of.

The width at the arches (referring to the print I made) is 625 units (625). If we divide 625 by 275 (the length of the scale), the result is 2,2727. In order to get to the real length, we have to multiply 2,2727 with 12,50. The result is 284,09 mm. Very wide, but not a record. The reason is that the tiger was a young adult.  

I also had another go at the width of the rostrum. This time, the result was 122,72 mm.

3c - To conclude

The scale in the two photographs is of crucial importance. If it would have been 10 cm., the skull would have been slightly below average for males of Panthera tigris altaica. If the scale, however, really is 12,50 cm., the results are staggering. It's the largest tiger skull by quite a margin.

4 -  ALL

As some of you know, I measured many big cat skulls. The longest tiger skull was a bit below 380,00 mm. in greatest total length. There is (referring to Christiansen) some evidence of skulls exceeding 16 inches in greatest total length, but 'some evidence' is very different from a confirmed measurement.

The tiger featuring in this post was 240 cm. in head and body length and had a tail of 96,5 cm., which results in a total length of 336,5 cm. (...). Remarkable, if we consider that the tiger still was a young adult when he was shot. If I'm right, the skull of this male was 431,18 mm. in greatest total length. With a width of 284,09 mm. and a rostrum width of 122,72 mm., the skull is way larger than all other skulls.

Betty. If you give me the coordinates (full text, source, email etc), I will contact one of the writers and, if possible, go to Cologne myself in order to measure the skull. By train, it only is a few hours.

I assume I made a mistake somewhere. If you see errors, let me know. If I avoided them, this most probably is the largest tiger skull ever. By a margin.

As to the possibility of a tiger skull exceeding 16 inches in greatest total length. There are quite a few tigers exceeding 600 pounds in captivity. Some of them have very large skulls. The great majority will never be measured. In Nepal and some parts of India, wild male tigers also exceed 600 pounds at times. Tables with measurements of tiger skulls very often are reproductions of old information. I do not doubt that large skulls can exceed 16 inches in greatest total length. 

Here's the second photograph again: if I'm right (depends on the scale at the bottom left), this skull has a greatest total length of about 430,00 mm., a zygomatic width of 284 mm. and a rostrum width exceeding 122 mm.: 


*This image is copyright of its original author

Ok @peter, I made a little analysis of this skull and the tiger size reported, here are my preliminary conclusions:

1. I checked this image which, apparently, if from this male tiger:

*This image is copyright of its original author


From my point of view this tiger do not measure 240 cm in head-body length in "straight line", maybe up to 210 cm but that is all. Maybe I an wrong, maybe the lady was also tall, but that is my apreciation in this particular moment.

2. The size of the skull is problematic because of the picture itself. Some pictures are accourate but other don't. I don't think that this skull is as large as 432 mm, maybe about 410 or maybe 420mm, but I doubt it. There can be a deviation in the image caused by the heigh from the camera to the skull.

Did anyone contacted the authors of this article to ask if they actualy measured this skull? If not, I can do it.

As far I know, the largest captive tiger skull published is from an Amur male of 393 mm in GSL, a CBL of 350 mm and 254 mm in zygomatic wide; now here there is a report of another captive Amur tiger with a skull of 400 mm in GSL and 292 mm in zygomatic wide. A skull of 432 mm for a tiger will be exceptional.  

I may be wrong, but this is what I see in this moment.
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Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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I also doubt the measurement of this particular tiger skull, I hope the author or the owner of the skull measured the skull again precisely over straight line.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-11-2018, 12:11 PM by GuateGojira )

I checked something in this two pictures:


*This image is copyright of its original author


And this:

*This image is copyright of its original author


These are the same picture, but the form in diferent, in the second one the tiger is longer, in the first one is shorter. So, which is the correct one?


This is the third one:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This looks like a middle between the first and the second picture. So, what is the correct one?  shocked


*This image is copyright of its original author
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Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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Not sure which one is the right pic, I posted the pictures awhile ago here. But I guess the second picture.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(09-11-2018, 12:09 PM)johnny rex Wrote: Not sure which one is the right pic, I posted the pictures awhile ago here. But I guess the second picture.

In that case if is the second one, I still think that this tiger is not 240 cm in head-body straight, maybe about 210 cm straight. The 240 cm length probably was along the curves, even the tale is short with only 96.5 cm.

The longest captive tiger reported is an Amur male measured by Mazák of 220 cm in head body "straight" and a tail of 99 cm.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 3 hours ago by peter )

A BIT MORE ON AMUR TIGER ALTAI OF THE KOLN ZOO

a - Introduction

This thread is about wild tigers. Every now and then, however, captive tigers are discussed. The reason captive tiger Altai qualified, is the article posted by Betty some time ago. The article has a few photographs of the skull of the tiger. It could be the largest I know of.

In this post, a few questions regarding the tiger and the skull will be addressed. I found a bit more on the tiger and decided it should be posted.

b - Guate's post

Tiger Altai made headlines some six years ago. On August 25, 2012, he killed his keeper. The director of the Koln zoo, Theo Pagel, shot the tiger immediately after he had been informed. About a year later, another keeper was killed by a captive male Amur tiger in Munster, also in Germany.

In the article posted by Betty, both cases are discussed. The tiger from the Munster zoo wasn't shot. Tiger Altai was. During the autopsy, he was measured by two pathologists. His total length was 336,5 cm. (head and body 240 cm. - tail 96,5 cm.). 

The article has no information about the method used to measure the tiger. It also has no information about his weight. In one of the countless newspaper reports I read, Altai was said to weigh 300 kg. (662 pounds). My guess is it was an estimate, but it can't be excluded. 

The problem with photographs and videos is deception. I't's always closer than you think and it works both ways. I remember a photograph of Goodrich and what seemed to be a large wild male Amur tiger. The tiger had a relatively large head. As the photograph was taken close to the head, the tiger seemed to be large. He wasn't. Although long (just over 10.1 'over curves'), tiger 'Maurice' was 395 pounds (179 kg.). Compared to an average wild male, 'Maurice' lacked about 25-35 pounds.   

The opposite is also seen. Recently, a video was posted in which a captive white male tiger was weighed in a facility somewhere in South Africa. Compared to the men seen in the video (one of them was 84 kg. or 186 pounds), the tiger wasn't very tall, long or robust. Before the tiger was weighed, the scale was tested. It seemed to be ok. The tiger was 299 kg. or 660 pounds (...).

What I'm saying is a photograph or video can be quite deceptive.     
 
In another thread, I asked Guate about his opinion on the tiger and the skull. Guate, using a photograph showing both the tiger and his keeper, concluded the tiger appeared to be shorter than 336,5 cm. in total length. He thought the tiger most probably had been measured 'over curves'. He also had doubts about the (alleged) size of the skull.

In his opinion, the tiger measured by V. Mazak in the Prague zoo is the longest. Measured 'between pegs', he was 319 cm. Measured 'over curves', he was 337 cm. That tiger had a head length of 45 cm. and a greatest total skull length of 371 mm. His son 'Benjamin' was 298 cm. when he died at age 7. Although he had a shorter head (42 cm.), his skull (377 mm.) was a bit longer (V. Mazak, 'Der Tiger', 1983, pp. 185-193).
    
c - Size of tiger Altai of the Koln zoo

- Tiger Altai was born in Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent (UK) in August 2008. In April 2011, when he was 2 years and 9 months, he was moved to the Koln Zoo. He and tigress 'Hanya', born in the African Safari Park in Plaisance-du-Touche (Toulouse), France, mated in July 2011, when 'Altai' was 2 years and 11 months of age. After 109 days, 4 cubs were born. One of the cubs died after 6 days. Tiger Altai was shot on August 25, 2012, when he was just about 4 years of age.

Tiger Altai never reached his full size, that is. Immature male tigers do not add a foot in length in 15 months, but they keep growing in length for quite some time. The famous Sauraha tiger (Nepal) added 8 cm. in head and body length when he was an adult. It's very likely that the Koln zoo tiger, not even a young adult when he arrived in Koln, added quite a bit more during his stay in Koln.

- You can find a lot of photographs and videos of Altai on the internet. Most were posted when he was younger than 3. I don't know when the photograph of Altai and his keeper was taken, but my guess is the tiger had just arrived in Koln.  

- Another thing to remember is that his keeper was standing behind glass. Distortion is very likely, that is.   

- Compared to the tigers I saw, Altai was a bit more robust. He also had a large skull.   

- The tiger was measured by, or in the presence of, two pathologists. In Germany, accuracy is much appreciated. If the article says the tiger was 336,5 cm. in total length, chances are he really was 336,5 cm. The question is in what way he was measured. All German biologists I met, told me big cats should be measured in a straight line ('between pegs'). It could be some of them adopted the method used by field biologists ('over curves'), but my guess is most of them measure big cats in a straight line.
   
- V. Mazak was one of the very few who measured tigers himself. The longest captive male Amur tiger he measured was 319 cm. 'between pegs' and 337 cm. 'over curves' (just over 11.0). Directly after death, he was 192 kg. In his prime, the tiger might have exceeded 250 kg. A large tiger without doubt, but heavier individuals have been recorded in captivity and I also saw males exceeding that length. The general public doesn't know, because captive tigers are seldom, if ever, measured. Same, by the way, for all other captive big cats. A shame, but there you have it.

Based on what I have, I'd say an average adult captive male in Europe ranges between 10.0-10.6 in total length measured 'over curves'. Some individuals no doubt well exceed 11.0. According to a former poster at AVA who has weighed tigers ('Eagle Raptor'), captive male Amur tigers (in the UK) averaged 480-500 pounds (10-20 years ago). The tables posted by some of our members in the recent past (this forum) suggest he could have been close. V. Mazak had information about the actual standing height of captive Amur tigers. His average for males (102-103 cm.) more or less compared to what I found. The tallest Mazak knew of was 110 cm. The tallest I saw was over that mark.

In my opinion, tiger Altai was larger than average. Same for his skull. Measured 'over curves', he could have been 11.0 or a little over at age 4.       

d - Skull

The article posted by Betty had a few photographs of the skull of Altai. Every photograph has a scale, enabling those interested to get to a number of estimates. The accuracy of the estimates depends on the quality of the photographs. I visited a photographer. In his opinion, the photographs were made by a pro. Distortion can never be avoided, but chances are it will be quite limited.

I propose to start with the photograph of the teeth. The scale is very close to the skull, meaning the degree of distortion is very limited:


*This image is copyright of its original author


After different attempts, I concluded the rostrum has a width of 121-122 mm. Well over average, that is. We now move to the photograph of the skull:


*This image is copyright of its original author


The photograph also has a scale (bottom left), but it isn't needed to get to a good estimate of the greatest total length. The reason is the previous photograph enabled us to get to get to a good estimate of the rostrum width. If we know the rostrum width, we should be able to get to a good estimate on the greatest total skull length.

After different attempts, I concluded the skull is about 3,5 times the size of the rostrum. This results in a greatest total skull length of about 424-425 mm. We can also use the scale in the photograph to get to an estimate. The average of 3 attempts is 430-431 mm. Distortionwise, the first estimate (based on the rostrum width) is more reliable. 

The question now is to what degree the angle affected the first, more reliable, estimate. My guess is 5-10 mm., meaby a trifle more. This means the skull has a greatest total length of 410-420 mm.  

The longest skulls of captive male Amur tigers range between 380-406 mm. The skull of Altai could be considerably longer. The only way to find out more about the size of the tiger and the skull is to contact the writers of the article. Come winter, I might visit Koln and measure the skull myself.  

e - Videos

e1 - This video was posted in late May 2011, when Altai was 2 years and 9 months of age: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkje-9ZjGP8

e2 - Another video posted in June, 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRwrqw7-Qlg

e3 - A video about the accident (English subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXhb2YqaWNU

f - About August 25, 2012

Here's something I found a few days ago. Use the translator, as in German: 


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author
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(09-13-2018, 01:13 AM)peter Wrote: A BIT MORE ON AMUR TIGER ALTAI OF THE KOLN ZOO

a - Introduction

This thread is about wild tigers. Every now and then, however, captive tigers are discussed. The reason captive tiger Altai qualified, is the article posted by Betty some time ago. The article has a few photographs of the skull of the tiger. It could be the largest I know of.

In this post, a few questions regarding the tiger and the skull will be addressed. I found a bit more on the tiger and decided it should be posted.

b - Guate's post

Tiger Altai made headlines some six years ago. On August 25, 2012, he killed his keeper. The director of the Koln zoo, Theo Pagel, shot the tiger immediately after he had been informed. About a year later, another keeper was killed by a captive male Amur tiger in Munster, also in Germany.

In the article posted by Betty, both cases are discussed. The tiger from the Munster zoo wasn't shot. Tiger Altai was. During the autopsy, he was measured by two pathologists. His total length was 336,5 cm. (head and body 240 cm. - tail 96,5 cm.). 

The article has no information about the method used to measure the tiger. It also has no information about his weight. In one of the countless newspaper reports I read, Altai was said to weigh 300 kg. (662 pounds). My guess is it was an estimate.  
 
In another thread, I asked Guate about his opinion on the tiger and the skull. Guate, using a photograph showing both the tiger and his keeper, concluded the tiger appeared to be shorter than 336,5 cm. in total length. He thought the tiger most probably had been measured 'over curves'. He also had doubts about the (alleged) size of the skull.

In his opinion, the tiger measured by V. Mazak in the Prague zoo is the longest. Measured 'between pegs', he was 319 cm. Measured 'over curves', he was 337 cm. That tiger had a head length of 45 cm. and a greatest total skull length of 371 mm. His son 'Benjamin' was 298 cm. when he died at age 7. Although he had a shorter head (42 cm.), his skull (377 mm.) was longer a bit longer (V. Mazak, 'Der Tiger', 1983, pp. 185-193).
    
c - Size of tiger Altai of the Koln zoo

- Tiger Altai was born in Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent (UK) in August 2008. In April 2011, when he was 2 years and 9 months, he was moved to the Koln Zoo. He and tigress 'Hanya', born in the African Safari Park in Plaisance-du-Touche (Toulouse), France, mated in July 2011, when 'Altai' was 2 years and 11 months of age. After 109 days, 4 cubs were born. One of the cubs died after 6 days. Tiger Altai was shot on August 25, 2012, when he was just about 4 years of age.

Tiger Altai never reached his full size, that is. Immature male tigers do not add a foot in length in 15 months (he was 2 years and 9 months when he was moved to Koln and shot at age 4), but they keep growing in length, even after reaching adulthood. The Sauraha tiger added 8 cm. in head and body length when he was an adult. It's very likely that the Koln zoo tiger, not even a young adult when he arrived in Koln, also added at least 8 cm. during his stay in Koln, meaby a bit more.

- You can find a lot of photographs and videos of Altai on the internet. Most were posted halfway 2011, when he was younger than 3. I don't know when the photograph of Altai and his keeper was taken, but one has to remember the tiger was far from adult. 

- Another thing to remember is that his keeper was standing behind glass. Talking distortion here.  

- Compared to the tigers I saw, Altai was a bit more robust. He also had a large skull. I've seen larger Amur tigers, but in my opinion Altai was a large tiger.  

- The tiger was measured by, or in the presence of, two pathologists. In Germany, accuracy is much appreciated. If the article says the tiger was 336,5 cm. in total length, chances are he really was 336,5 cm. The question is in what way he was measured. All German biologists I met, told me big cats should be measured in a straight line ('between pegs'). It could be some of them adopted the method now used by field biologists ('over curves'), but my guess is most of them measure big cats in a straight line.
   
- V. Mazak was one of the very few who measured tigers himself. He also informed his readers. The longest he measured was 319 cm. in total length 'between pegs' . Directly after death, he was 192 kg. In his prime, the tiger might have exceeded 250 kg. A large tiger without doubt, but heavier individuals have been recorded in captivity and I also saw males exceeding that length. The general public doesn't know, because captive tigers are seldom, if ever, measured. Same, by the way, for all other captive big cats. A shame, but there you have it.

I'm not saying many of us underestimate the size of captive Amur tigers, but I'm sure an average captive male (referring to European zoos) is longer, taller and heavier than an average wild Amur tiger. In my opinion, the 3 captive male Amur tigers I measured (9.5 'between pegs') were shorter than average. This also was the opinion of the director of the facility. Based on what I have, I'd say an average adult captive male in Europe ranges between 9.5-9.10 in total length in a straight line. Measured 'over curves', they would range between 10.0-10.6. Some individuals no doubt exceed 11.0. In my opinion, tiger Altai was a bit larger than average.

d - Skull

The article posted by Betty had a few photographs of the skull of tiger Altai. Every photograph has a scale, enabling those interested to get to a number of estimates. The accuracy of the estimates depends on the quality of the photographs. I visited a photographer. In his opinion, the photographs were made by a pro. Distortion can never be avoided, but chances are it will be quite limited.

I propose to start with the photograph of the teeth. The scale is very close to the skull, meaning the degree of distortion is very limited:


*This image is copyright of its original author


After different attempts, I concluded the rostrum has a width of 121-122 mm. Well over average, that is. We now move to the photograph of the skull:


*This image is copyright of its original author


The photograph also has a scale (bottom left), but it isn't needed to get to a good estimate of the greatest total length. The reason is the previous photograph enabled us to get to get to a good estimate of the rostrum width. If we know the rostrum width, we should be able to get to a good estimate on the greatest total skull length.

After different attempts, I concluded the skull is about 3,5 times the size of the rostrum. This results in a greatest total skull length of about 424-425 mm. We can also use the scale in the photograph to get to an estimate. The average of 3 attempts is 430-431 mm. Distortionwise, the first estimate (based on the rostrum width) is more reliable. 

The question now is to what degree the angle affected the first, more reliable, estimate. My guess is 5-10 mm., meaby a trifle more. This means the skull has a greatest total length of 410-420 mm.  

The longest skulls of captive male Amur tigers measured by a biologist range between 380-406 mm. The skull of Altai, most probably, is considerably longer. The only way to find out more about the size of the tiger and the skull is to contact the writers of the article. Another option is to visit Koln and measure the skull myself.  

e - Videos

e1 - This video was posted in late May 2011, when Altai was 2 years and 9 months of age: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkje-9ZjGP8

e2 - Another video posted in June, 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRwrqw7-Qlg

e3 - A video about the accident (English subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXhb2YqaWNU

f - About August 25, 2012

Here's something I found a few days ago. Use the translator, as in German: 


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Incredible he had huge upper fangs more than 7,5 centimeters long
@GrizzlyClaws
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Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-15-2018, 05:26 PM by johnny rex )

(09-13-2018, 01:13 AM)peter Wrote: A BIT MORE ON AMUR TIGER ALTAI OF THE KOLN ZOO

a - Introduction

This thread is about wild tigers. Every now and then, however, captive tigers are discussed. The reason captive tiger Altai qualified, is the article posted by Betty some time ago. The article has a few photographs of the skull of the tiger. It could be the largest I know of.

In this post, a few questions regarding the tiger and the skull will be addressed. I found a bit more on the tiger and decided it should be posted.

b - Guate's post

Tiger Altai made headlines some six years ago. On August 25, 2012, he killed his keeper. The director of the Koln zoo, Theo Pagel, shot the tiger immediately after he had been informed. About a year later, another keeper was killed by a captive male Amur tiger in Munster, also in Germany.

In the article posted by Betty, both cases are discussed. The tiger from the Munster zoo wasn't shot. Tiger Altai was. During the autopsy, he was measured by two pathologists. His total length was 336,5 cm. (head and body 240 cm. - tail 96,5 cm.). 

The article has no information about the method used to measure the tiger. It also has no information about his weight. In one of the countless newspaper reports I read, Altai was said to weigh 300 kg. (662 pounds). My guess is it was an estimate.  
 
In another thread, I asked Guate about his opinion on the tiger and the skull. Guate, using a photograph showing both the tiger and his keeper, concluded the tiger appeared to be shorter than 336,5 cm. in total length. He thought the tiger most probably had been measured 'over curves'. He also had doubts about the (alleged) size of the skull.

In his opinion, the tiger measured by V. Mazak in the Prague zoo is the longest. Measured 'between pegs', he was 319 cm. Measured 'over curves', he was 337 cm. That tiger had a head length of 45 cm. and a greatest total skull length of 371 mm. His son 'Benjamin' was 298 cm. when he died at age 7. Although he had a shorter head (42 cm.), his skull (377 mm.) was longer a bit longer (V. Mazak, 'Der Tiger', 1983, pp. 185-193).
    
c - Size of tiger Altai of the Koln zoo

- Tiger Altai was born in Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent (UK) in August 2008. In April 2011, when he was 2 years and 9 months, he was moved to the Koln Zoo. He and tigress 'Hanya', born in the African Safari Park in Plaisance-du-Touche (Toulouse), France, mated in July 2011, when 'Altai' was 2 years and 11 months of age. After 109 days, 4 cubs were born. One of the cubs died after 6 days. Tiger Altai was shot on August 25, 2012, when he was just about 4 years of age.

Tiger Altai never reached his full size, that is. Immature male tigers do not add a foot in length in 15 months (he was 2 years and 9 months when he was moved to Koln and shot at age 4), but they keep growing in length, even after reaching adulthood. The Sauraha tiger added 8 cm. in head and body length when he was an adult. It's very likely that the Koln zoo tiger, not even a young adult when he arrived in Koln, also added at least 8 cm. during his stay in Koln, meaby a bit more.

- You can find a lot of photographs and videos of Altai on the internet. Most were posted halfway 2011, when he was younger than 3. I don't know when the photograph of Altai and his keeper was taken, but one has to remember the tiger was far from adult. 

- Another thing to remember is that his keeper was standing behind glass. Talking distortion here.  

- Compared to the tigers I saw, Altai was a bit more robust. He also had a large skull. I've seen larger Amur tigers, but in my opinion Altai was a large tiger.  

- The tiger was measured by, or in the presence of, two pathologists. In Germany, accuracy is much appreciated. If the article says the tiger was 336,5 cm. in total length, chances are he really was 336,5 cm. The question is in what way he was measured. All German biologists I met, told me big cats should be measured in a straight line ('between pegs'). It could be some of them adopted the method now used by field biologists ('over curves'), but my guess is most of them measure big cats in a straight line.
   
- V. Mazak was one of the very few who measured tigers himself. He also informed his readers. The longest he measured was 319 cm. in total length 'between pegs' . Directly after death, he was 192 kg. In his prime, the tiger might have exceeded 250 kg. A large tiger without doubt, but heavier individuals have been recorded in captivity and I also saw males exceeding that length. The general public doesn't know, because captive tigers are seldom, if ever, measured. Same, by the way, for all other captive big cats. A shame, but there you have it.

I'm not saying many of us underestimate the size of captive Amur tigers, but I'm sure an average captive male (referring to European zoos) is longer, taller and heavier than an average wild Amur tiger. In my opinion, the 3 captive male Amur tigers I measured (9.5 'between pegs') were shorter than average. This also was the opinion of the director of the facility. Based on what I have, I'd say an average adult captive male in Europe ranges between 9.5-9.10 in total length in a straight line. Measured 'over curves', they would range between 10.0-10.6. Some individuals no doubt exceed 11.0. In my opinion, tiger Altai was a bit larger than average.

d - Skull

The article posted by Betty had a few photographs of the skull of tiger Altai. Every photograph has a scale, enabling those interested to get to a number of estimates. The accuracy of the estimates depends on the quality of the photographs. I visited a photographer. In his opinion, the photographs were made by a pro. Distortion can never be avoided, but chances are it will be quite limited.

I propose to start with the photograph of the teeth. The scale is very close to the skull, meaning the degree of distortion is very limited:


*This image is copyright of its original author


After different attempts, I concluded the rostrum has a width of 121-122 mm. Well over average, that is. We now move to the photograph of the skull:


*This image is copyright of its original author


The photograph also has a scale (bottom left), but it isn't needed to get to a good estimate of the greatest total length. The reason is the previous photograph enabled us to get to get to a good estimate of the rostrum width. If we know the rostrum width, we should be able to get to a good estimate on the greatest total skull length.

After different attempts, I concluded the skull is about 3,5 times the size of the rostrum. This results in a greatest total skull length of about 424-425 mm. We can also use the scale in the photograph to get to an estimate. The average of 3 attempts is 430-431 mm. Distortionwise, the first estimate (based on the rostrum width) is more reliable. 

The question now is to what degree the angle affected the first, more reliable, estimate. My guess is 5-10 mm., meaby a trifle more. This means the skull has a greatest total length of 410-420 mm.  

The longest skulls of captive male Amur tigers measured by a biologist range between 380-406 mm. The skull of Altai, most probably, is considerably longer. The only way to find out more about the size of the tiger and the skull is to contact the writers of the article. Another option is to visit Koln and measure the skull myself.  

e - Videos

e1 - This video was posted in late May 2011, when Altai was 2 years and 9 months of age: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkje-9ZjGP8

e2 - Another video posted in June, 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRwrqw7-Qlg

e3 - A video about the accident (English subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXhb2YqaWNU

f - About August 25, 2012

Here's something I found a few days ago. Use the translator, as in German: 


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

By the way, the width of muzzle between the upper canines (premaxilla) in the 1st skull picture and 2nd skull picture match at around 5 cm. Thus, we can also use the size of its muzzle (premaxilla) between upper canines to estimate the full length of Altai's skull.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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On captive tiger skulls:

Resently I posted information about the largest captive tiger skulls. My previous data was that the largest Amur tiger skull from Bone Clones was of 393 mm in GSL, however now the webpage shows a size of 383 mm in GSL. @epaiva measured his copy of the skull and result that the 383 mm is the correct figure.

So, in base of this evidence, the largest captive tiger skulls that I know are:

1 - 400 L x 292 W mm. - Source: theskullatorium twett.
2 - 384 L x 270.5 W mm. - Source: Hartstone-Rose et al., 2014.
3 - 383 L x 249 W mm. - Source: Boneclones. com.
4 - 380 L x 284 W mm. - Source. Yoshikazu et al., 2016.

This will be helpfull for @peter and his database. Now we only need to know the results of the size of the large skull reported by Tantius et al. (2016).
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 1 hour ago by peter )

THE FUTURE OF THE AMUR TIGER ACCORDING TO PIKUNOV (2015) - Part I

a - Introduction

You might have noticed that most of my posts in this thread are longish. Long posts often take a lot of time. Time I don't always have. Although things will change a bit in October, I decided for a few shorter posts. This is the first of a series on the history and future of the Amur tiger.

Most posts of the series will be based on an article written by Dmitry G. Pikunov: 'Population and habitat of the Amur tiger in the Russian Far East'. It was published by ScienceDirect in 2015. I read the article more than once and underlined the most important parts. When done, I concluded it consisted of 30 crucial points. Not all of them will be discussed, but they are the backbone of the series.

b - History of the Russian Far East

Before we start, I decided to add some information I found in 'Taming tiger country: Colonization and Environment in the Russian Far East, 1860-1940'. The dissertation of Mark Sokolsky is on the internet and it's a great piece of work. If you're interested in the history of the Russian Far East, it's a must read: 


*This image is copyright of its original author
 
Most of what's now called the Russian Far East (RFE) belonged to China in the 19th century. In 1858, the Russians made them an offer they couldn't refuse. The territory gained by Russia in the, ehhh, 'Treaty of Aigun' was immense.

Two years later, the Chinese got another offer they couldn't refuse. During the 'Treaty of Peking' in 1860, the Russians gained the most eastern part of China.

Here's a map with the geographical consequences. It also shows the Russo-Chinese boundary according to the 'Treaty of Nerchinsk' (1689):


*This image is copyright of its original author


In the beginning of the 19th century, the tiger situation in central, northern and northeastern Asia was excellent. The reports discussed in 'Saugetiere der Sowjetunion' (V.G. Heptner and A.A. Sludskij, Band III: Raubtiere - I have the German translation published in 1980) showed that tigers moved freely in most of northern Asia. Halfway the 19th century, things rapidly changed. One reason was politics, meaning the Russians moved east. Another was progress, meaning rifles had become available.   

Half a century later, tigers were threatened in most of central, northern and eastern Asia. Just before World War Two, Kaplanov sounded the bell. In the late thirties of the last century, Russia only had 20-30 Amur tigers. Not much later, the Sovjet-Union closed the border. Two years after the war (1947), hunting was banned.  

One could say that Amur tigers survived the unslaught because of the treaties in 1858 and 1860 (1), the outbreak of the Second World War (2) and Kaplanovs warning (3), which resulted in a hunting ban (4) and be close. And a close call it was.
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