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Poll: Who is the largest tiger?
Amur tiger
Bengal tiger
They are equal
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Who is the "king" of tigers? - Bengal or Amur

Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-20-2019, 10:13 PM by GuateGojira )

This topic was made with the purpose to finally state with of these two tigers is/was the largest, using the available data and the reliable records. Also, it will clarify what characteristics make the Amur and the Bengal tiger an unique animal and what adaptations were made in order to create a completely adapted form. Enjoy the reading and help with information.
 
Which is the largest of the tigers? The better form to understand this question is to state the three points of view: 1-the skull size, 2-the body size and 3-the body weight.
 

 

1. Skull size:
Very few people have investigated the skull of the Amur tiger, and the only large database has been provided by Dr Vratislav Mazák. Although he is the only one that presents a large more or less representative sample, he made the mistake of including captive specimens, so his figures, although reliable, have this little problem; I don’t know if his sample of Bengal tigers suffer of this situation, however what it is sure is that the largest skulls recorded by him came from wild specimens. According with the investigation of Dr Vratislav Mazák, the Amur tiger is the largest of the tigers and his measurements on 227 skulls shows that the Amur tigers have the largest overall skulls. The average figures (greatest skull length) that he published in his book “Der Tiger” of 1983, were of 367.1 mm (n=8; range: 341-383 mm) for Amur males and 353.4 mm (n=36; range: 329-378 mm) for Bengal males. However, at least for the Bengal tigers, there are other scientists that have calculated other average figures.
 
I manage to collect 63 Bengal tiger skulls measurements from reliable sources, and 20 Amur tiger skulls (including those from Mazák, in the last case). The problem with the Bengal sample is that old records mostly present only greatest length and zigomatic wide, while only the pure scientific sources presents other important measurements like the condylobasal length. This seems not the case with the Amur tiger skulls. For the female side, I collected 12 Bengal females and 15 Amur ones.
 
With the Bengal tigers, there are three sources for the records:
1. The scientific sources: These are the measurements taken by scientists and naturalists from wild specimens, this are automatically accepted. Among this sample I can quote Pocock and Sterndale, among others.
2. The first hand sources: These measurements came from well know hunters and from first hand sources. As they were not taken by scientists, its accuracy is open to question by some people, but the reputation of the collectors make them highly reliable. At this field I included Hewett, the Maharaja of Cooch Behar and Burton, among others.
3. The second hand sources: These figures are reliable, but they are open to question as they have been not verified by scientists. The records of Rowland Ward are included here.
 
For comparison purposes, I will use only the scientific sources for comparison with those of the Amur tiger, because they have the three principal measurements, but check all the results:

*This image is copyright of its original author


The range of averages change between 352 to 374 mm, but it must be taken in count that just in the three last samples, we can be sure that the specimens used were fully wild. Including the average of 351 +/- 2.5 mm (n=37) from Yamaguchi et al. (2009), the overall average will be of 359.2 mm (n=134). This figure will be smaller than that of the Amur tiger, however we don’t know where Yamaguchi get his measurements (it is possible that he used the same specimens from European museums like Mazák), so using only wild specimens we get an average of 363.9 mm (n=61), which is about the same than the average for the Amur tigers.
 
These are the figures for the females, only for the scientific sources. I did not found other sources. Check the figure:
* Bengal tiger:             GSL                            CBL                        ZW
Females:                    295.6 mm (10)           266.4 mm (12)           196.2 mm (10)
                                271 – 312 mm            250 – 285 mm            185 – 203 mm
 
For comparison purposes, I am going to use an average mix of Mazák and the scientific sources, as these are the only ones that had poses the full set of measurements for comparison. The scientific sources for the Bengal are: Sterndale (1884), McDougal (1977), Pocock (1929-1939), Feiler & Stefen (2009) and Christiansen & Harris (2012).
 
The raw averages presents interesting figures check this out:

*This image is copyright of its original author

 
Extreme records support the Bengal for the title, as the largest skull for the Amur males was a Manchurian specimen of 406 cm (Kitchener, 1996), while the largest Bengal skull measured 412.8 cm (Hewett, 1938). However, on average, it seems that Amur tigers have the largest measurements and based on this, it is easy to see why Mazák strongly stated that the Amur tiger is the largest subspecies of tiger. However, using all the data for the Bengal tigers, the difference between these and those from Russia is of no more than 8 millimeters.
 
These results summarize all the data on skulls that I have found in literature. Peter will present more measurements in the future, so my results presented here must be taken as preliminary until more data could be shown.
 
As far I know, there is no data about bone sizes of “pure breed” Bengal tigers, only about the Amur ones. Christiansen & Harris (2005) published the measurements on two “Bengal” specimens, but judging by the body size and weight, or they were very young specimens (specially the male, 145 kg) or they were just hybrids. However, the bones of the Amur tigers presented by them, rank among the largest in record and compete in size with the largest felids in fossil records (372.5 mm and 429.5 mm for the largest humerus and femur respectively).
 
Finally, in the canines department, Mazák (1981) report a maximum canine length of 74.5 mm, although he quotes Dr Gewalt for a canine of 90 mm in a captive specimen. Dr Christiansen report a maximum canine length of 59.4 mm for a skull with a CBL of 337.8 mm (CN6049), which suggest a larger canine for the specimen CN5698 which have a CBL of 350.9 mm. However, he quotes a canine length of 71.4 mm for a Bengal specimen (CN4552), which is practically of the same length than the largest canine reported by Mazák.
 
Dr Sunquist captured a huge male known as Sauraha (T-105), which have a canine length of 65 mm from the tip to the gum line. In the skull, this canine probably measured up to 70 mm. However, I recently bought the book “Tiger: the ultimate guide” of Valmik Thapar (2004), and in an article “Filming Tigers” from Mike Birkhead, he states that the large male known as “Madla” that was estimated at 250 kg with a neck of 90 cm, had upper canines that were about 75 mm! (Page 213). This is a new record among Bengal tigers and taking in count that this was measured to the gum line, this means a length of no less than 80 mm in the skull, surpassing any wild Amur tiger canine recorded.
 
In conclusion, the skull size suggest that the Amur tigers are slightly larger than those from Bengal, however the differences are between 20 to 8 millimeters, which is hardly significant for animals that are known to reach over 2 meters long and weighs over 250 kg. So, in a raw manner, we can conclude that Amur tigers do have larger skulls than the Bengal ones, but the extreme records suggest parity in sizes, in both skull and canine size.
 
In my next post, the point No. 2 – The body size.
 
Greetings.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-16-2014, 10:49 AM by GuateGojira )

2. Body size:
Using only scientific measurements, Amur and Bengals have about the length, although in head-body, the Amur tiger have a slight advantage. The average for the Bengal one includes the three specimens from Nagarahole NP and the two males (that larger and the smaller) from Chitwan NP (Karanth, 1993; Sunquist pers. comm., 2009), while the measurements for the Amur tigers came from Kerley et al. (2005). Check the data:
 
* Head-body length:
Amur tiger:
Male:               1950 mm – n=13; range: 1780 – 2080 mm.
Female:           1740 mm – n=10; range: 1670 – 1820 mm.
 
Bengal tiger:
Male:               1934 mm – n=5; range: 1850 – 2040 mm.
Female:           1610 mm – n=1
 
* Total length:
Amur tiger:
Male:               2941 mm – n=11; range: 2780 – 3090 mm.
Female:           2640 mm – n=10; range: 2530 – 2720 mm.
 
Bengal tiger:
Male:               2990 mm – n=5; range: 2890 – 3110 mm.
Female:           2633 mm – n=6; range: 2480 – 2820 mm.
 
The head-body length for the longest Amur tiger is of 208 cm (Kerley et al., 2005; Pt-33: tail of 101 cm) while the longest Bengal tiger was of 204 cm (Karanth, 1993; T-03: tail of 107 cm).
 
If we use the old records, the head-body length and total length of the records from Dunbar Brander (1923) in Central India and the Maharaja of Cooch Behar (1908) in northeast India is of c.190 cm and c.281 cm respectively, measured between pegs. Comparing these figures to those of the Amur male tigers, the Bengal tiger is still shorter in both dimensions.
 
For the females, the case seems to be equal, although the Nepalese females seem longer than the Amur ones (probably just an effect of a longer tail). The average T-L and HB-L for the females in Cooch Behar is of 256 cm (n=35; range: 222 – 276 cm) and 166 cm (n=17, range: 143 – 179 cm) respectively, while the total length of the females in Central India is of 254 cm (n=39; range: 239 – 277 cm), with an estimated head-body length of 169 cm (assuming that the tail is 1/3 of the total length, according with Mazák (1981)). Again, Amur tigers seem to be longer in length dimensions.
 
In the few reliable hunting records, both of them have reached the same body sizes of c.220 in head-body length and c. 330 cm in total length. The longest Bengal tiger measured between pegs was a male of 221 cm in head-body, with a tail of just 81.3 cm, giving a total length of 302.3 cm (Brander, 1923). If this tiger would have a normal sized tail, corresponding to its size (c. 110 cm), the total length of this magnificent male should be of c.330 cm. Interestingly, this is the same maximum length reported for the largest Amur male tiger reported from reliable sources (Mazák, 1981). Assuming a relation of 1/3 for the tail, the head-body length of the large Amur tiger was c.220 cm, which suggests that both largest tigers on record measured about the same, in this case, both subspecies would be known to reach the same maximum sizes.
 
There are other records from Southern India, taken between pegs, that were posted by peter before, but all of them are no larger, in maximum and average, than those from Central India and by extension, smaller than those from Russia.
 
Finally, about the shoulder height, there are no records from scientific sources for the Bengal tigers, but the old records shows height of c.100 cm. Here are the figures:
 
* Shoulder height:
Amur tiger:
Male:               950 mm – n=11; range: 820 – 1060 mm.
Female:           810 mm – n=09; range: 750 – 930 mm.
 
Bengal tiger – Central India:
Male:               991 mm – n=42; range: 914 – 1118 mm.
Females:          No data.
 
Bengal tiger – Cooch Behar:
Male:               1000 mm – n=43; range: 880 – 1140 mm.
Female:           880 mm – n=5; range: 860 – 910 mm.
 
Using this data, it seems that Bengal tigers are taller than Amur tigers in both average and maximum figures. However, the measurements of the Amur tigers were taken, in some cases, with the arms un-stretched, which mean that if they were taken in straight line between pegs, like those of India, the standing height should be slightly more. In this case, I guess that the average shoulder height of both Bengal and Amur tigers is of about 1 meter, like is stated by Sunquist & Sunquist (2002) in the great book “Wild Cats of the World”.
 
In captive specimens, Amur tigers surpass the Bengal tigers by several centimeters, with a maximum of 110 cm for the Russians and 100 cm for the Bengals (Mazák, 1983).
 
In conclusion, body measurements suggest that Amur tigers are longer in head-body length, but had relative shorter tails, which produce slightly longer average figures for the Bengal tigers in some cases. Now, about the shoulder height, Bengal tigers produce slightly higher figures, but again, the method of measurements is different, so I guess than both have about the same shoulder height, although even taking the original figures, a difference of 5 cm in practically insignificant.
 
In this case, I am inclined to believe that they are about the same size, although the Amur tigers can be slightly longer and taller at the shoulder (at least in captivity, in the last case).
 
In my next post, the favorite of all, point No. 3 – Body weight.
 
Greetings.
 

3. Body weight:
This is the most problematic area for comparisons between these two tigers. According with the first records, the Russian tigers weighed no less than 200 kg, while the few Bengal tigers hunted, despite its size, were reported at 159 kg or even 200 kg in “the best” case (Baikov, 1925; Sanderson, 1912). Hewett (1938) explained that these old figures are very erroneous but were quoted by several authors for many years. It was until the early 1900’s, that was weighed the first Bengal tigers over 227 kg (Hornaday, 1907), however, while the weight of the Bengal specimens began to reach the 272 kg, some Amur tigers were reported to weight 280, 320 and even over 360 kg (Heptner & Sludskii, 1992). This was the tendency until the first tigers were captured by scientists.
 
The first wild tigers, captured by scientists in the field, were those from Nepal and India, and they were very large, with weights of up to 261 kg (Smith et al., 1983). It was until 1995 than a full grow male Amur tiger was captured and resulted to be of just slightly more than 200 kg. Since those days, captured Bengal tigers weighed from 170 to 260 kg (Karanth, 2003), while the Amur tigers weighed from 150 to 207 kg (Valvert, 2013). Exist various claims, based in photographs, of some large males in the Amur region, and even larger specimens from the North of India, the Terai arc and the world famous Kaziranga giants, but sadly, at this day, no tiger has been captured in these last areas and the huge estimations for those large Amur tigers had been not corroborated.
 
About the old records of 300 kg of the Amur specimens, just one is more or less accepted by scientists (325 kg; Sunquits & Sunquist, 2002) and the next heaviest specimen accepted as reliable is a male of 254 kg, hunted in the Manchuria region (Slaght et al., 2005). However, the Bengal tigers also reached weights of up to 300 kg or more, and the heaviest Bengal tiger (389 kg gorged, c.322 kg empty belly) is the heaviest wild cat on record (Wood, 1978; Brakefield, 1993).
 
It seems that in the good days (less hunt, better prey base), BOTH Amur and Bengal tigers reached the same figures of up to 250-260 kg in normal weights and the extreme figures of up to 320 kg.
 
Modern figures shows an average weight of 189 kg (n=22; range: 155 – 207 cm) for males and 121 kg (n=15; range: 110 – 136 cm) for females. This is much less than any average from old or modern Bengal tigers, and in the range of the average of the African lions. However, this was not the case in the old days, when Amur tigers reached an average weight of 216.5 kg (n=10; range: 163.7 – 254 cm) for males and 137.5 kg (n=5; range: 99.5 – 167 cm) for females (Valvert, 2013). Slaght et al. (2005) presents lower average figures for the Amur tiger, however, they included unhealthy specimens in the modern records and excluded some clearly reliable figures in the historic records, which produced incorrect figures.
 
On the chest girth department, only two chest circumferences are known for Bengal tigers in scientific records (127 and 140 cm, respectively). However, the records from Cooch Behar (1908) produce some figures that can be compared with those of the Amur tiger:
 
* Chest girth:
Amur tiger:
Male:               119 cm – n=13; range: 102 – 130 cm.
Female:          103 cm – n=10; range: 91 – 108 cm.
 
Bengal tiger – Cooch Behar:
Male:               130 mm – n=43; range: 119 – 142 mm.
Female:          105 mm – n=5; range: 104 – 107 mm.
 
There are other chest girths from other parts of India, but all of them produce higher figures than those from the Amur tigers. However, in the past, some large chest girths were recorded for the Russian populations, with an average figure of 138 cm (n=3; range: 117 – 150 cm) for males (Valvert, 2013). The sample is very low, but the figures suggest that Amur tiger do reached high figures, similar to those of the largest Bengal specimens.
 
My final statement is that both of them have the same potential and they would probably weigh the same if they could have the same prey base; the Amur tiger have the potential of been as massive as the Bengal tiger, but they current situation make this improbable. In captivity, there is no doubt that the Amur tigers are much heavier overall, with a record figure of 423 kg for the captive Amur male “Jaipur”.
 

4. Final remarks:
The intention of this topic is to clarify the issue about the Amur-Bengal tiger size and to show that both are, overall, of the same body size and weight. The claim that the Amur tiger was exceptional in size is incorrect, as the Bengal tigers are indeed the heaviest tiger subspecies and the largest cat species in modern history. However, if someone thinks that my data and my conclusions are not accurate, I think that the scientists have already answered the question:
 
1.Contrary to earlier perceptions, measurements obtained from tigers captured for radiotelemetry studies in the Indian subcontinent (Sunquist 1981; Karanth, unpubl. data) show that they are not smaller than tigers captured in the Russian Far East (Dale Miquelle and John Goodrich, unpubl. data).” K. Ullas Karanth, 2003.
http://www.nfwf.org/AM/Template.cfm?Sect...ENTID=8073
 
2.Surprisingly, while Siberian or Amur tigers have long been thought to be the largest of the subspecies, measurements of tigers from the Russian Far East show they are currently  no larger than the Bengal tigers of the Indian subcontinent [2] (D. Miquelle and J. Goodrich, unpublished data).Melvin Sunquist, 2010.
http://books.google.com.gt/books?id=XFIb...22&f=false
 
3.Despite repeated claims in popular literature that members of the Amur population are the largest of all tigers, our measurements on more than fifty captured individuals suggest that their body size is similar to that of Bengal tigers”. Dale Miquelle, 2004.
http://www.wcsrussia.org/DesktopModules/...attachment
 
4.Siberian tigers are often considered the largest of the tiger sub-species, although they are in fact about the same size as the Bengal tiger.WCS-Russia, 2012.
http://www.wcsrussia.org/Wildlife/AmurTi...fault.aspx
 
5.However, recent data on tigers captured for telemetry studies in Nagarahole (India), Chitwan (Nepal) and in Sikhote-Alin (Russia) show that tigers from these three sites are all about the same size.” K. Ullas Karanth, 2003.
http://books.google.com.gt/books?id=c44r...CCsQ6AEwAA
 
Now is the turn for your opinions. Greetings to all. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
 

 
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United States Pckts Online
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Awesome work Gaute, now a couple of remarks and questions.

-Do you know Madla's body length and shoulder height?
-About body length, you used 13 individuals for the amur and 5 for the bengal. If you look at it, the minimum for the bengal is longer than that for the Amur, it is safe to assume that if the bengal had another 8 individuals it would most likely have one or more tigers that would tie for the maximum or even beat the Amur, IMO. So I think it is definitely not clear cut to say that the Amur is longer than the bengal.
-The reverse can be said about shoulder height and body weight, but still, if you look at the minimums for both, while there are many more bengals weighed or mesured, their minimums are still higher than the amurs same goes for chest girth. IMO, that is much more clear cut of the Bengals larger body size and taller shoulder height.
-Skull size is where I am most curious, I would love to know Madlas skull size, any of the kaziranga tiger skull size, or Waghdoh etc... I think they all would have larger measurements than the Amur and it is even more interesting about the tooth length of Madla, imagine if his are that long, what a kaziranga tiger who specifically hunts rhino and gaur, would have.
-Do you know what the weight of both skulls are?

Thanks for the hard work
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Here is the thread on Skull weight, it seems the bengal has the heaviest skull of the big cats, as well.
You will have to look at it and see what you get from it.
http://animalsversesanimals.yuku.com/top...07dflcysyg
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Netherlands peter Offline
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Good info, Guate and Pckts. Much appreciated and not much to add. A few remarks to wind it up.

1 - LENGTH 

Reliable measurements taken 'between pegs' (straight line) suggest wild male Amur tigers are a bit longer in head and body than wild male Indian tigers and wild male Kruger lions. The difference between Kruger lions and Indian tigers is limited. Kruger lions, at about 9 feet or thereabout in total length (head, body and tail), seem to be a bit longer than lions in other regions.

The only remark to add is we have to remember the Amur sample is smallish. It also, in contrast to Kruger lions and Indian tigers, has no exceptional animals. Krechmar, an authority on Amur tigers (as well as brown bears and interactions between both), said he has seen very large male Amur tigers today. One of the tigers captured in an Aldrich-snare (T-16) wasn't measured and weighed, because he attacked a researcher (I thought it was Goodrich) and escaped. It could be that large male tigers have to be captured in another way.

I once, based on a few assumptions regarding skull length and total length, concluded the average for wild male Amur tigers had to be close to 9.9 in a straight line. It was just under 9.8 a decade ago. Maybe wild Amur tigers don't have a lot of variation, but captive Amur tigers have. For now, I'd say the sample was a bit too small.

Amur tigers, compared to Indian tigers, are definitely longer (both sexes, but females in particular), but the difference is limited to 4-6 inches. Nepal tigers, however, seem to be very close. My guess is males average about 2-3 inches less than Amur tigers.


2 - WEIGHT

When I combined the information I had (total length, weight, body dimensions and skulls) some years ago to get to some conclusions (see above), one result was Indian tigers (adult wild males, all regions) had about 4-6 inches and 40-50 pounds or thereabout on wild African male lions (all regions). 

What to say on African lions and Indian tigers today? Zimbabwe lions seem to be the heaviest (426 pounds for adult males). I don't know if they were adjusted, but I'm inclined to say yes as they alo had larger chests than Kruger lions. If my conclusions on lions and tigers would hold (see above), we would expect the largest (heaviest) Indian tigers to be about 50 pounds heavier than the Zimbabwians. Let's say somewhere between 460-470 pounds in Central or North-India. 

The averages of a century ago showed tigers in 4 regions averaged between 402 pounds in the Deccan and 460 pounds (not adjusted) in Cooch Behar and Assam. Today's tigers seem to be a bit heavier. If they are, chances are males in some parts of India would average between 460 (a century ago) and 483 (plus 5%) pounds today. My guess is we could be very close in some regions. Nepal male tigers, at 488 pounds (adjusted), have just over 60 pounds on Zimbabwe lions and tigers in north-east India seem to be as large.

Todays wild male Amur tigers, at 430 pounds (Miquelle), average about 10 pounds more than in central-India a century ago (Dunbar Brander). Most of us agree the relatively low average probably is a result of food, meaning we think there is a relation between food and weight in the long run. If we do, why was Bold's idea regarding the difference in average weight regarding lions and tigers dismissed? There are only two good reason to reject his idea. One is to prove wild male lions do not get the opportunity to eat as much as their solitary striped relative. Another is to prove there are structural anatomical differences between both big cats, with one consistently larger in every way. Or did I miss something?

Anyhow. Amur tigers could have been heavier in the past. Most males, according to Baikov, ranged between 160-200 kg. about a century ago. The difference between then and now is in exceptions and these usually are related to numbers. More tigers is more variation is more exceptions.

This tiger shot, measured and weighed (560 pounds) by Baikov, is the heaviest accepted by researchers:



*This image is copyright of its original author



If true, the tiger below, as Mazak (1983) stated, had to be at least 650 pounds:



*This image is copyright of its original author


If Krechmar thinks there are very large wild male Amur tigers today, I take his word for it. I, however, don't think tigers the size of the Sungari River tiger are still around in Russia or China. Tigers of that size need room and large prey animals. They also don't want to face animals with tusks or similar weapons all the time. The Sungari River tiger did (the Jankowski's wrote he had killed and eaten a large male brown bear), but this way of life has a downside.


3 - SKULLS

I never saw a skull of a wild male Amur tiger and only a handful of wild Indian tigers, meaning I have nothing to add on wild skulls. I did measure skulls of captive Amur and Indian tigers and these showed Amur tigers have longer skulls, longer canines and a wider muzzle, whereas Indian skulls are generally more massive and heavier.

I've been collecting reliable data on both and didn't quite finish yet. I can say the averages for Indian tigers in the tables I saw seem a bit below par. As my sample of Indian skulls is over 100, I'm inclined to say my average should be more reliable.

In general, one could say wild skulls are a bit longer than captive skulls and not as wide. They also are heavier, probably because of a more dense bone structure and much more smooth.   

Lion skulls are longer than Indian and Amur tiger skulls, although the difference is more limited than many think. The average for wild male Kruger lions (381 mm. for greatest total length according to Yamaguchi), probably tops every list, but the average for wild male Indian tiger skulls I found is not that far away. Wild Amur skulls are a bit of an enigma, but I think they are a trifle longer than wild Indian skulls.

Tiger skulls have, relatively and absolutely, larger canines, but lions skulls have more elevated snouts according to Christiansen. I can confirm everything he found and will add lions have a wider os frontalis (the bone on top just before the sagittal crest). No difference in sagittal crests, I think. In absolutes, there's not much difference in weight between large skulls (both species). As Indian tiger skulls are shorter and about as heavy, one could state they are relatively heavier and be right. 

The most beautiful skulls I saw were Java tiger skulls. Very arched at the top, the most concave mandibulas I saw and very large upper canines. The most impressive skulls were large lion skulls (over 380 mm. in greatest total length), but I did't see a tiger skull of that length yet. They are there, but most of them probably are in private collections. 

 
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In regards to your bold "food intake" statement.
The reason that was dismissed was because of multiple reasons.
Bolds argument -" lions and tigers are really the same size, just tigers have more food intake"
Food intake has nothing to do with ...
Body lenght, fore limb girth, bone size, densisty and structure etc.... So to try and state that these cats are the "same" is obviously wrong.
Next in regards to food availability, lets look at it.
A male lion has access to the largest prey around, and the largest lion sub species are still smaller than the largest tiger sub species. Not only are lions able to eat larger prey items due to the pride, but a male lion dominates a kill. He is free to eat is share until complettely satisfied and takes his right seriously and will not let others eat until he is full. 2ndly a lion pride can protect a large kill for a long time, a tiger will have to defend his kill alone from bears, dholes and other tigers, they would probably have to give up their food more often.
Now about the pride, most male lions won't even contribute much to a hunt (no burning of calories) and yet they will still stuff themselves until they are full, so if you take into account the fact that a tiger has a higher DEI, it hunts alone and must excersize more often and yet it still maintains more massive size, then it obviously has nothing to do with "food intake", "food intake" is as much a part of it as it would be if you were to compare how much you eat to shaq. Yes shaq eats more than you, yes he is larger than you because he eats more, but that is one factor that goes into many others. Shaq is eats more because he needs more to sustain his larger muscles and body. Now take into account a higher metabolism and then that person/animal will have to eat even more.
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( This post was last modified: 04-19-2014, 09:12 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

Baikal is comparable to the largest pantherine cats of all time and "Amur" has the largest recorded canine teeth of all time for the pantherine cats. Potentially, Amur tiger is a top tier among the tiger family.

Although the modern wild Amur tiger population has suffered the genetic degeneration, but potentially it is just as superior as those monstrous wild Bengals.

 
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Netherlands peter Offline
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(04-18-2014, 11:29 PM)'Pckts' Wrote: In regards to your bold "food intake" statement.
The reason that was dismissed was because of multiple reasons.
Bolds argument -" lions and tigers are really the same size, just tigers have more food intake"
Food intake has nothing to do with ...
Body lenght, fore limb girth, bone size, densisty and structure etc.... So to try and state that these cats are the "same" is obviously wrong.
Next in regards to food availability, lets look at it.
A male lion has access to the largest prey around, and the largest lion sub species are still smaller than the largest tiger sub species. Not only are lions able to eat larger prey items due to the pride, but a male lion dominates a kill. He is free to eat is share until complettely satisfied and takes his right seriously and will not let others eat until he is full. 2ndly a lion pride can protect a large kill for a long time, a tiger will have to defend his kill alone from bears, dholes and other tigers, they would probably have to give up their food more often.
Now about the pride, most male lions won't even contribute much to a hunt (no burning of calories) and yet they will still stuff themselves until they are full, so if you take into account the fact that a tiger has a higher DEI, it hunts alone and must excersize more often and yet it still maintains more massive size, then it obviously has nothing to do with "food intake", "food intake" is as much a part of it as it would be if you were to compare how much you eat to shaq. Yes shaq eats more than you, yes he is larger than you because he eats more, but that is one factor that goes into many others. Shaq is eats more because he needs more to sustain his larger muscles and body. Now take into account a higher metabolism and then that person/animal will have to eat even more.



 

Excellent points, Pckts. Lions and tigers, in spite of some remarks of experts on similarity, are very different animals. One could say they are about similar in size and be right, but skulls, bones and body dimensions say they differ in many respects. In skulls, the difference often is seen at a glance.

At similar weight, lions, on average, have a somewhat longer skull, a more convex mandibula and a higher and longer 'snout' (referring to the more inflated and somewhat wider maxillary bone). They also are a bit taller and more 'chesty'. For their size, lions often seem a bit inflated in the fore-quarters. Compared to tigers of similar weight, they seem stiffer and somewhat less agile in movement. One could perhaps say they are more 'doglike'. Adult male lions often live in social groups (prides). Pride lions use their energy to defend a territory and seldom hunt. Adult male lions often are composed and dominant animals. In conflict, males try to fight on all fours and prefer to strike. The main reason they do not fight like cats is they risk an attack of a second lion when they go down. Males who perish in conflict usually are killed by more than one opponent. Pride males in Africa seldom rule for more than 2-4 years. Wild males of 10 years and older are few and far between.        

Tigers, at similar weight, have a slightly shorter skull, a concave mandibula, longer canines, a shorter maxillary bone and a shorter, but wider rostrum. Although not as tall and (apart from Indian tigers) not as 'chesty', they usually are a bit longer and also have larger fore- and upper-arms. Compared to lions, tigers are more catlike and agile in their movements. They also seem to have a more flexible spine. Wild males often often are portrayed as wary, cunning and elusive animals. This attitude could be the main reason they survived the years in which they established a territory. Boldness in young males, in contrast to young male lions (who live in bachelor groups), doesn't pay. Quite many perish in fights, especially in overpopulated reserves. Waryness does. In conflict, male tigers, judging from the three fights recenty filmed and broadcasted, seem to adopt an 'all-or-nothing' strategy in that they target the skull or neck of their opponent with everything they have, thereby exposing themselves as well. In spite of the damage done in these often long fights, most seem to survive. Wild males of 10 years and older are more often encountered than in lions.

Although they differ in many ways, males of both species seem to have a similar function in that they try to establish and defend a territory with as many females as possible. The solitary tiger, in contrast to the lion, uses a lot of energy to hunt. Not a good investment when you want to father as much cubs as possible. For this reason, male tigers are more active and try to hunt large animals. Large prey animals enable a male tiger to invest more time in (enlarging) his territory, which usually results in more females (and more cubs). 

In order to hunt large animals, size is needed. What kind of size? Well, the information we have suggest large male tigers are longer than average and have massive (wide) skulls and forelimbs. Length, in tigers, often equals weight and weight is needed to quickly subdue large animals. Massive forelimbs are needed to control a struggling animal and wide skulls with long canines allow for maximum pressure at the tips of the canines. This enables the tiger to quickly overcome and kill powerful animals, thus limiting the risk of injury. 

This way of life, in theory, should result in high averages in regions with large prey animals and few limiting factors, like humans, snowfall and (too dense) vegetation. Any proof? Yes, India, Manchuria, south-east Russia and some parts south of the Caspian had good conditions. These regions also attracted new tigers and new genes (a big difference with islands). This, I think, could be the main reason they produced high averages and extra-large tigers. In tigers, Bergmann's rule is't as important as the factors mentioned above.

And lions? Lions are social animals. In social animals and defending a territory, it's about the total weight of the defenders. And mobility, so it seems. In conflict, four 400-pound males do as well as or even better than three 533-pound males. An extra mobile set of jaws could be the difference. One could also say extra size in lions, as a result of their way of life, doesn't pay as much as it does in solitary cats.

I don't think one is better than the other. Lions would be able to occupy a suitable region anywhere and even a 600-pound tiger wouldn't change that. In a more forested region with few large prey animals, however, individual size apparently pays. 

All this to say there are significant differences between both big cats. In favourable conditions, social big cats multiply in numbers, but apparently not in (individual) size. In solitary big cats living in similar conditions, extra size apparently pays. This is, I think, the main reason some regional types of the tiger show higher averages than anywhere else. Not a result of 'food intake' in itself, but a result of life style, conditions and adaptaility.

 
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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(04-16-2014, 10:55 PM)'Pckts' Wrote: Awesome work Gaute, now a couple of remarks and questions.

-Do you know Madla's body length and shoulder height?
-About body length, you used 13 individuals for the amur and 5 for the bengal. If you look at it, the minimum for the bengal is longer than that for the Amur, it is safe to assume that if the bengal had another 8 individuals it would most likely have one or more tigers that would tie for the maximum or even beat the Amur, IMO. So I think it is definitely not clear cut to say that the Amur is longer than the bengal.
-The reverse can be said about shoulder height and body weight, but still, if you look at the minimums for both, while there are many more bengals weighed or mesured, their minimums are still higher than the amurs same goes for chest girth. IMO, that is much more clear cut of the Bengals larger body size and taller shoulder height.
-Skull size is where I am most curious, I would love to know Madlas skull size, any of the kaziranga tiger skull size, or Waghdoh etc... I think they all would have larger measurements than the Amur and it is even more interesting about the tooth length of Madla, imagine if his are that long, what a kaziranga tiger who specifically hunts rhino and gaur, would have.
-Do you know what the weight of both skulls are?

Thanks for the hard work

 
1. No, I don’t have any data about Madla size. I asked Dr Chundawat about any detail, but I obtain no response.

2. I used only 5 Bengals in the scientific records because those where the only ones published in literature. I think, and is my personal though, that Bengal tigers do average the same than Amur tigers in body-length, but as there is no more specimens, I can’t state that without evidence. So, based in the few specimens available, it seems that Amur are longer, although the difference is slightly.

3. Your observation is accurate, the minimum values for Amur tigers are lower than those from Bengal, however it will be too risky to say that Amurs are indeed smaller than Bengals. Been conservative, my personal conclusion, based on the facts, is that bouth reach similar sizes and that the difference between them is to small (no more than 5 cm) in linear measurements. Interestingly, on the body mass, if we take all the Amur tiger records (old and new) and all the Bengal tiger records (old and new, including The Sundarbans), both tiger subspecies average over 200 kg! This will suggest that at population level, both have the same body mass, on average.

4. On the skulls issue, peter said that Bengal skulls are heavier and looks more massive, while those from the Amur ones had larger sagittal crest and wider muzzle, however these are captive specimens. From my personal observations, although in a much smaller sample, Amur tiger skulls look in fact, more massive and overall more powerful, with larger muzzle, a lot more larger sagittal crest and massive canines. However, in this last point, I think that the largest Bengal tigers compare or even slightly surpass the largest Amur specimens in the wild.

5. I think that no one kept the skull of Madla, (although in Nepal, the skull of Sauraha male is kept by the rangers) but judging by the video, its skulls was of no less than 15-16 inches (38-40 cm), which is the normal maximum size for the skulls of Bengal tigers. I am searching the email of Dr Charles McDougal, he probably knows the size of Sauraha tiger skull.

6. I don’t understand your last question. What skulls are you referring?
 
Greetings.
 
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( This post was last modified: 04-21-2014, 11:29 PM by GuateGojira )

(04-18-2014, 11:29 PM)'Pckts' Wrote: In regards to your bold "food intake" statement.
The reason that was dismissed was because of multiple reasons.
Bolds argument -" lions and tigers are really the same size, just tigers have more food intake"
Food intake has nothing to do with ...
Body lenght, fore limb girth, bone size, densisty and structure etc.... So to try and state that these cats are the "same" is obviously wrong.
Next in regards to food availability, lets look at it.
A male lion has access to the largest prey around, and the largest lion sub species are still smaller than the largest tiger sub species. Not only are lions able to eat larger prey items due to the pride, but a male lion dominates a kill. He is free to eat is share until complettely satisfied and takes his right seriously and will not let others eat until he is full. 2ndly a lion pride can protect a large kill for a long time, a tiger will have to defend his kill alone from bears, dholes and other tigers, they would probably have to give up their food more often.
Now about the pride, most male lions won't even contribute much to a hunt (no burning of calories) and yet they will still stuff themselves until they are full, so if you take into account the fact that a tiger has a higher DEI, it hunts alone and must excersize more often and yet it still maintains more massive size, then it obviously has nothing to do with "food intake", "food intake" is as much a part of it as it would be if you were to compare how much you eat to shaq. Yes shaq eats more than you, yes he is larger than you because he eats more, but that is one factor that goes into many others. Shaq is eats more because he needs more to sustain his larger muscles and body. Now take into account a higher metabolism and then that person/animal will have to eat even more.

 
EXCELENT post Pckts, the statements of Bold Champ are less than theory, they are just an hypothesis at best, and a BAD one, by the way.

Apart from the great points showed here by Pckts, we most take in count that the food intake of lions and tigers is THE SAME.

There are only two studies of tiger food intake, one from Kanha (Schaller) and one from Chitwan (Sunquist). Schaller (1967) found that the food intake of a tiger in 24 hours is between c.18-27 kg, however, his sample was very small (only 7 cases) and only one male was reported. For Chitwan, Sunquist (1981) recorded a larger sample (38 cases) using both male and female and in this time, he included wild prey too; his results were that the food intake in 24 hours is between c.14-19 kg. It seems that Nepalese tigers eat less than those from Central India, however, we most take in count that in the time of Schaller study, Kanha was in process of recovery and the prey base was more or less good; on the other hand Nepalese tigers were in optimum habitat with great prey density, so with an increase in prey availability, tigers manage to hunt relatively less and eat more loosely, so that is why they eat less than those of Kanha. Schaller (1967) mentioned several cases of tigers with completely empty bellies after several days without a hunt.

For lions food intake, Sunquist & Sunquist (2002) states that Etosha lionesses (the largest on record) had an average food intake of up to 14 kg in good season (prey availability is more variable in lions than in tigers), which is about the same that the average for Nepalese tigers (both sexes included) and suggest that male lions had an even higher food intake. Even then, although Etosha lioness have about the same average weight than tigresses from Nepal (c.140 kg in both cases), male lions are much lighter than the Nepalese tigers (190 kg against 235 kg respectively, none of them adjusted for stomach content). Besides, Schaller (1972) stated that a male lion specimen ate up to 33 kg in a night and he already have some stomach content from a previous meal, which means that he actually ate more than that figure! On the tiger side, one male ate up to 35 kg in a 24 hour period, but the maximum food intake recorded by Sunquist (1981) in three years, in a 24 hour period, was of 18.6 kg.

Evidence show that both tigers and lions have the same food intake in a 24 hour period, but lions eat more in that time as they hunt more frequently than tigers. Interestingly, while Schaller (1967) hypothesize that a large male can eat up to 45 kg or one fifth (1/5) of its weight, he also stated that a male lion can eat up to 40 kg or one forth (1/4) of its weight in one meal (Schaller, 1972). This suggest that lions can eat more than a tiger in a single meal.
 

 
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I think I was referring to the largest Amur weight compared to Madla skull weight.
Also according to the madla measurements, he has the largest recorded canines
" “Madla” that was estimated at 250 kg with a neck of 90 cm, had upper canines that were about 75 mm! (Page 213). This is a new record among Bengal tigers and taking in count that this was measured to the gum line, this means a length of no less than 80 mm in the skull, surpassing any wild Amur tiger canine recorded."
I wonder what the massive skull dimensions would be on the Kaziranga tigers as well as canine measurement. If madlas where that large, imagine the Kazirangas, Waghdohs, Hairyfoot etc..

In regards to the Amur and Bengal Averages. Yes they both average over 200kg, but you included the sunderban population which would bring down the Bengals average quite a bit. If we remove sunderbans, what would the difference be between bengals and amurs? Probably quite a bit.

Peter,
What would you say the average body length for a Lion is, and what do you think a Bengal would be?
If lions average 5'10'' in body length and tigers average 6'3'' in body length (for example) I would be curious as to what the chest size would be for both. I would then like to compare equal body weights, chest girth size, then finally, when both are at their prime, territory holding size. It would be more accurate to see exactly where/when the maturation of both happen and what is the usual size jump.
Also, great point about lions not wanting to fight from their back because of the multiple attackers and that is why they adapted the fighting style of 3 legs. But I will say this, when you watch everland fights, you see the tiger being attacked by multiple lion attackers, but it is the flexibility of the tigers spine that enables them to attack from its back and even gain the advantage and stand up from there at times, but it makes sense that a lion would be more weary of it and evolve a more upright fighting style. You are also make a great point about the ferocity of a tiger fight compared to lion. Lions are probably quicker to pull the trigger when it comes to fight, but they are also probably less ferocious in their attempts or even capabilities of killing each other, a tiger will often try to intimidate and have quick tests of strength to avoid a major fight more often, but when the combatents are not intimidated, the fights are often much more serious and and you can see that by the way the fights look. Tigers go for the throat and skull more often and almost treat their opponent like a prey item, they are looking for the kill. Lions also prefer to bluff their way out of a fight if possible, but I think they are quicker to engage but I think their mindset is more of a "I just want to assert my dominance and show the pride how tough I am" and a tigers mentality is "if this guy won't leave my territory than I am going to kill him."
 
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Quote:I wonder what the massive skull dimensions would be on the Kaziranga tigers as well as canine measurement. If madlas where that large, imagine the Kazirangas, Waghdohs, Hairyfoot etc..

Since Madla got 15 inches skull and 3 inches canines from gumline, but from your impression these tigers got larger or smaller head?
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( This post was last modified: 04-21-2014, 11:27 PM by GuateGojira )

(04-21-2014, 10:45 PM)'Pckts' Wrote: I think I was referring to the largest Amur weight compared to Madla skull weight.
Also according to the madla measurements, he has the largest recorded canines
" “Madla” that was estimated at 250 kg with a neck of 90 cm, had upper canines that were about 75 mm! (Page 213). This is a new record among Bengal tigers and taking in count that this was measured to the gum line, this means a length of no less than 80 mm in the skull, surpassing any wild Amur tiger canine recorded."
I wonder what the massive skull dimensions would be on the Kaziranga tigers as well as canine measurement. If madlas where that large, imagine the Kazirangas, Waghdohs, Hairyfoot etc..

In regards to the Amur and Bengal Averages. Yes they both average over 200kg, but you included the sunderban population which would bring down the Bengals average quite a bit. If we remove sunderbans, what would the difference be between bengals and amurs? Probably quite a bit.
 

I have not found the weight of the largest skulls of Amur tigers, besides Mazák and the other authors don't published the weights of the skulls in them collections.

Yes, Madla have the longest canines from any wild tiger recorded in literature. We should put an image of Madla canines in order to see those formidable weapons. Although the Amur tiger know as "Amur", reported by Dr Gewalt was canines up to 90 mm and these are the longest canines in record, this came from a captive specimen, while that of Madla is from a wild one. It is interesting that Mazák (1983) stated that while the upper canines from "Amur" measured 90 mm, the lower canines measured "only" 60 mm. In Bengal tigers, it seems that the difference is no more than 1 cm.

About the average weights, if we exclude the Sundarbans population, the average of Bengal tigers, including all the records, is of 208.1 kg, while if we use only the modern records, the average for mainland tigers in the Indian subcontinent is of 219.5 kg. There are some new historic weights that I will include in the new average, so I estimate that the weight of "historic+modern" Bengals will be no less than 210 kg, so an average range between 210 - 220 kg (463 - 485 lb) can be stated for the male Bengal tigers.
 
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Quote:Yes, Madla have the longest canines from any wild tiger recorded in litterature. We sould put an image of Madla canines in order to see those formidable weaponds. Although the Amur tiger know as "Amur", reported by Dr Gewalt was canines up to 90 mm and these are the longest canines in record, this came from a captive specimen, while that of Madla is from a wild one. It is interesting that Mazák (1983) stated that while the upper canines from "Amur" measured 90 mm, the lower canines measured "only" 60 mm. In Bengal tigers, it seems that the diference is no more than 1 cm.
The lower canines don't have as much of room to grow compare to the upper canines.

Nevertheless, the 60mm lower canines are already close to record of the largest uppper canines for lion.
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Interesting, so if we use the mainland tiger average it is around 219.5 kg compared to 200kg for "amurs"
That is a decent weight difference between the two. If their body dimmensions are similiar, than it must have to do witht he amount of muscle a bengal carries compared to a "amur".
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