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The Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, has a pattern of stripes that is completely unique to every individual. One of the world’s most critically endangered animals, this tiger is the most recognized subspecies and the national animal of Malaysia.
See the fact file below for more information on the Malayan tiger or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Malayan Tiger worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ORIGIN AND TAXONOMY
- In 1758, Carl Linnaeus proposed the scientific name Felis tigris.
- However, in 1968, Vratislav Mazák suggested Panthera tigris corbetti for the tiger subspecies in southeast Asia.
- In 2004, its scientific name, Panthera tigris jacksoni, came from conservationist Peter Jackson and was categorized as a subspecies as a genetic analysis showed differences in mtDNA and microsatellite sequences to P. t. corbetti.
- The Malaysian people call this tiger ‘harimau,’ or ‘rimau’ for short. They also refer to him as ‘Pak Belang’ which means “uncle stripes” in English.
- It is hard to point out the differences between the Malayan and the Indochinese tigers, when these species from the two regions are compared.
- Malayan tigers are relatively smaller than Bengal tigers. Males grow to an average length of 8 ft 6 in from head to tail, while females reach around 7 ft 10 in.
- Male Malayan tigers weigh between 220 to 330 lbs while females are around 170 to 240 lbs.
- They sport an orange fur on their back, tail, head, and face along with patterns of black stripes and white undersides.
- These tigers also have a rough tongue, long whiskers, and piercing yellow eyes. Their tongues are lined with small flexible spikes called papillae, which scrape the fur or feathers off the prey they are about to eat.
- Generally, the Malayan tiger is the smallest subspecies of mainland tiger. Comparing it to the Siberian tiger, largest of all the species, the latter grows 10.5 ft long and weighs as much as 660 lbs.
HABITAT AND DIET
- From the name itself, Malayan tigers are native to Malaysia in southeast Asia. They specifically live in the tropical forests of Pahang, Kelantan, Perak, and Terengganu, where there are dense trees, making it easier for them to stalk and catch their prey.
- They are commonly found swimming in rivers and streams in the area, staying cool as well as traveling to other places to hunt for prey. Their webbed paws and strong legs help them stay afloat.
- Just like any other cat, Malayan tigers have eyes that capture a large amount of light so they can find food at night. Moreover, sensory nerves in the whiskers allow them to navigate in the dark forest during nighttime.
- Malayan tigers are carnivores – they feed on a few types of Sambar and Barking deer, wild boar, bearded pigs, serow, and sun bears.
- They also prefer to go after the older and vulnerable animals in a herd, as they are easy prey.
- Malayan tigers are also notorious for going after baby elephants. There are instances when adult elephants in groups surround a young elephant to protect it from tigers and other predators.
- When hunting their prey, they use short bursts of speed to capture them. Most of the time, the prey is brought to a specific place to feast on. These large cats can feed on 88 pounds of meat in one sitting.
PREDATORS AND THREATS
- Humans are the well-known primary predators of Malayan tigers.
- Aside from humans, these tigers also face a number of threats such as loss of habitat and poaching.
- They are hunted for their skin and different body parts to produce a number of medicines.
- There are times when these tigers are killed by farmers when these big cats attack their livestock.
REPRODUCTION, BABIES, AND LIFESPAN
- Their breeding season starts and ends in November and March, though they mate year-round.
- Males have a territory that usually has a group of females he copulates with.
- A female Malayan tiger is pregnant for about 100 days. During this phase, she searches for a den to have her babies in. She gives birth to between two to four babies per litter and raises her kids on her own.
- Baby tigers are known as cubs. They are born blind, they cannot walk, and they are covered with fur that is very light in color.
- For the first two months, these cubs are dependent to their mother. At one to two weeks, their eyes slowly open and a week after, they can wander around.
- After three months, the cubs start to go out with their mother where they figure out how to hunt and feed on meat. These baby tigers wrestle and play with one another to build strength and learn how to stealthily follow prey.
- Before they reach four months, their fur begins to turn orange and the black stripe pattern starts to emerge. They stay with their mother until they reach one and a half years old.
- The death rate of Malayan baby tigers is high – about 50% of these cubs do not reach the age of two. They are helpless at birth and can be attacked by other animals and even by other adult tigers.
- Malayan tigers in the wild reach 15 to 20 years old.
CONSERVATION AND POPULATION
- Conservation efforts are continuously made to protect the Malayan tigers. Currently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists this tiger as a critically endangered species.
- In 2013, records show that there were only 250 to 340 adult Malayan tigers left in existence.
- Most likely, their numbers are fewer now because of habitat loss and poaching by humans.
Malayan Tiger Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Malayan tiger across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Malayan Tiger worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, which has a pattern of stripes that is completely unique to every individual. One of the world’s most critically endangered animals, this tiger is the most recognized subspecies and the national animal of Malaysia.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- South China Tiger Facts
- Fine, Fresh, Fierce
- Fact Check
- Roar or False
- Sketch Amoy
- Stripe Recap
- Tiger Subspecies
- Tiger Comparison
- Extinct Tigers
- State of the Tiger
- Louder Growl
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Link will appear as Malayan Tiger Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 2, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.