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The tiger is part of the kingdom Animalia phylum Chordata class Carnivora family Felidae subfamily Panthernae genusspecies Panthera tigris Tigers have round pupils and yellow irises except for the blue eyes of white tigers Due to a retinal adaptation that reflects light back to the retina the night vision of tigers is six times better than that of humans Like domestic cats tiger claws are retractable Tiger scratches on trees serve as territorial markers No one knows exactly why tigers are striped but scientists think that the stripes act as camouflage See diagram A and help tigers hide from their prey The Sumatran tiger has the most stripes of all the tiger subspecies and the Siberian tiger has the fewest stripes Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes The tigers head often carries the Chinese mark of wang or king on the forehead Most tigers have an orange coat with dark brown or black stripes accented with white Tigers that live in cold climates Siberian tigers have thicker fur than tigers that live in warm climates A tigers tail is 3 to 4 feet long about half as long as its body Tigers use their tails for balance when they run through fast turns They also use their tails to communicate with other tigers Where did tigers come from Tigers and all other carnivores are descended from civet-like animals called miacids that lived during the age of the dinosaurs about 60 million years ago These small mammals with long bodies and short flexible limbs evolved over millions of years into several hundred different species including cats bears dogs and weasels Approximately 37 cat species exist today including Panthera tigris the tiger Tigers evolved in eastern Asia and while some of the earliest tiger fossils have been found in
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