Zoology & Botany


Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy tiger in advance, as well as a sample of fur.

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a tiger.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out. The tiger is the largest member of the felid (cat) family. They have long, thick reddish coats with white bellies and white and black tails. Their heads, bodies, tails and limbs have narrow black, brown or gray stripes. Beneath the colored coat that is visible to onlookers lies a soft under-fur. This serves to insulate the tiger, keeping it warm and relatively dry in light drizzle. The tiger’s hind legs are longer than those in the front, which allows them to jump powerfully. The padded feet allow the tiger to hunt stealthily, without being heard by the prey, while the long claws enable the animal to grab, clutch and tear its prey. The tiger´s tongue has a rough surface caused by papillae, or rasps. This helps the tiger to rid its prey of fur and feathers with a few firm licks.

Unlike other species of cats, tigers are competent swimmers; they will readily enter the water, and can be found lying half-submerged in streams and lakes in the mid-day heat These serve as false eyes so that potential predators are under the impression that the tiger is alert and watching them. Go back to the picture of the tiger. Say: let’s find tiger’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; Most people easily recognize the tiger due to the stripes found on their bodies. These patterns of white and black stripes create very interesting and unique patterns. They give the tiger a coloring that helps them to camouflage amongst the shadow of the long grass. Tigers are living things and need energy to survive. They are carnivores because most of a tiger's diet consists of large prey, such as pigs, deer, rhinos or elephant calves. Tigers are fierce predators with a calculated intelligence that makes them one of the leaders out there in their natural environment. They have been able to successfully evolve from ancient tigers for almost 2 million years and they have kept continually adapting well to their surroundings. Tigers are predominately solitary creatures, they occupy territories that are defended against intruders of the same sex and are marked with urine and scrapes at the boundaries. Males have larger territories that overlap those of several females, with whom they mate. Mating occurs throughout the year and the female gives birth to a litter of around two to three cubs after a four month gestation period. Cubs learn to hunt and kill from around six months of age but remain dependent on their mother for at least 15 months, after which time they will disperse to find their own territory. Tigers live in Asia. Larger subspecies, such as the Siberian tiger, tend to live in northern, colder areas, such as eastern Russia and northeastern China. Smaller subspecies live in southern, warmer countries, such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. We need to take care of Tigers and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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