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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

Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-26-2018, 12:04 PM by johnny rex )

(12-26-2018, 01:30 AM)peter Wrote: HOW TO MEASURE THE GREATEST TOTAL LENGTH OF A TIGER SKULL

The greatest total length of a tiger skull is measured from the tip of the premaxillary bone (just in front of the incisors) to the posterior tip of the occiput. You have to measure the distance between both tips in a straight line.

In order to exclude angles, the mandible has to be removed when you measure the greatest total length of the upper skull. If you don't, the distance will increase.

THE SKULL OF THE TIGER SHOT BY SIR JOHN HEWETT'S DAUGHTER IN JANUARY 1927 

Lorna, the daughter of Sir John Hewett, shot a large tiger close to Morgati in January 1927. Measured the next day, he was 10 feet 2 'over curves'. The measurements of the skull

" ... as given by Messrs. Spicer & Co., of Leamington, who set up the skin, are in their words 'over the bone' as follows:

Length - 16,25 inches.
Breadth - 9 7/8 inches acrfoss the zygomatic arches.
Weight cleaned - 4 lb. 14 oz... " ('Jungle Trails in Northern India', John Hewett, first published in 1938 - I have the 2008 reprint, pp. 180).

It is about the addition 'over the bone'. My guess is the distance from tip to tip was measured following the curves of the skull. This method will increase the measurement quite a bit. This is borne out by the measurement of the zygomatic width and the weight of the skull.

Based on my experience and reliable information of others, it's highly unlikely that a skull with a greatest total length of 16,25 inches of a large male tiger taping 10.2 in total length measured 'over curves' is less than 10 inches in zygomatic width. A skull of that size of a wild tiger also is heavier than 4 lb. 14 oz.

For this reason, the skull in Hewett's book is out regarding greatest total length.       

HEAD LENGTH AND SKULL LENGTH

The difference between head length and greatest total skull length in tigers shows a lot of individual variation.

The 11-year old Prague zoo tiger 'Amur' measured by V. Mazak had a head and body length of 220 cm. in a straight line and a head length of 450 mm., whereas the greatest total length of the skull was 371 mm. The difference between head and skull length, therefore, was 79 mm.

Another, younger, tiger, also measured by V. Mazak, had a head and body length of 201 cm. in a straight line and a head length of 420 mm. The greatest total skull length, however, was 377 mm. The difference between head and skull length was 43 mm. only ('Der Tiger', V. Mazak, 1983, pp. 185 and 193).

The very large Duisburg zoo tiger, estimated at 280-300 kg. in his prime, was 210 cm. in head and body length in a straight line. This tiger had a head length of 50 cm. His skull, as far as I know, wasn't measured. The skull of the Sungari river tiger, also estimated at 300 kg. or more, could have been as long or longer. V. Jankowski wrote his skull was large. As far as I know, it was never measured.

Based on the photographs published in the article discussed in this thread some time ago, the skull of tiger 'Altai' shot in the Koln zoo after he had killed his keeper could have been over 420 mm. in greatest total length. That tiger, with a head and body length of 240 cm. and a tail of 96 cm., was just about 4 years of age. A young adult, that is.

Most photographs of 'Altai' on the internet were taken when he had just arrived in Koln. They suggest he was about average in size when he was less than 3 years old. In the year that followed, he could have added a lot of inches and pounds. 

At the level of species, lions have absolutely and relatively longer skulls than tigers. The longest skulls can exceed 400 mm. in greatest total length. Amur tigers also have long skulls. In relative terms, they seem to compare to lions in this respect. As some captive Amur tigers well exceed 600 pounds, chances are some skulls also exceed 400 mm. in greatest total length. Most skulls of captive adult male Amur tigers, however, range between 345-380 mm. in greatest total length.

1. Okay so the first picture is the reliable way to measure a tiger skull, isn't it? By the way, many people measured big cat skulls by placing it on a table so the skull position look the same like the second picture. If we measure a skull by measuring it using this method by placing the skull on a table and then measure it over a straight line, the result is the measurement will be greater than how the skull is positioned like the first picture.

2. Yeah the 413 mm Bengal tiger skull is not reliable as it is measured over curve not over a straight line, not to mention the width of the skull is too low for a truly 16-inch skull. So, the length of the skull is actually lower than 16 inches.

3. So the skull length of Prague zoo's Amur is almost 8 cm less than its head length. If we follow this skull and head length difference, Duisburg's Amur skull will be 420 mm which is equal to 16.5 inches. But if we follow the skull and head length difference of the younger tiger which is 4 cm difference, the skull of the Duisburg's Amur is 46.6 cm which is equal to 18+ inches.

Yes, most of the available pictures and videos of Altai I've found so far are not from 2012. Most of them are old, from 2011.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-26-2018, 01:22 PM by peter )

(12-26-2018, 12:03 PM)johnny rex Wrote:
(12-26-2018, 01:30 AM)peter Wrote: HOW TO MEASURE THE GREATEST TOTAL LENGTH OF A TIGER SKULL

The greatest total length of a tiger skull is measured from the tip of the premaxillary bone (just in front of the incisors) to the posterior tip of the occiput. You have to measure the distance between both tips in a straight line.

In order to exclude angles, the mandible has to be removed when you measure the greatest total length of the upper skull. If you don't, the distance will increase.

THE SKULL OF THE TIGER SHOT BY SIR JOHN HEWETT'S DAUGHTER IN JANUARY 1927 

Lorna, the daughter of Sir John Hewett, shot a large tiger close to Morgati in January 1927. Measured the next day, he was 10 feet 2 'over curves'. The measurements of the skull

" ... as given by Messrs. Spicer & Co., of Leamington, who set up the skin, are in their words 'over the bone' as follows:

Length - 16,25 inches.
Breadth - 9 7/8 inches acrfoss the zygomatic arches.
Weight cleaned - 4 lb. 14 oz... " ('Jungle Trails in Northern India', John Hewett, first published in 1938 - I have the 2008 reprint, pp. 180).

It is about the addition 'over the bone'. My guess is the distance from tip to tip was measured following the curves of the skull. This method will increase the measurement quite a bit. This is borne out by the measurement of the zygomatic width and the weight of the skull.

Based on my experience and reliable information of others, it's highly unlikely that a skull with a greatest total length of 16,25 inches of a large male tiger taping 10.2 in total length measured 'over curves' is less than 10 inches in zygomatic width. A skull of that size of a wild tiger also is heavier than 4 lb. 14 oz.

For this reason, the skull in Hewett's book is out regarding greatest total length.       

HEAD LENGTH AND SKULL LENGTH

The difference between head length and greatest total skull length in tigers shows a lot of individual variation.

The 11-year old Prague zoo tiger 'Amur' measured by V. Mazak had a head and body length of 220 cm. in a straight line and a head length of 450 mm., whereas the greatest total length of the skull was 371 mm. The difference between head and skull length, therefore, was 79 mm.

Another, younger, tiger, also measured by V. Mazak, had a head and body length of 201 cm. in a straight line and a head length of 420 mm. The greatest total skull length, however, was 377 mm. The difference between head and skull length was 43 mm. only ('Der Tiger', V. Mazak, 1983, pp. 185 and 193).

The very large Duisburg zoo tiger, estimated at 280-300 kg. in his prime, was 210 cm. in head and body length in a straight line. This tiger had a head length of 50 cm. His skull, as far as I know, wasn't measured. The skull of the Sungari river tiger, also estimated at 300 kg. or more, could have been as long or longer. V. Jankowski wrote his skull was large. As far as I know, it was never measured.

Based on the photographs published in the article discussed in this thread some time ago, the skull of tiger 'Altai' shot in the Koln zoo after he had killed his keeper could have been over 420 mm. in greatest total length. That tiger, with a head and body length of 240 cm. and a tail of 96 cm., was just about 4 years of age. A young adult, that is.

Most photographs of 'Altai' on the internet were taken when he had just arrived in Koln. They suggest he was about average in size when he was less than 3 years old. In the year that followed, he could have added a lot of inches and pounds. 

At the level of species, lions have absolutely and relatively longer skulls than tigers. The longest skulls can exceed 400 mm. in greatest total length. Amur tigers also have long skulls. In relative terms, they seem to compare to lions in this respect. As some captive Amur tigers well exceed 600 pounds, chances are some skulls also exceed 400 mm. in greatest total length. Most skulls of captive adult male Amur tigers, however, range between 345-380 mm. in greatest total length.

1. Okay so the first picture is the reliable way to measure a tiger skull, isn't it? By the way, many people measured big cat skulls by placing it on a table so the skull position look the same like the second picture. If we measure a skull by measuring it using this method by placing the skull on a table and then measure it over a straight line, the result is the measurement will be greater than how the skull is positioned like the first picture.

2. Yeah the 413 mm Bengal tiger skull is not reliable as it is measured over curve not over a straight line, not to mention the width of the skull is too low for a truly 16-inch skull. So, the length of the skull is actually lower than 16 inches.

3. So the skull length of Prague zoo's Amur is almost 8 cm less than its head length. If we follow this skull and head length difference, Duisburg's Amur skull will be 420 mm which is equal to 16.5 inches. But if we follow the skull and head length difference of the younger tiger which is 4 cm difference, the skull of the Duisburg's Amur is 46.6 cm which is equal to 18+ inches.

Yes, most of the available pictures and videos of Altai I've found so far are not from 2012. Most of them are old, from 2011.

Ad 1 - I recently posted this: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309320542_Carnivores_Skulls_-_Identification_and_Measurement_-_for_Ecologists. Go to the page with measurements. The next page has an instruction. 

Ad 2 - Yes. The length wasn't measured in a straight line, but over curves. Regarding greatest total length, the skull is out.

Ad 3 - Yes. It depends.

Ad 4 - I don't know in what way tiger 'Altai' was measured. The German biologists and zoologists I know measure big cats in a straight line ('between pegs'). For this reason, I assume he was measured in that way. Most field biologists, however, now measure big cats 'over curves'. It can't be excluded that 'Altai' was measured 'over curves' as well.

Anyhow. If 'Altai' (336 cm. in total length) was measured 'over curves', he roughly compared to the Prague zoo tiger measured by V. Mazak. That tiger was 319 cm. 'between pegs' and 337 cm. 'over curves'. If Altai was measured in a straight line ('between pegs'), he's the longest I know of.

Based on the photographs I have, I'd say 'Altai' had a larger skull than 'Amur'.
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Malaysia johnny rex Offline
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(12-26-2018, 12:55 PM)peter Wrote:
(12-26-2018, 12:03 PM)johnny rex Wrote:
(12-26-2018, 01:30 AM)peter Wrote: HOW TO MEASURE THE GREATEST TOTAL LENGTH OF A TIGER SKULL

The greatest total length of a tiger skull is measured from the tip of the premaxillary bone (just in front of the incisors) to the posterior tip of the occiput. You have to measure the distance between both tips in a straight line.

In order to exclude angles, the mandible has to be removed when you measure the greatest total length of the upper skull. If you don't, the distance will increase.

THE SKULL OF THE TIGER SHOT BY SIR JOHN HEWETT'S DAUGHTER IN JANUARY 1927 

Lorna, the daughter of Sir John Hewett, shot a large tiger close to Morgati in January 1927. Measured the next day, he was 10 feet 2 'over curves'. The measurements of the skull

" ... as given by Messrs. Spicer & Co., of Leamington, who set up the skin, are in their words 'over the bone' as follows:

Length - 16,25 inches.
Breadth - 9 7/8 inches acrfoss the zygomatic arches.
Weight cleaned - 4 lb. 14 oz... " ('Jungle Trails in Northern India', John Hewett, first published in 1938 - I have the 2008 reprint, pp. 180).

It is about the addition 'over the bone'. My guess is the distance from tip to tip was measured following the curves of the skull. This method will increase the measurement quite a bit. This is borne out by the measurement of the zygomatic width and the weight of the skull.

Based on my experience and reliable information of others, it's highly unlikely that a skull with a greatest total length of 16,25 inches of a large male tiger taping 10.2 in total length measured 'over curves' is less than 10 inches in zygomatic width. A skull of that size of a wild tiger also is heavier than 4 lb. 14 oz.

For this reason, the skull in Hewett's book is out regarding greatest total length.       

HEAD LENGTH AND SKULL LENGTH

The difference between head length and greatest total skull length in tigers shows a lot of individual variation.

The 11-year old Prague zoo tiger 'Amur' measured by V. Mazak had a head and body length of 220 cm. in a straight line and a head length of 450 mm., whereas the greatest total length of the skull was 371 mm. The difference between head and skull length, therefore, was 79 mm.

Another, younger, tiger, also measured by V. Mazak, had a head and body length of 201 cm. in a straight line and a head length of 420 mm. The greatest total skull length, however, was 377 mm. The difference between head and skull length was 43 mm. only ('Der Tiger', V. Mazak, 1983, pp. 185 and 193).

The very large Duisburg zoo tiger, estimated at 280-300 kg. in his prime, was 210 cm. in head and body length in a straight line. This tiger had a head length of 50 cm. His skull, as far as I know, wasn't measured. The skull of the Sungari river tiger, also estimated at 300 kg. or more, could have been as long or longer. V. Jankowski wrote his skull was large. As far as I know, it was never measured.

Based on the photographs published in the article discussed in this thread some time ago, the skull of tiger 'Altai' shot in the Koln zoo after he had killed his keeper could have been over 420 mm. in greatest total length. That tiger, with a head and body length of 240 cm. and a tail of 96 cm., was just about 4 years of age. A young adult, that is.

Most photographs of 'Altai' on the internet were taken when he had just arrived in Koln. They suggest he was about average in size when he was less than 3 years old. In the year that followed, he could have added a lot of inches and pounds. 

At the level of species, lions have absolutely and relatively longer skulls than tigers. The longest skulls can exceed 400 mm. in greatest total length. Amur tigers also have long skulls. In relative terms, they seem to compare to lions in this respect. As some captive Amur tigers well exceed 600 pounds, chances are some skulls also exceed 400 mm. in greatest total length. Most skulls of captive adult male Amur tigers, however, range between 345-380 mm. in greatest total length.

1. Okay so the first picture is the reliable way to measure a tiger skull, isn't it? By the way, many people measured big cat skulls by placing it on a table so the skull position look the same like the second picture. If we measure a skull by measuring it using this method by placing the skull on a table and then measure it over a straight line, the result is the measurement will be greater than how the skull is positioned like the first picture.

2. Yeah the 413 mm Bengal tiger skull is not reliable as it is measured over curve not over a straight line, not to mention the width of the skull is too low for a truly 16-inch skull. So, the length of the skull is actually lower than 16 inches.

3. So the skull length of Prague zoo's Amur is almost 8 cm less than its head length. If we follow this skull and head length difference, Duisburg's Amur skull will be 420 mm which is equal to 16.5 inches. But if we follow the skull and head length difference of the younger tiger which is 4 cm difference, the skull of the Duisburg's Amur is 46.6 cm which is equal to 18+ inches.

Yes, most of the available pictures and videos of Altai I've found so far are not from 2012. Most of them are old, from 2011.

Ad 1 - I recently posted this: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309320542_Carnivores_Skulls_-_Identification_and_Measurement_-_for_Ecologists. Go to the page with measurements. The next page has an instruction. 

Ad 2 - Yes. The length wasn't measured in a straight line, but over curves. Regarding greatest total length, the skull is out.

Ad 3 - Yes. It depends.

Ad 4 - I don't know in what way tiger 'Altai' was measured. The German biologists and zoologists I know measure big cats in a straight line ('between pegs'). For this reason, I assume he was measured in that way. Most field biologists, however, now measure big cats 'over curves'. It can't be excluded that 'Altai' was measured 'over curves' as well.

Anyhow. If 'Altai' (336 cm. in total length) was measured 'over curves', he roughly compared to the Prague zoo tiger measured by V. Mazak. That tiger was 319 cm. 'between pegs' and 337 cm. 'over curves'. If Altai was measured in a straight line ('between pegs'), he's the longest I know of.

Based on the photographs I have, I'd say 'Altai' had a larger skull than 'Amur'.

Of course I know the measurement of skull length is at the incisors to the back of the skull. In the link you shared, it doesn't tell the difference between a skull that is measured on a flat surface and a skull that is not on a flat surface. But if we measured a skull on a table over a straight line, we will get a greater length measurement than when we measured a skull that is not placed on a table over a straight line. For example, a tiger skull on table or any flat surface that we measured over a straight line is 15.5 inches long but if we measured the skull that is not on a flat surface but instead like the picture below where its occipital bone doesn't touch any flat surface we will get a shorter length compared to the former.

   

So, Altai have a bigger head measurement compared to Amur? Then we can concluded Duisburg's Amur skull is only 420 mm despite its head is 50 cm?
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( This post was last modified: 12-27-2018, 12:08 AM by GuateGojira )

I think I can help a little more in this matter. The measurements of big cat skulls is also an important topic in the old litterature. In the beginning of the 20th century, most reliable hunters and naturalists said that a reliable method to measure a skull was to place the skull flat in a table and put it between uprights:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This give a straigh line measurement and could be reliable, however the problem is if the skull is been measured with the mandible or not, which will increase the length specially in lions (mandible can surpass slightly the frontal incisors in some cases), and even with no mandible, the incisors can cause other increase, which is also an important matter. That is why many old records from great cats and bears must be taken with caution. I don't know if the skulls measured by Stevenson Hamilton (record of 406 mm) were actually measured in this way. @peter, there is any clue regarding this in the book of Stevenson-Hamilton?

Most of the records of Rowland Ward book were taken in this form, however those taken by Mr Ward himself followed another method, check this:

*This image is copyright of its original author


In this image we can see that he is using calipers, not squares at the tips, and although he is measuring the zygomathic wide in this picture is more than obvious that he will use the same tool to measure the total length.

The method of Mr Ward is practically the same used by modern scientists, the only diference is that in modern times some use electronic tools:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Others still use the clasic calipers:

*This image is copyright of its original author


So, Mazák did used calipers, and he measured the skulls in this form, the reliable form, also used by Pocock (India), Hollister (East Africa) and Roberts (South Africa):

*This image is copyright of its original author



What is interesting is that with calipers it doesn't matter if the mandible is in the skull of not, because you only need to put the skull in a flat surface and the calipers do its job (check the picture of Rowland Ward again).

So, as long as the measurements are taken with calipers from the tips and not using squares, the measurement will be reliable. If you use squares there are many chances that the length will be artificially increased.
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( This post was last modified: 12-27-2018, 07:41 PM by johnny rex )

I see. We shouldn't depending too much on official record of skull sizes though as there are always larger skulls out there. For example, according to the official scientific records the largest lion skull is 406 mm long and around 279-280 mm wide but then there is the Lionzilla skull which exceeded those dimensions. I think same goes to tigers.

Anyway, I think the average difference between greatest skull length and head length is not that different. Take a look at the pictures below. Most X-rays of big cats too show there is no big difference between skull length and head length.

EDIT : The first picture I think shows an apparent difference between head length and skull length though

   

   

   
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( This post was last modified: 05-28-2019, 01:07 PM by BorneanTiger )

(12-27-2018, 07:39 PM)johnny rex Wrote: I see. We shouldn't depending too much on official record of skull sizes though as there are always larger skulls out there. For example, according to the official scientific records the largest lion skull is 406 mm long and around 279-280 mm wide but then there is the Lionzilla skull which exceeded those dimensions. I think same goes to tigers.

Anyway, I think the average difference between greatest skull length and head length is not that different. Take a look at the pictures below. Most X-rays of big cats too show there is no big difference between skull length and head length.

EDIT : The first picture I think shows an apparent difference between head length and skull length though


*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author



*This image is copyright of its original author

Generally, though there can be noticeable differences between subspecies or populations of lions and tigers, the skulls of tigers and lions (especially Asiatic lions) are so similar, barring some differences like in the frontal regions, that Heptner and Sludskiy (pages 8687: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...6/mode/2up, pages 106107: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...6/mode/2up) asserted that the lion and tiger are each other's closest relative, denying for instance that the leopard and jaguar are the former's closest relatives! They also mention that for this reason, some zoologists placed the origin of both species in southwest Asia (Iran, Iraq etc., which had Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers).
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@BorneanTiger :

About #369: very good and interesting the book of the link you gave ! Like
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( This post was last modified: 05-28-2019, 01:04 PM by BorneanTiger )

(05-28-2019, 12:40 AM)Spalea Wrote: @BorneanTiger :

About #369: very good and interesting the book of the link you gave ! Like

It's basically a minimized English translation of one of the Russian books from the late 20th century by Heptner on mammals in what used to be the USSR or Soviet Union (including Russia, Kazakhstan, the Caucasus and Ukraine), with this one being about hyænas and felids (https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...5/mode/2up), and this one (https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...5/mode/2up) being about Sirenia (sea cows), canids and bears (and even this one talks about felids like the tiger due to their symbiotic relationship with any of the latter 2: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...arch/tiger). Since the Siberian tiger is currently in the Russian Far East, its close Caspian relative used to be recorded in the former Soviet territories of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and the Persian or Asiatic lion is likewise accepted to have occurred in the Trans-Caucasus or South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan or Georgia), and possibly even in Central Asia (pages 87–89: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...8/mode/2up), they are counted. Heptner and Sludskiy provide insights into the former distribution of the tiger in the ex-USSR, for instance providing rare pictures of skins of Caspian tigers, besides that they were still around in the Near East (including the Caucasus) and Middle Asia when they wrote this book (pages 107–108: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...6/mode/2up).

Page 109: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...8/mode/2up

*This image is copyright of its original author


Pages 132–135, mostly skins of Amur tigers, except for a comparison of tails of the Amur and Caspian tigers (Turan would more or less be Central Asia, where the latter were): https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...2/mode/2up 

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Page 142, skins of Caspian tigers in Turan or Central Asia: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...2/mode/2up

*This image is copyright of its original author


Page 146, they accepted the possibility of the Caspian tiger occurring in Central Asia (including what is now Turkmenistan), Afghanistan and Iran: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...6/mode/2up 

*This image is copyright of its original author
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( This post was last modified: 06-02-2019, 07:10 PM by BorneanTiger )

Guys, there's something peculiar about the work of Smith et al. that was quoted by Raúl Valvert (https://www.scribd.com/document/55287778...from_embed). Valvert stated that the heaviest wild male Bengal tigers in his work were from Chitwan National Park in Nepal, with average weights of 221 kg (487 pounds) on adjusted bellies, and that these were figures for 7 male tigers from the work of Smith et al. and Sunquist:
   
   

Smith et al. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/3808080?ori...b_contents) said that between 1973 and 1980, 154 attempts to capture tigers had been made, with tigers being seen on 109 attempts. They gave a table on the tigers, including their age groups and numbers: 7 cubs, 4 subadult females, 19 adult females (altogether 23 subadult and adult females), 12 subadult males, and 7 adult males (altogether 19 subadult and adult males), and altogether, these are 49 tigers in the table, but then they said that a total of 26 tigers (15 males and 11 females) were immobilized, with 15 of them having been recaptured 1–4 times, and then that the tigers were immobilized and successfully located on 49 occasions.

How is this contradiction possible? 26 tigers being recorded on 49 occasions doesn't mean 49 tigers being recorded altogether (which is what the table says).
   
   
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( This post was last modified: 07-29-2019, 07:31 PM by GuateGojira )

Tigers of Chitwan NP – Specimens captured by scientists:
 
Since many years there has been a controversy about how many tiger were actually capture in Chitwan NP in Nepal, by the scientific team of the of the Smithsonian Institute and Nepalese Biologists. Most of us had defended that the numbers in the list of specimens and weights are in fact the number of animals captures, but a few had debated this.
 
Recently, like I said many times, the book of Dr Chundawat inspired me to challenge my preconceptions, and I still use the Vulcan proverb: “challenge your preconceptions or they will challenge you”. So, if I challenged the preconceptions of many people here about Sankhala, why I will not challenge MY own preconception about the tigers from Chitwan?
 
Introduction:
I decided to start from the very beginning, like if I knew nothing about this sample and study, and I decided to read all the available documents about the tigers from Chitwan. At the end these are the sources that I use to make the following study:
 
Primary sources:
1. Sunquist, 1981. The Social Organization of Tigers (Panthera tigris) in Royal Chitawan National Park, Nepal.
2. Fiona and Mel Sunquist, 1988. Tiger Moon.
3. Seindensticker, 1996. Tigers.
4. Smith et al. 1987. Female Land Tenure System in Tigers (In “Tigers of the World, 1st. edition).
5. Smith, 1993. The Role of Dispersal in Structuring the Chitwan Tiger Population.
6. Seidensticker, 1988. Life of a Tigress.
7. Smith et al, 1983. A technique for capturing and immobilizing tigers.
 
Secondary sources:
1. McDougal, 1977. The Face of the tiger.
2. Mishra, 2010. Bones of the tiger.
3. Mills, 2004. Tiger.
4. Smith et al. 1999. Metapopulation structure of Tigers in Nepal (In “Riding the Tiger”).
5. Seidensticker & Lumpkin, 2004. Smithsonian Answer Book: Cats.
6. Dinerstein, 2005. Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations.
7. Dinerstein, 2004. The return of the Unicorns.
 
If someone wants to ask if I read all this documents to get to my conclusion, the answer is yes. So if any reader have a doubt about any part of my post, can request a scan and I will try to share as fast as I can.
 
Through all this literature I manage to found all the specimens captured in the study. It was satisfactory, but at the same time intimidating, to get a conclusion that for many times challenged all the posters of this and other forums. The conclusions are incredible and believe it, if I will not have focused in the specific details, I will not have found the evidence that I needed to present this study. So, here we go…
 
The sample and the animals:
Using the main documents that I presented, I found that the study started in 1973 with the first capture of the tigress 101, the first one ever radiocollared tiger in the world. After that several tigers were captured from 1973 to 1980, but it was until 1982 that the capture of new specimens finally stopped.
 
Here are the statistics:
1. 26 tigers were radiocollared, and 49 captures were made.
2. From these animals, 15 were males and 11 were females.
3. Also from these 26 specimens, 12 were adults and 14 subadults/cubs.
4. From the subadults, 4 were females and 10 were males.
5. 2 subadult male tigers were not included in the sample of the 10 male subadults studied from 1977 to 1987 (take this in count).
6. The 14 subadults from the sample born about 1977-78, the total of cubs was of 19 but only 13 were radiocollared and Smith (1993) included the data of tigress 103 captures by Sunquist (1981). They born from 6 of the original 7 females captured as adults.
 
So, by simple mathematics, we can see that:
 
15 males: 10 subadults + 2 subadult not included in the original sample.
                 3 adults
 
11 females: 4 subadults
                    7 adults
 
This will be the simple conclusion, now let’s not forget that the document says that 15 of those animals were re-captured 1-4 times. So let’s see this:
 
* Cubs                             7 specimens – 1 was surely female (103).
* Subadult females  4  -  4 captures  (0 recaptures)
* Adult females       7  -  19 captures  (12 recaptures)
* Subadult males   12  -  12 captures   (0 recaptures)
* Adult males          3  -    7 captures  (4 recaptures)
**Total                  26  -  42 + 7 cubs = 49 captures.
 
In the sample I did not included cubs as they were captured as cubs and also as subadults, so they count as recaptures. There were 16 recaptures in total following this logic.
 
Now, there is a big possibility that in fact there were only 3 males in the sample, if we believe that Sauraha male (105) was captured 4 times, and I will discuss that latter.
 
List of specimens:
Ok, here is the list of the specimens captured by the Smithsonian/Nepal project (updated at 29/07/2019):


*This image is copyright of its original author

This table is a summary of the information that I got from all the 26 tigers captures by the Smithsonian/Nepalese project. Everything in blue is speculative, based in the fact that while is obvious that all were captured as "subadults" at least once, probably those that managed to be "residents" were captured as adults and certainly 6 of them were captured as cubs previously, so taking in count the 22 known captures, counting that all the other animals since 110 were captured at least once, that the captures in "blue" color were correct (as adult or as cubs) and adding the 6 cubs (probably only 4 as two of them were probably already added in the "blue" captures), we got the 49 captures (some of the "blue" captures could be actually cubs, so the number will lowered to only 4 and then my calculation match). While the study continues until 1987, they did not captured new tigers but only recaptured the same available sample. Now let’s go to the analysis.
 
Remember that we know that, from the real sample, we got the number of 7 for the original adult females and 3 original adult males. Based in the table, this is what I have:
 
FEMALES:
Original adult females:
     101, 106, 107, 108, 109, 113 and 115 = 7
New adult females:
     103, 111, 118 and 122 = 4
Total of females: 11.
 
In base of this we can conclude that the last 4 were weighed as subadults and probably also at adults. As far as we know, only 103 were weighed as a cub, but the some of the other 3 females could also be weighed in that age.
 
MALES:
Original adult males:
     102, 105 and 126 = 3
New adult males:
     110, 112, 114, 116, 117, 119, 120, 121, 123 and 124 = 10
     Including the males 104 and 125 = 12 subadults
Total of males: 15
 
Now, some remarks:
1. In table 1 of Smith (1993) we can see that the male 125 was not in the sample of study of the 10 subadults.
Also the male 104 was just captured once in 1974 and after 1977 (when Dr Sunquist study ended), there is no information about male 104, in any document available for me.  
2. From these males, only four (116, 117, 121 and 123) survived to because “residents”, but that was after the death of the Sauraha male tiger in 1979, so probably they adult weights, if were recorded, are not included in the sample of Smith et al. (1983).
3. About the captures of male 105. We know that was captured 3 times, but also we can speculate that the male was captured 4 times, but this is also the case of 103. Now, the most likely scenario is that Sauraha was captured 4 times, even when we don’t have evidence of any other capture between 1973 – 1980, as make no sense that there is no other capture between 1975 and 1979. So if we already know that 12 of the 15 males were subadults, by logic the other adults should be 3. Also as 103 was still alive after the death of 105, this is based in the fact that 123 or 126 killed on of her cubs (105 was not anymore there to protect them), it is also likely that the tigress was captured more times for the importance of the study.
 
But, could be a 4th male? Although there is information of other large males in the area, like the “Amaltari” male or “Bange Bhale”, to give a few examples, none of them were weighed before 1980 and some were not even weighed at all. From the subadults that became resident only the male 123 is the best candidate as it was the older of the males at 27 months old and did manage to get a territory, at about 3 years of more he fought with 126 but eventually was killed in the fight. At 3 years old scientists already classify tigers as “adults”, so this is a good candidate for been the 4th male, but I am speculating.
 
Other candidate is male 104. However although this male was certainly an adult by 1980, there is no evidence of him in any of the documents that I read after 1977. McDougal (1977) in fact mentions that the Smithonian/Nepalese project lost his track after he dispersed. So although it is a possibility, is more likely that there was not a 4th adult male in the sample of “7” from Smith et al. (1983), based on the few evidence available.
 
Other tigers:
Apart from these 26 specimens, I could not found any other tiger captured except for “Banga Bhale”, a male that was territorial from 1982 – 1984 but latter was defeated by other male “Lucky Bhale” and became man-eater. This male weighed about 450 lb (204 kg) and is reported by Mishra (2010). The other male is the famous 126 captured again in 1984 by Dinerstein (2003) and that weighed over 272 kg. However Dinerstein (2005) also mention other male of over 560 lb (254 kg) captured in the area of “Baghmara”. So, who is this male?
 
I checked the maps and there are two points:
1. There is not just one “Baghmara” in the park, check this map:


*This image is copyright of its original author
 
In fact there is a Baghmara in the west (also shown in the figure 6, page 48, of the book Face of the Tiger of Dr McDougal) and also a Baghmara in the east, near to Sauraha.
 
2. Now, we know that Dr Dinerstein was in Nepal at about 1975-1978 but it was in the west region, studying the reagion near the river Karnali and the tiger population in Bardia, not in Chitwan; also an investigation of all the territorial males studied and radiocollared, just two males inhabited in the region of Baghmara west in those years: male 102 and later 105. So by extension, we could imply that that male was probably 105, but the problem, as I said before, is that Dr Dinerstein was not in that part of Nepal in that moment, so is not 105.
 
3. In fact Dr Dinertein arrived to Chitwan in 1984 and is possible that the Baghamara that he mentions is the one of the east. Based on the figure 7 of Smith (1993), the territory of male 121 was exactly in that area, near the Sauraha region and as we know that the territory of male 126 was adjacent to that of 121, in the west side, we can conclude that the big male that Dr Dinerstein is talking is no other than male 126.
 
4. Now, why the difference in weight, from 270+ kg in the book of 2003 and now of 254+ kg in the book of 2005. Dr Dinerstein confirmed the weight of 126 as "over 272 kg" through an email to Tigerlover, but if we look closer and use a little of mathematics, we can see that:
 
* 272 – 18 = 254!!! Coincidence???
 
I leave it open to the reader, but if we use this, it seems that the figure of 254 kg is the estimated weight of male 126 “adjusted” for stomach content. I am not telling that this is the true, I am just speculating of a possible explanation of the differences. However, this ignore the fact that the tiger did not weighed 272 kg but the he “bottomed” the scale with a maximum capacity of 600 lb (272.2 kg) so the weight was probably more and I estimated to be at c.260 kg "empty", which is close to the 261 kg estimated for male 105.
 
Is interesting that some sources mention the male 127 or 026, but in fact that is the same male 126 and the incorrect number is just a typo.
 
The average weights of the males:
So now that we got the conclusion that only 3 adult males were captured in Chitwan, we need to see were they got the figure of 235 kg for the 7 captures. In the books we only these weights (in kg):
 
M102: 200 & 200.
M105: 227+, 227+ and 261 (272+)
M126: c.260 (272+)
 
We know that they did not used the weights of 272+ as the maximum in the sample is of 261 kg, so making an speculation of the weights used, we can do this:
200 + 200 + 227 + 227 + 261 + 261 + 261 =1637/7 = 233.9 = c.234 kg.
 
We got close but not the exact amount, but what happen if we use these figures:
200 + 200 + 230 + 230 + 261 + 261 + 261 = 1643/7 = 234.7 = c.235 kg.
 
We can speculate that they use “230” instead of “227” as Male 105 bottomed the scale, but again, is just speculation. This also suggest that IF there were a “forth male” probably was a very large one, which excludes the possibility that the “4th male” was 123 as it was still young, but it could be the now mature male 104? Based in the information that we have it was not.
 
Now, what happen if we use only the known males? Let’s see:
* M102 – 200 kg
* M105 – 261 (272+) kg
* M126 – 261 (272+) kg
* Banga Bhale – 204 kg
 
200 (M102) + 272 (M105) + 272 (M126) + 204 (Banga Bhale) = 948/4 = 237 kg
 
Now let’s not forget that the male 102 was baited in the two captures, we can use also the “official” figure of male 105 and the same for the equally sized male 126, while “Banga Bhale” was not baited, according with Mishra (2010). The weights should be:
 
184 (M102) + 261 (M105) + 261 (M126) + 204 (Banga Bhale) = 910/4 = 227.5 kg
 
So it seems that the weight of 4 adult males from Chitwan is about 237 kg with net weight or at least 227.5 kg “adjusted”.
 
There is a male of 180 kg mentioned by Mishra (2010), but as we know that the male was indeed included in the document of Smith et al. (1983), was probably included as a “subadult”.
 
Conclusion:
As we can see, I manage to get all the tigers captured in Chitwan from 1973-1980, plus the other males captured in 1984.
 
My conclusion is that 3 adult males and 7 adult females were included in the study of 1983. It is more than sure that some of the 12 recaptures of the females included some of the new females that were captured latter as adults, but this was not the case in the males.
 
Also the “Baghmara” male was probably the male 126 and the difference in weight is probably just an estimation with empty belly, or just a random number for the book.
 
These are the results from my investigation. Like I always say, I invite to all to check the documents that I read and maybe you may get to other conclusions, or maybe you can get to the same one. There is a reference that I will like to read:
* Smith, J. L. D. (1984). Dispersal, communication and conservation strategies for the tiger (Panthera tigris) in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Ph.D. thesis. University of Minnesota, St. Paul.
 
I could not found it, but something tells me that this paper can help us to clarify some of the “plot holes” of this movie that I could not solve entirely.
 
I hope you have enjoyed the reading, I wish the best to all.
 
Greetings!!!
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GuateGojira Offline
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@Rishi, did you changed the name of the entire topic? Is so, why?

It cost me a lot to found it. Sad
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India Rishi Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-17-2019, 09:49 AM by Rishi )

(07-17-2019, 08:32 AM)GuateGojira Wrote: @Rishi, did you changed the name of the entire topic? Is so, why?

It cost me a lot to found it. Sad

There were 3-4 separate threads that got created over time on this same topic, most of them short & dead. I think i merged those during or after the forum rearrangement. 
Sorry for the inconveniences.

In future, try simply googling the name of the thread you looking for with "Wildfact". Eg: Wildfact king of tigers... The search result will lead here, even if the thread had been renamed or merged.
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GuateGojira Offline
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Short note: Update on the post of Nepalese tigers.
 
I made an update in my post No. 430. I was thinking about the numbers and I conclude now that in fact there were only 3 adult male tigers captured during the period of 1973 and 1980. This make sense as after the death of M102 in 1976, the large male 105 dominated practically the entire Chitwan NP until his death in 1979 and in that moment he was fighting with male 126 for dominance in the eastern part of the park. So it is obvious that no other dominant male was in the region until the death of Sauraha male. Paradoxically it seems that the dead of this male was the real reason why they stopped collaring new males and stick with the sample of 26 specimens.
 
From the point of view of the fans of “size and weights”, it is bad news that no other animal was captured, but for the scientists and fans of the “behavior of animals”, the Sauraha male was the best thing that could happen, as male 105 bring a period of peace where the behavior of tigers was studied in detail, where many cubs were raised and shows that an stable “kingdom” is the best thing that could happen to recover the tiger populations.
 
Greetings to all.  Happy
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( This post was last modified: 07-29-2019, 09:58 PM by GuateGojira )

Size of Chitwan tigers:


Through my investigation about the true about the tigers captured in Chitwan NP I manage to found a new document which brought light to one of the topics of big interest to all: body size.

Recently the last week I found this document:

“THE STATUS OF THE TIGER (PANTHERA, TIGRIS TIGRIS) AND ITS IMPACT ON PRINCIPAL PREY POPULATIONS IN THE ROYAL CHITAWAN NATIONAL PARK, NEPAL.”

The author of this thesis is no other than Dr Kirti Man Tamang and was published in 1982, one year after the monograph of Dr Sunquist. I am still reading it, so I don’t know if the information will update my conclusions, but for the moment it only confirmed it.


For example, it confirmed that the subadult male 104 was not captured as adult as they lost track of him after he dispersed. Also he includes information of tigress 109 which now I confirmed that was captured in 1977 and shows its body mass. But the most important thing is that I found that this is the document that presents the original measurements of the male tigers 102 and 105 PLUS the average measurements of the adult tigresses captured at that moment!!! Check this out:

 
*This image is copyright of its original author

Also, this table summarizes the information of all the animals captured by the project, including leopards, Sambars and even a sloth bear!


*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author


Incredible, don’t you think? Now about the method of measuring tigers, remember that Dr Sunquist already explained how it was:

 
*This image is copyright of its original author

So don’t start with that again, ok? Besides, there is more information about the body size of the deers captured in Chitwan NP, but I will post them in other topic, this is just for tigers.

What is important is that we can finally know the size of the tigresses captured. But you will say: Guate, but how can we know the head-body if there are just averages? You are right, there is only the average total length of the 6 adult females captured in that moment (267 cm) and the tail length (93 cm), but this give us an average head and body of 174 cm for the female tigers in Chitwan NP and that is important.

Now, I can dare to do something, and this will be my personal calculation based in the known facts. Knowing that the average tail represent 34.8% of the average total length, we can “speculate” that the same applies to the other specimens, so in this case I can do this to estimate the ranges:

F108 – Total length 251 cm * 34.8% = 87.4 cm = c.164 cm head body (the lower range).

F107 – Total length 282 cm * 34.8% = 98.1 cm = c.184 cm head body (the upper range).

In this form, we are able to reconstruct the maximum and minimum of head-body of the tigresses in Chitwan, however, how reliable will be that calculation? Well, we know that the tail of tigers is very variable and can be as much as 36% or as low as 30% (females in Cooch Behar and Sikhote-Alin). One tigress captured by Dr Karanth in Nagarahole NP had a relation of total length/tail of 35.1% (measured probably in the same way that the tigresses in Chitwan). The percentage of total length/tail for the tigresses in Cooch Behar and Sikhote Alin is 33.6% (n=17) and 34.5% (n=10) respectively, suggesting that, in average, the tigresses from Cooch Behar had shorter tails than those of Russia, if we assume that were measured with similar methods.

This means that the head-body length of the tigress 108 and 107 could be between 161-176 and 181-197 respectively. However remember that the tigresses in Cooch Behar were measured along the curves pressing the tape on the back and those from Russia were, apparently, measured in the same way, that is not the method used in Chitwan. So I will need a sample of tigresses measured between pegs or at least in straight line to get a better comparison.

Interesting is the fact that from 6 females the average chest girth was of 108 cm and the neck girth of 63 cm. This is bigger than that of the lionesses in Africa except those from Kalahari which had an average of 109.2 cm (Smuts et al., 1980). The average girth for tigresses in Cooch Behar is of 105 cm while that of those from Sikhote Alin is of 103 cm.  

Now, about the average weight, what figures used Dr Tamang to get the figure of 143 kg? Well in fact he used the highest figures of each tigress: 101-164, 103-129, 106-141, 107-154, 108-116 & 109-152 = c.143 kg mean.

Now we can add the weight of tigress F118 which weighed 159 kg, so the new average weight for adult females in Chitwan NP will be 145 kg (n=7) – range: 116 – 164 kg. Adjusting them with 14 kg of bait and/or pregnancy, the average will be as low as 131 kg, not different from my previous estimation.


This table summarizes the known sizes and weights of the adult tigers captured in Chitwan NP:

 
*This image is copyright of its original author

The length of M126 was taken from Dinerstein (2005) but I included only for reference as he don’t provide any exact number. I dare to make a calculation of the head-body length of the tigresses, and although I know that the variation is to large using just percentage values, I believe that at least the maximum and minimum that I included in the lower table (in italic and blue color) are close to the real figures, but as I said, those are my personal estimations, just that.

Now, here come all the images that summarize the information that we know about the size and weight of the Chitwan tigers at the moment, all data of Tamang (1982) is already showed above in this post:

Sunquist, 1981:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Dinerstein, 2003:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Dinerstein, 2005:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Mishra, 2010 - on Female 118:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Mishra, 2010 - on tiger "Banga Bhale":

*This image is copyright of its original author

Now, I cannot explain how important is for me to get these two documents:

* Smith, J. L. D. 1984. Dispersal, communication and conservation strategies for the tiger (Panthera tigris) in Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Ph.D. thesis. University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

* Sunquist, M. E. 1979. The movements and activities of tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in Royal Chitawan National Park, Nepal. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 170 pp.


Really, I tried to found it in the web and I am unable to reach them. Worldcat page says that are physical copies in some libraries in specific states in the US, so if someone can travel or live close to those places, please take a few pictures of it, try to search any information of body size and weights and, if possible, more information about the male tigers, specifically M105, M126 and any other male.

Thank for your attention, greetings to all. Happy

Ps. I made more modifications in my post 430. Check the new table and some minor changes in the text.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 07-30-2019, 04:46 AM by peter )

GUATE

Excellent work! Contact Tigerluver for the two missing documents, as he graduated in biology and should have access to most scientific publications. If he's out, contact Sunquist. My guess is he's willing to help out.

As to lengths. Nepal tigresses just about compare to wild Amur tigresses, but the mail of Mel Sunquist on the method used in Nepal suggests they could have been measured in a slightly different way. If anything, they could be a trifle longer.

As to weights. As a result of the reasons described in previous posts (in the tiger thread), I prefer field weights over adjusted weights. Field weights from Chitwan tigresses suggest they could be among the heaviest in wild tigresses. 

Lionesses in southwestern Africa compare in most departments, but info posted by 'The Lioness' suggests quite a few prey on domestic animals. Nepal tigresses also hunt domestic animals, but not as often as in southwestern Africa. Male lions in southwestern Africa also are large. 

The conclusion on the size of tigers in Nepal and northern India I got to, however, isn't based on recent information but on records of hunters I consider both reliable and accurate. The information from Chitwan confirms the info collected by the Corbetts a century ago, but the sample is too small. Furthermore, information on the size of Nepal tigers is contradictory at times.
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