Bengal Tigers vs Sumatran Tigers
Both Bengal and Sumatran tigers are magnificent creatures, naturally ranging in two regions of Asia. There is a very close relationship between them as both of them belong in the same species, but different subspecies. They are two of Asia’s most iconic animals, apart from Asian Elephant and Giant Panda. The differences between Bengali and Sumatran tigers would be interesting to discuss, as many people are not familiar with the distinguishing features between them.
Bengal tiger is native to Indian region, and it was the type specimen to describe the species Panthera tigris, and later scientists described it to the subspecies level. Since, Bengal tiger was the type specimen used in describing the species, scientists named P. t. tigris as the subspecies. It has another significance being the national animal of Bangladesh. There are about 2,000 Bengal tigers distributed in the Indian region today, and the IUCN has classified it as an endangered species. A well-built adult male is about 235 kilograms of weight, almost three metres long, and height at the shoulders is about 90 to 120 centimetres. Their coat colour is yellow to light orange with black or dark brown stripes. Their tail is white with black rings, and the belly is whiter with black stripes. Colour mutations take place with black tigers and white tigers with black stripes, but not often. They demonstrate good adaptations to live under different environmental conditions. Their habitat ranges from the high cold altitudes of the Himalayan forests, to the hot steamy mangroves of the Sunderban of India.
Sumatran tiger is a subspecies of the Bengal tiger, known as Panthera tigris sumatrae. As the subspecies name indicates, they naturally range in Sumatra and in Indonesia as well. Sumatran tiger is one of the critically endangered animals in the world, according to IUCN, and there are only 300 surviving individuals. Therefore, it is very important to conserve them before their extinction. In body size, they are the smallest among tigers; a fully-grown adult male averages around 120 kilograms of weight and measures up to about 2.5 metres of length. Their small body helps them to move fast through the jungles to prey on animals. Sumatran tiger inhabit in lowland forests as well as sub-montain and montain forests, including some peat moss forests. Their coat is also yellow to golden in colour with narrow black stripes. Belly is white with black stripes and the tail is very light yellow with black rings. Their males have a well-developed hair on neck and cheek. Interestingly, the webbings between their toes make them very good swimmers.
What is the difference between Bengal and Sumatran Tigers?
• Bengal and Sumatran tigers are two subspecies of the same species.
• They naturally range in two different regions of Asia.
• Bengali tiger has proven themselves with their abilities to survive in a range of habitats including cold mountains and hot mangroves. However, Sumatran subspecies range mostly in forested areas.
• Bengal tiger is significantly bigger in size and weight than in Sumatran tigers. Sumatran tiger is the smallest tiger in their family.
• The current population of Bengal tiger is about 2000, but Sumatran tiger are only 300 survivors presently. The IUCN has categorized Bengal and Sumatran tigers as endangered and critically endangered respectively.
• The strip of the coat of the Bengal tiger is thicker than in Sumatran tiger.
• Bengal tiger is a national animal of a country but Sumatran tiger has not gain that kind of value. However, both these are flagship species.