There’s no question that tigers are apex predators.
Despite their large frames, they’re able to stealthily pursue their targets through thick jungles and foliage.
Because the jungles are full of other dangerous creatures, an apex predator has to be pretty strong and cunning to survive.
You may wonder just how strong a tiger is.
Here’s what you need to know about tigers and their strength.
How Strong Is A Tiger?
Tigers can exert around 10,000 pounds of force when swiping at their enemies with their paws.
Their paws are quite large, too, growing up to 8 x 8 inches.
Considering that their paws have sharp claws on the end of them, they can dole out serious damage.
A single swipe with a tiger’s paw can kill most animals or shatter their spine.
They, like bears, can cause serious damage.
That isn’t the only strong aspect of a Tiger either.
Their legs are also quite strong.
Tigers have strong hind legs that allow them to leap as high as 16 feet.
They’re also a bit longer than their forelegs.
The strength and length allow tigers to pounce on their prey or leap up to trees to stalk from above.
Finally, a tiger’s bite force is also quite strong.
The average bite strength of a tiger is 1,050 PSI.
That’s about six times stronger than a human’s.
With all these attributes together, tigers are one of the strongest, if not the strongest, felines in the wild.
Why Are Tigers So Strong?
Considering the sheer strength that tigers possess, you may wonder where it all comes from and how it’s possible.
Here are a few physical aspects of the tiger that give it its feats of strength.
1. Muscle Mass
Tigers can weigh anywhere from 200 to 700 pounds with some of them even reaching 800 pounds.
As far as animals go, they’re pretty heavy.
The astounding thing about tigers is that most of that weight is muscle.
Tigers only have about 7.7% body fat, which means the rest of their body is practically all muscle.
Strong muscles in the legs, back, and chest allow them to attack savagely, climb, and even swim at quick speeds.
Tigers are strong because of the amount of muscle mass that they have on their bodies.
2. Strong Skeletons
Having a lot of muscles doesn’t matter if your skeleton isn’t strong enough to support them.
Otherwise, the risk of fractures and breaks increases.
That’s why tigers also have extremely strong skeletons.
It helps support the weight of the body.
Their skeletons also give them unique abilities on the hunt.
For example, a tiger’s stout skull allows it to perform powerful bites with its jaw.
It even has a smaller clavicle which enables it to walk and run faster than most other animals.
The small collarbone means that the tiger can swing its legs with more freedom and flexibility.
In terms of attacking, it means they can put more force behind their swipes.
Because of the strength and unique shape of their skeletons, tigers can be strong and powerful.
3. Long Teeth
Tigers have some of the longest teeth in the feline species.
However, a tiger has fewer teeth than lions and some other big cats.
That’s because there’s less room in their mouths.
Most of the space goes to two large canines.
Tigers use these canines to pierce into their prey and crush through them.
The average length of their canines is 50.8 mm.
This is another reason tigers are strong.
They’re able to use their long and sharp teeth to impale their victims and kill them in one bite.
Their teeth are also slightly different from a lion’s because they’re mostly straight.
A lion’s jaw, and thus its teeth, curve slightly.
It’s the straight nature of a tiger’s mouth that allows it to rely on pressure rather than catching its teeth on its prey to kill.
They’re able to exert all their energy into their biting power.
Tigers are strong because of the shape and size of their teeth.
4. Webbed Feet
Not everyone can get up close to a tiger, so not everyone realizes that they have webbed feet.
Between a tiger’s toes is a thin membrane that enables it to swim quickly and easily.
That makes tigers able to hunt on the forest floor, in the trees, and in the water.
Considering that some tigers live in swamps, it makes sense that they have webbed feet.
Since they’re sharing their space with crocodiles and other dangerous creatures, tigers wouldn’t last long if they didn’t have great maneuverability.
This feature also helps their strength.
A tiger can do more damage when they’re moving quickly.
The momentum coupled with their natural strength can lead to devastating blows.
Thanks to their webbed feet, tigers are still able to maintain a decent speed in watery environments, too.
They can swim and stalk unsuspecting prey and demolish it while it takes a drink.
If a tiger finds itself in trouble, then its webbed feet can also help it escape the area.
It gives them just enough speed to aid their strength.
Tigers are strong because of their webbed feet.
5. Constant Struggle To Survive
While most tigers become born quite strong, it’s through their constant struggle to survive that they really develop their muscles.
Tigers live in areas that are fraught with danger.
They share their territories with other apex predators, which means they sometimes have to fight for territory.
Tigers will come up against bears, leopards, and even wolves.
While they’re usually able to avoid or ignore these other creatures, there are times when territorial confrontations occur.
As food sources become limited, these confrontations grow more numerous.
Since tigers have to fight for their survival during these skirmishes, they hone their muscles and instincts.
Just like a human working out at a gym, tigers can build up their strength.
6. Long Legs
A final reason tigers are strong is their long legs.
Tigers have longer back legs than they do front legs.
Their longer back legs help them leap, climb, and even run.
Since they’re longer, they’re able to have a bit more muscle on them.
This helps the tiger leap to incredible heights.
They can also rely on their hind legs to dig into a tree and help them climb vertically.
Finally, if they want to pounce or run, then their larger hind legs can catapult them forward.
A tiger’s long legs are a powerful weapon and one of the reasons they’re so strong.
How Good Are A Tiger’s Senses?
Besides their strength, another reason tigers are such powerful predators is their highly developed senses.
Like other felines, tigers are nocturnal predators.
While they may be active in the day, they primarily hunt at night.
Their eyes have small pupils which allow them to see better at night.
Perhaps the biggest advantage they have is their hearing.
Tigers can hear things beyond human hearing.
They can hear the scuttling of prey on the jungle floor.
They can also hear the low rumblings of other tigers in the distance.
They use vocal communication, like roaring, to communicate with other tigers.
Sometimes it’s time to find mates.
Other times, it’s to ward off others from entering their territory.
When tigers aren’t hunting or resting, they’re patrolling their territory.
This leads to the third-best sense that they have.
While tigers don’t have as good a sense of smell as canines, it is powerful enough to help them smell each other’s scents.
Tigers will rub their heads and paws on trees and rocks to mark their territory.
That’s because their paws, in particular, have glands on them that emit a scent unique to the tiger.
When another tiger comes near, it’s able to smell the markings on the trees and rocks.
This tells it to stay clear of the area.
Most do unless they’re looking to expand their own territory.
Due to a tiger’s sharp senses, they’re able to become even more efficient killers.
What Is A Tiger’s Predator?
Tigers are apex predators.
That means they’re at the top of the food chain.
There isn’t anything that hunts them down for food.
That’s because the tiger is such an efficient killing machine that few other animals can compete with it.
That said, there is one predator that is doing incredible damage to tiger populations.
Due to deforestation caused by humans, the tiger’s natural habitats have been severely reduced.
Here are a few reasons humans are a tiger’s ultimate predator.
1. Increased Confrontation
As habitats grow smaller and smaller, tigers are unable to avoid each other as easily.
For their own survival, they have to fight other tigers to take control of their territory and have better access to food and water for themselves.
It’s not unlike those scenes in post-apocalyptic films and shows where one group of humans kills another group of humans because they need access to the food and water that they have.
The idea of sharing doesn’t compute with tigers since they’re solitary by nature.
Even if they did learn how to share, it’s unlikely that the food sources would be enough to sustain them both.
Since territories are growing smaller and smaller, tigers have to fight each other more to claim an area.
They’re killing themselves as a result.
However, they’re only doing so because deforestation caused by humans is reducing their habitats.
2. Limited Food Sources
Some tigers are also starving to death.
As deforestation destroys some portion of a jungle, it means every animal in that area is suddenly without a home.
If they’re not killed during the deforestation process, then they find themselves scattered.
A tiger is also scattered from its familiar surroundings.
It may be unable to find food because all the other animals have either fled, died, or starved to death.
Tigers eat all manner of animals, but the majority of them are herbivores.
Herbivores have less to eat, too, when the jungle no longer exists.
Whether it was leaves, fruits, or even grass, deforestation gets rid of it all.
Those animals may try to find new homes elsewhere, but they’re competing with others as well.
As competition for limited resources grows, deaths will inevitably occur.
This then impacts how many animals are available for carnivores to eat.
With limited food, tigers either have to fight each other for food sources and die, or starve themselves.
Humans are the predators of tigers because they upset the ecological system which impacts the availability of food.
3. New Environmental Hazards
Due to deforestation, some tigers have no choice but to leave the area and try to live elsewhere.
The problem with this is that animals tend to evolve in such a way to give them the best chance of survival in that particular area.
The black stripes of a tiger, for example, help it blend in with the shadows of the jungle.
It won’t do well in an environment that doesn’t have a lot of shadows or foliage to hide in.
The difference in temperatures can also impact their survivability.
For example, some tigers live in warm and humid climates.
If they find themselves living in a more temperate area or even a cold area, then it can affect their bodies.
Their metabolisms may need more food to support these changes.
While there’s a chance that they might survive, they most certainly won’t thrive.
Humans are the predators of tigers because they force the animals to leave their natural habitats for their survival, but their bodies may not be able to handle the sudden change to a new environment.
4. Fewer Mates
A final reason humans are a tiger’s predator is the fact that our deforestation efforts also leave fewer mates for tigers to find.
All the problems listed earlier exacerbate this problem.
With fewer tigers surviving, it means there are fewer tigers around to mate.
This also means that there are fewer new tigers born every year.
With populations reducing each year, the ability to find a mate becomes even more difficult.
Due to deforestation, tigers are either dying or scattered and are unable to find mates to replenish their numbers as a result.
Who Would Win In A Fight: Tigers Or Lions?
Tigers and lions are both big cats.
With big teeth and claws, no one should want to encounter either of them in the wild.
Because of their similarities, you may wonder who might win in a fight if the two were to get into a battle.
To find out, it’s worth comparing the two.
1. Biting Power
Biting power refers to the amount of force or pressure that someone bites down with.
The higher the biting power, the more pressure that they apply.
For comparison, the average biting power of a human to chew food is 200 PSI.
When it comes to tigers and lions, they exert a lot more pressure.
Lions have an average biting power of 650 PSI.
In the grand scheme of animals, that’s actually not that strong.
It’s only 100 PSI higher than the strongest-biting dog, the English Mastiff.
Tigers, on the other hand, have incredible biting power.
Their average biting power is 1,050 PSI.
Clearly, tigers can cause more damage with their biting power than a lion.
Tigers also have longer teeth than a lion.
This means they can dig deeper and cause some serious damage.
2. Swipe Force
Besides teeth, the other main weapon that tigers and lions have is their claws.
Lions can swipe with a force of 400 pounds.
That’s pretty hard, especially if they’re digging their claws into your flesh.
However, the tiger wins out again.
Their paws can swipe with a force of 10,000 pounds.
There’s no question that if a tiger hits a lion with its paw, it’s going to do more damage.
3. Pack Tactics
There is one advantage that a lion has over a tiger, however.
Tigers are solitary creatures, so they’re always alone.
Lions, on the other hand, live in prides.
There may be a few males among them, but there’s usually one lead male and some lionesses.
It’s the lionesses who do a lot of the heavy lifting in a pride.
If their leader is under attack, then they’ll probably rush in to help.
While they may be weaker than a tiger, they have the numbers.
Even a powerful tiger can’t defend itself from a large pride.
Who Would Win?
Considering the attributes above, it’s pretty clear that a tiger would win in a fight against a lion.
The only time a tiger might face difficulty is if the lion brings its pride.
Tigers are extremely strong creatures.
Due to their build, muscle mass, and the constant fight for survival, they have evolved into an apex predator.
While they can likely easily take down a lion, they’re helpless against habitat destruction caused by deforestation.