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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

United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-06-2015, 10:44 PM by GrizzlyClaws )

The wild Amur tigers have probably not seen the bison for at least 8000 years.

The steppe bison was probably Amur tiger's favorite menu back in the late Pleistocene era.
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Canada Dr Panthera Offline
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(11-06-2015, 10:33 PM)IGuateGojira Wrote:
(11-06-2015, 05:17 PM)peter Wrote: An interesting question is why Amur tigers have oversized skulls and canines when it is known that Indian tigers (and lions) face and hunt larger animals. Today's Amurs face a lot of competition from hunters, but two centuries ago they didn't hunt very large ungulates as well. The reason is Manchuria and southeast Russia never had them. Not in the last thousands of years, that is. But bears and wild boars were and still are plentiful.

My hypothesis about this phenomenon, posted many times here, is that the large size of the skull and canines of the Amur tiger is an adaptation for the predation on wild boars and even bison.

Let's remember that Amur tigers are no other thing that the western population of the Caspian tigers, which invaded the Caspian region about 10,000 years ago. This tigers specialized in the hunt of wild boars, which in those areas were very large and robust, probably even more dangerous than a large bovids. In this area also exited the European bison and tigers probably hunt them. Under this circumstances, Caspian tigers needed to adapt to this new large prey with stronger skulls and larger sagital crests. This new adaptation was also kept by the "new" Amur population that also hunted large wild boars and that now had the competition of large bears.

If we compare these situations, the tigers in the south east of Asia (India included) did not hunt on "giant" boars (except in some cases in Nepal) and do not have large sized competitors. So, in a wide point of view, this could explain why Amur tigers are so robust and although now they weight as much as African lions, in the past, the large Amur tigers reached the same body weight than Bengal ones and certainly they measure the same in body size.

I totally agree with you Guate, the massive skulls and canines of Amur tigers could be an adaptation to maximize the utilization of the Eurasian wild boar as a staple prey item.
Seidensticker wrote an excellent chapter on tiger predation in the excellent book Riding the Tiger...and showed that tigers have evolved to be forest dwelling excellent hunters of cervids and  suids , historically tigers followed the distribution of fourteen species of deer and three species of pigs, when tigers encountered large bovids some tigers became regular bovid hunters ( Nagarhole, Bandipur, and Assam among others) in other areas tigers completely ignored gaur ( Malaysia) but everywhere tigers exist they heavily prey on cervids and to a lesser degree wild boar ( was or is one of the top two prey to all tiger ecotypes except Bengal ).
The massive skull and long canines enable Amur Tigers of utilizing wild boar up to the massive 200 plus boars more efficiently than wolf packs or bears, this formidable prey is the fourth reason of violent death of tigers in Russia after human aggression, tiger-tiger aggression, and brown bears ( Clayton Miller et al.).
Sumatran tigers also depend largely on wild boar and also possess impressive skulls and canines...their Javan cousins had that as well.
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tigerluver Offline
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von Koenigswald tiger has a canine length of about 70 mm if complete from the alveolar margin and had a GSL of ~385 mm. So it had proportionately smaller canines than Mazak's specimen but longer one's than Christiansen's. It's likely not fully grown either. These tigers likely had a diet of miniature elephants and hippos so there may have been some pressure for longer canines. What's the average Amur and Bengal canine/GSL ratio? If we don't see that the Ngandong specimen had anything special about its canines the prey theory may not be as accurate.
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United States GrizzlyClaws Offline
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It seems that the modern Amur/Bengal got longer canine ratio than the Ngandong tiger.

If we apply that massive Amur fang for von Koenigswald's specimen, then the GSL is going to be around 495 mm.

The canine/GSL ratio from Christiansen's specimens aren't really consistent with other specimens, but if the measurement is from the gum line, then it should become more consistent.

Some fossil Ngandong tiger fangs can also approach 6 1/2", but they are just not as massive as that particular Amur fang.
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tigerluver Offline
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I'm planning on moving posts 19,20, 33,34,36, 37, and 55 into the hunting records thread. @GrizzlyClaws posts address this topic at all times, so I think we'll keep them here. Anything else that should or should not go into the new thread?
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United States Pckts Offline
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The King of Mukki, Bheema
from Kahna

*This image is copyright of its original author

He is said by all who see him to be a massive fellow.
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Malaysia JawaRumbia Offline
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Bheema doesn't have any ruffed on his cheek but he have a big jowls, like a house cat
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Thailand Selachimorpha11 Offline
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(04-16-2014, 09:30 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: 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?Section=Home&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=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=XFIbjBEQolMC&pg=PA21&dq=%22Surprisingly,+while+Siberian+or+Amur+tigers+have+long+been+thought+to+be+the+largest+%22&hl=es&sa=X&ei=aYMaT_2YIcW4tweR9P2-Cw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Surprisingly%2C%20while%20Siberian%20or%20Amur%20tigers%20have%20long%20been%20thought%20to%20be%20the%20largest%20%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/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?EntryId=3190&PortalId=32&DownloadMethod=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/AmurTigers/Ecology/tabid/1467/language/en-US/Default.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=c44rAQAAMAAJ&q=%22show+that+tigers+from+these+three+sites+are+all+about+the+same+size.%22&dq=%22show+that+tigers+from+these+three+sites+are+all+about+the+same+size.%22&hl=es&sa=X&ei=lhwMUZnUE4a89QSlsYGoCg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA
 
Now is the turn for your opinions. Greetings to all. [img]images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
 

 

Ummmm, by empty belly........does this mean every parts in the belly was removed before the measurement, or that tiger "really" have 67 kilos of meat inside his belly?
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tigerluver Offline
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@Selachimorpha11, empty belly means adjusting the weight of the animal for contents in its stomach. I infer you are refering to the Hasinger 389 kg male which in the post is said to be empty belly 322 kg. No one actually weighed the contents of its stomach, thus the empty belly weight is conjecture based on the belief that cats can eat 20% of their weight. Here's the Hasinger tiger:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


The specimen was baited I believe and thus must have had a meal. From these photos, he likely was not gorged and did not have 67 kg of food in his belly, in my opinion at least. Now the issue of how true the alleged mass of 389 kg is a completely different story. Sugar plantation scales were used in weighing him if I remember correctly, and that may or may not be subject to error. 

I mathematically analyzed the possibility of the weight in this post.
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United States Master Chief Offline
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Amur tigers would not be regarded as the largest cat if they weren't the biggest. There is no more recent studies of the Amur tiger more than the 1990s. So I'd like to know how you are so sure that 20+ years later Bengal tigers are bigger. 
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Rishi Offline
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Smile  ( This post was last modified: 02-27-2017, 09:07 PM by Rishi )

(02-26-2017, 02:39 AM)Master Chief Wrote: Amur tigers would not be regarded as the largest cat if they weren't the biggest. There is no more recent studies of the Amur tiger more than the 1990s. So I'd like to know how you are so sure that 20+ years later Bengal tigers are bigger. 

The heaviest wild tiger ever recorded is a bengal. 
The largest skull size is of a bengal. 
The longest nose-to-tail ever recorded is an Amur...i think. (Although, both might top at 11feet)

From all the thousands of photos & videos I've seen, Amurs do seem to be taller than bengals & similar in length..in my opinion.

Whilst if you check pictures of Amur tigers in summer, their size & stature look EXACTLY SAME as the bengal tigers.
Come winter, they put on enough FAT & FUR that allows them to outweigh those same bengal cousins & look larger as well..just like a lion's mane would. Check the difference here..

*This image is copyright of its original author

Thus, i guess if you take the whole year, Amurs will score more ON THE AVERAGE... 
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United States Pckts Offline
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Amurs may or may not do better in captivity but in the wild they are the smaller cat when it comes to weight.
The stp project has been studying Amurs and continues to do so and no recent weight matches their Bengal Counterparts @Master Chief
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United States Master Chief Offline
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(02-27-2017, 10:38 AM)Rishi Wrote:
(02-26-2017, 02:39 AM)Master Chief Wrote: Amur tigers would not be regarded as the largest cat if they weren't the biggest. There is no more recent studies of the Amur tiger more than the 1990s. So I'd like to know how you are so sure that 20+ years later Bengal tigers are bigger. 

The heaviest wild tiger ever recorded is a bengal. 
The largest skull size is of a bengal. 
The longest nose-to-tail ever recorded is an Amur...i think. (Although, both might top at 11feet)

From all the thousands of photos & videos I've seen, Amurs do seem to be taller than bengals & similar in length..in my opinion.

Whilst if you check pictures of Amur tigers in summer, their size & stature look EXACTLY SAME as the bengal tigers.
Come winter, they put on enough FAT & FUR that allows them to outweigh those same bengal cousins & look larger as well..just like a lion's mane would. Check the difference here..

*This image is copyright of its original author

Thus, i guess if you take the whole year, Amurs will score more ON THE AVERAGE... 


I heard that a reliable data of the largest skull was came from the Amur tiger.
The heaviest one was the Bengal, but he was eaten large buffalo before he killed.
Captive ones are absolutely the Amur is the biggest in length, weight, and others.

Sadly, it's difficult to find it out in wild since majority tigers are gone
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United States Master Chief Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-28-2017, 02:39 PM by Master Chief )

(02-27-2017, 10:03 PM)Pckts Wrote: Amurs may or may not do better in captivity but in the wild they are the smaller cat when it comes to weight.
The stp project has been studying Amurs and continues to do so and no recent weight matches their Bengal Counterparts @Master Chief

Are you doing research and tracking the tiger in India and Russia? Are you working in zoo and measuring the tiger? How can you be so sure which one is definitely bigger just by looking current data?
I've heard that the Amur tiger was almost extinct in 50 years ago. Today's Amur tiger is smaller since 1970s. Currently, they are also suffering from very low prey because people are keep poaching and hunting tiger's prey like boar and deer.
How come majority animal and biology article is concluded that the Amur tiger is the largest cat if Bengal is actually bigger? When I asked to my zoology professor and PhD students about this (Bengal is the larger than Amur). Their reactions were all like "what are you talking about?" "I don't believe you. Amur tiger was bigger than Bengal in zoo"
I don't know what's the truth, but Amur tigers would not be regarded as the biggest cat since from past if they were smaller than Bengal.

Here is prey biomass in Nepal, India, and Russia. Obviously, the Bengal tiger has to be heavier. 
Amur tiger is generally bigger if it was in the same conditions in captivity.



*This image is copyright of its original author
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Rishi Offline
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Smile  ( This post was last modified: 02-28-2017, 01:36 PM by Rishi )

(02-28-2017, 12:43 PM)Master Chief Wrote:
(02-27-2017, 10:38 AM)Rishi Wrote:
(02-26-2017, 02:39 AM)Master Chief Wrote: Amur tigers would not be regarded as the largest cat if they weren't the biggest. There is no more recent studies of the Amur tiger more than the 1990s. So I'd like to know how you are so sure that 20+ years later Bengal tigers are bigger. 

The heaviest wild tiger ever recorded is a bengal. 
The largest skull size is of a bengal. 
The longest nose-to-tail ever recorded is an Amur...i think. (Although, both might top at 11feet)

From all the thousands of photos & videos I've seen, Amurs do seem to be taller than bengals & similar in length..in my opinion.

Whilst if you check pictures of Amur tigers in summer, their size & stature look EXACTLY SAME as the bengal tigers.
Come winter, they put on enough FAT & FUR that allows them to outweigh those same bengal cousins & look larger as well..just like a lion's mane would. Check the difference here..

*This image is copyright of its original author

Thus, i guess if you take the whole year, Amurs will score more ON THE AVERAGE... 


I heard that a reliable data of the largest skull was came from the Amur tiger.
The heaviest one was the Bengal, but he was eaten large buffalo before he killed.
Captive ones are absolutely the Amur is the biggest in length, weight, and others.

Sadly, it's difficult to find it out in wild since majority tigers are gone

"I heard that a reliable data of the largest skull was came from the Amur tiger."
Yes...I was wrong, i withdraw my statement.
.
"The heaviest one was the Bengal, but he was eaten large buffalo before he killed."
Any WILD tiger, greater than 350kgs was probably gorged...


.
"Captive ones are absolutely the Amur is the biggest in length, weight, and others."
Ofcourse, their body is genetically designed to survive the harshness of the North by fully utilising every bit of nutrient available & hold more fat.
.
"Sadly, it's difficult to find it out in wild since majority tigers are gone."
You are free to present any CONCRETE data (Not those, my granpa saw 12' tiger) from the past.
.
Scientists in Russia report that no tigers immobilized by the Russian team have weighed as much as those in Chitwan. It probably is a function of habitat quality. Siberian tigers have the potential for being the largest, and captive ones are larger than captive Bengals. But in the wild the prey base in Russia is not abundant enough for those tigers to NATURALLY ACHIEVE their full potential. Prey is more scattered and the Russian tigers need huge territories to capture sufficient food, so much more energy is expended in the food quest.
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