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Tracy Tran's Siberian Tiger Report
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Tracy Tran's Siberian Tiger Spring Research Report
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Endangered species is a very wide-ranging issue, which involves animals as well as the environment of where those creatures live and interact with each other.  For example, Siberian tigers are critically endangered species.  They are closely related to Snow leopards, which are also a species close to extinction.  Most Siberian tigers like to live in dense areas.  They are huge creatures with claws that are used to kill their prey.  Siberian tigers have a very small diversity.  If any sickness or atypical genetic disorder were to occur, it would probably pass on to the next generation.  This would possibly kill all of the Siberian tigers.  Siberian tigers are losing their habitat because of us.  Humans are continuing to destroy their environment, and these helpless creatures cannot do anything about it.

The Siberian tiger’s scientific name is Panthera Tigris, which originated from the Greek word pan- which means “all”, and the word thereon, which means “beast”, this is a legend from folk etymology.  The word “tiger” also comes from the Greek word “Tigris”, which started from a Persian word that means “arrow”.  Some people think that the spot on the Siberian tigers’ temple is a sign of “Wang”, which means King (Anonymous G 2012, 1).  The Siberian tiger’s scientific classification for Kingdom is Animalia, Phylum is  Chordata, Class is Mammalia, Order is Carnivora, Family is Felidae, Subfamily is Pantherinae, Genus is Panthera, Species is P. tigris, and Subspecies is P. tigris altaica (Anonymous D 2002, 1).  Between 3.6 and 2.5 million years ago, jaguars began to develop, while lions and leopards divided from one other.  However, tigers had already appeared by this point in time.  The earlier species of tigers and snow leopards also divided off around 3.9 million years ago.  Subsequently, tigers started to change into a sole species, approximately 3.2 million years ago.  This mean that tigers and snow leopards are considered "sister species". The genetic study exposes how tigers began developing 3.2 million years ago.  Tigers are the closest living family member to the equally endangered Snow leopard (Walker B 2009, 2). 

Siberian tigers can be found in an assortment of environments.  They can be located in various diverse areas such as woodlands, swamps, grasslands, savannas, rocky country, ravines and or forests.  Siberian tigers like areas that provide dense cover, access to water and sufficient large prey.  While some Siberian tigers favor areas such as long grass, others prefer shrubs along riverbanks, such as the river in extreme Eastern Russia (Hume 2012, 3).  Siberian tigers live in the Amur-Ussuri region of Northern Asia, Northern China, Korea, Southeastern Siberia and Manchuria (Smith 2012, 1).  The Siberian tiger’s geographic range is limited to the Amur region of Russia in the Far East, where it is now protected, and China and maybe Korea (Anonymous B 2011, 5).

Siberian tigers are considered the biggest existing cats on the planet.  They have over 3 inch long teeth, which is the lengthiest of all animals on planet Earth.  The Siberian tiger's mouth is extremely powerful and large which gives the species the ability to kill their prey with just one bite.  Siberian tigers have brown and black stripes along their entire body.  Siberian tiger's stripes are parallel to a human’s thumbprint; there are no two tigers with exactly the same stripe pattern.  They have dissimilar fur during different seasons.  For example, during the summer, Siberian tigers have a shadowy coat of fur, and during the colder seasons, their fur is more compressed, longer, cushioned and lighter in color.  Siberian tigers have extensive, bushy fur that assists them to survive winter temperatures as low as negative forty degrees (MacDonald 2010, 1). 

Male Siberian tigers weigh between four hundred pounds and seven hundred pounds, and female Siberian Tigers weigh between two hundred and twenty pounds and three hundred and seventy pounds (Hume 2012, 1).  Siberian tigers' tails are typically slightly shorter than half the head and body length.  Their ears are tiny and rounded.  Siberian tigers' four legs are heavy; the hind legs are larger and allow them to be good jumpers.  Siberian tigers' huge paws have retractable claws.  Their eyes have round pupils and yellow irises.  The night vision for Siberian tigers is six times greater than that of humans.  They have a white belly with wobbly skin over it because it decreases the possibility of damage from a kicking prey.  Siberian tigers have black ears with white spots and a black and white tail (Anonymous A 2007, 3).

Tigers have internal fertilization and direct development.  They have separate sexes and they have live babies.  They have sexual reproduction.  Reproduction in tigers starts with the female advertising her readiness to mate.  When she enter estrus, the time when a female is receptive and capable of producing young, the female will scent-mark her range frequently with smelly urine.  During estrus, the female also roars and/or moans until she draws a male.  When the male reaches an estrous female, he may or may not respond to her roars.  They begin mating by circling each other and growling.  Eventually, the tigers rub their bodies against each other and copulation begins.  Then the female releases an egg and fertilization can begin.  It can take many tries to successfully do fertilization (Anonymous I 2012, 1). After Siberian Tigers mate with each other, about 100 days later young cubs are born.  The cubs usually weigh below three pounds and are striped.  15 days later, the cubs begin to see life for the first time.  A female Siberian Tiger has a litter of about one to six cubs.  However, two to three cubs only survive.  Siberian tigers can give birth at any time during the year.  Like humans, the mother of the cubs protects her cubs, while the father searches for food.  The lifespan of Siberian Tigers is a limit of sixteen years (Hume 2012, 6). 

Siberian Tigers frequently consume at night because they usually tend to stalk their prey first.  They prey on animals such as deer, moose, rabbit, birds, fish, bears, elk lynx, hares, pigs, cattle, goats, and undersized creatures.  However, Siberian Tigers like to eat buffalos, antelopes, and rodents more often.  When a Siberian Tiger wants to assault their prey, they bounce on their prey while attempting to bite its neck (Anonymous B 2011, 4).  Siberian tigers use their four legs to walk and run.  Unlike humans, they support their weight with their toes rather than with their feet.  Siberian tigers can move quickly and quietly.  They cannot walk upright like humans do, but for short periods of time, they have the ability to stand on their hind limbs.  Although exceptionally large males may weigh up to 660 pounds, they can run at speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour, and even 50 mph through snow.  Their anatomical build and leg muscles allow this incredible swiftness, though they can only maintain it for short periods.  When hunting, the Siberian tigers can make rapid attacks and run faster than 50 miles per hour.  Keeping this pace is however extremely energy consuming and Siberian tigers will only run short distances at this velocity.  Siberian tigers have a well-developed night vision and prefer to hunt during the night when it can surprise its prey.  It will also use its sensitive hearing and sense of smell to locate and strike down on prey (MacDonald 2010, 1).

Siberian tiger’s front paws are large and strong to bring down prey.  The front paws of a tiger have five toes each.  The claws can be pulled inside while the tiger walks, which helps keep the claws sharp.  Siberian tigers also use their claws to mark their territory by scratching on trees.  Conveniently, this also sharpens the claws.  Siberian tigers are patient hunters and can move slowly and quietly, stalking their prey for 20 or 30 minutes (Anonymous B 2011, 3).  Siberian tiger’s large canine teeth and powerful jaws are used to grab a prey animal by the neck and suffocate.  Siberian tigers use their sandpaper-rough tongues to scrape the last bits of meat from the bones of a meal.  Using its paws, it then covers the leftovers with grass and dirt to hide it from vultures and other scavengers.  Siberian tigers’ stripes assist them by camouflaging themselves from their victim while hunting.  They hunt using sneakiness, swiftness, and pure power.  Siberian tiger have chunky fur for warmth.  They have tremendously strong leg muscles for stalking and jumping.  Siberian tigers have an excellent hearing and night vision.  They also have razor-sharp teeth and claws (Anonymous J 2012, 2).  Siberian tigers do not hibernate because during winter, they use an extra layer of fat around their flanks and belly. Tigers breathe with their lungs.  They have a 2-loop circulatory system, closed circulation, with a 4-chambered heart.  Tigers have a nervous system with a complex brain, which has an extremely complex cerebrum.  Their digestive system consists of a stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, and a large intestine.  Tigers excrete urea as their nitrogen waste and their excretory system consists of two kidneys (Anonymous I 2012, 1).

The Siberian tiger’s survival status is endangered.  They are endangered because people hunt them.  For example, “The team tracked one female named Olga for 13 years, during which she gave birth six times and reared at least six cubs to maturity.  We were hoping she would die of old age, says Miquelle, but she died the way most tigers die, killed by a poacher” (Conniff 2012, 3).  The central threats are poaching and habitat loss.  In addition, people in Asia use different pieces of their body, such as the brains, eyes and tails, for medicine and to cure diseases (Smith 2012, 2).  Siberian tigers are also being executed because people sell and trade their bones, whiskers and other parts for loads of money.  Siberian tigers are losing their habitats because humans keep cutting down trees, there is not a lot of land for them, moving into their preferred locations, polluting the water and air, and hunting their prey.  Our planet is continually changing, this causes habitats to be altered and modified, but these tend to happen at a gradual pace.  This allows most species to adapt to the changing environment, where only a slight impact may take place.  However, when changes occur at a fast pace, there is little or no time for an individual species to react and adjust to the new circumstances.  This cause disastrous results, and for this reason, rapid habitat loss is the primary cause of species becoming endangered.  Nearly every region of earth has been affected by human activity.  It is difficult for an individual to recognize the effects that humans have had on specific species.  It is even more difficult to predict human effects on individual species and environments, especially during one lifetime (Walker 2009, 1).  Since there are about five hundred Siberian tigers in the whole wide world, they are extremely low in diversity.  This means that if any disease and or rare genetic disorders will probably be passed on to the next generation.  If Siberian tigers had a more diverse genetic population, this would increase the Siberian tiger’s chance of survival, it would cancel out diseases and disorders with healthy genes.  When you remove one element from a fragile ecosystem, it has far-reaching and long lasting effects on biodiversity.  This impact on local communities, habitats and other species, which share the tiger's home.  The tiger is at the top of the food chain in all the ecosystems it lives in.  As such, it keeps populations of deer, wild pig, antelope and gaur in check.  Without the tiger to control them these prey species would expand (Zelman 2011, 1).

A squad of scientists had just accomplished a two-month time-consuming adventure in the Russian Far East where most Siberian tigers are located.  Their task was to collect information on the Siberian tigers.  The team of scientists did successfully seized two Amur tigers, Panthera tigris altaica. The group of scientists inspected one of the tigers.  They also took blood samples before the Siberian tiger was carefully released into the wild again.  Scientists collect information on the physical condition of the Siberian tigers and bears in this area because it also shares the habitat with Amur leopards.  Therefore, if any diseases are found in Siberian tiger and or bears, it could put a risk to the leopards.  It is very important to know what diseases are spreading around the bears, Siberian tigers, and Amur leopards because this could carry on to the next generation.  Scientists used the blood samples of Siberian tigers to check for certain genetic points.  Those points were engraved in the DNA code that showed that whether the parents of the species were much related to each other or whether they were genetically different.  The evidence from the analysis pointed towards a bottleneck in recent history, had severe effect on the variety of genes in the gene pool.  Throughout the 20th century, the Siberian tiger was nearly forced to extinction.  Humans began logging and poaching, which forced the Siberian tiger out of about ninety percent of its range (Anonymous H 2012, 1).  However, in most recent news, "China and Russia signed an agreement that called on environmental officials from Russia to work with their Chinese counterparts to do more to protect Siberian tigers and Amur leopards" (Yong, Shenyang 2012, 1).

Almost every person and place has something she or he believes in.  Those things are frequently identified as a myth or legend.  To a greater part of Asian beliefs, they believe in a god and myths on animals.  For instance, for China, on Chinese New Year, they have a gigantic thing for animals like the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar.  Depending on what year you were born in, your animal will vary.  Since I was born in the year of 1997, I am an Ox.  In Chinese Mythology, there was a tale of boys going in the woods and turning into tigers.  It is a tale of respecting the animal, and showing that an animal is helpful.

In conclusion, endangered species is a huge problem, which humans can possibly prevent.  Siberian tigers are endangered species.  Like you and your cousin, Siberian tigers are related to the almost instinct Snow leopard.  Siberian tigers like surroundings that are very dense.  Siberian tigers are 4-legged creatures that use their claws to hunt their prey.  They have a tiny diversity, so if any illness and or different genetic order were to happen, it would pass on to the next generation.  This means that there is a chance of the Siberian tigers will become instinct.  People are destroying their environment for their own gain.  Can you imagine all the animals in the world being extinct?  If we can cause the Siberian tiger to be an endangered species, then we can take them off the endangered list. 

Bibliography:
1. Anonymous D 2002 "Amur (Siberian) Tigers) Web. http://www.denverzoo.org/downloads/dzoo_tiger.pdf
2. Anonymous A 2007 "Siberian Tiger " Web. http://www.alexandgregory.com/siberian_tigers.html
3. Anonymous B 2011 "Amur Tiger " Web. http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/zoo/Meet-Our-Animals/Mammals/Carnivores/Amur-Tiger.htm
4. Anonymous G 2012 "How did the tiger get its name what does it mean in greek and where do they live " Web. http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/how-did-the-tiger-get-its-name-what-does-it-mean-in-greek-and-where-do-they-live
5. Anonymous H 2012 "Amur Leopard Conservation " Web. http://www.amur-leopard.org/
6. Anonymous I 2012 "Tigers Digestive System " Web. http://www.edurite.com/kbase/tiger+digestive+system
7. Conniff 2012 "Can CHina save the Amur tigers? " Web. http://environment.yale.edu/magazine/spring2010/can-china-save-the-amur-tiger/P0/
8. Anonymous J "Amur Tigers" Web. http://www.mnzoo.org/animals/animals_tiger.asp
9. Hume 2012 "Tigers " Web. http://www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/tiger.htm
10. MacDonald "Amur Tiger " Web. http://zookeepersjournal.com/wiki/index.php?title=Amur_Tiger
11. Smith 2012 "Siberian Tiger " Web. http://www.animalfactguide.com/animalfacts/siberian-tiger/
12. Walker 2009 "Amur tigers on genetic brink " Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8128000/8128738.stm
13. Walker B 2009 "Tigers evolved with snow leopards , gene study reveals " Web. http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8512000/8512455.stm
14. Yong, Shenyang 2012 "Progress in work to protect rare tigers,leopards " Web. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sunday/2012-04/29/content_15173783.htm
15. Zelman 2011 "Siberian Tiger Population is Drastically low, scientists report " Web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/07/siberian-tiger-population_n_829348.html
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