Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Mighty Tiger

Boy, I have made a lot of progress with my latest stop-motion movie, “Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger.” But before we get onto that topic, let’s talk a little bit about what else has been going on around here.
The next rehearsal/casting call for the Christmas play, “A Big Misunderstanding” is going to happen on September 8th. We still need to fill in the speaking roles of Mira and Kate, and the other 12 non-speaking roles. I am really excited to get this project underway. If you would like to participate (and are close enough to help), please send me an email to, for locations, times and other need-to-know stuff.

 Now I can talk about the stop-motion movie: and it is 100% finished! I will show it on next week’s post. First though, I wanted to talk a little bit about the Panthera Tigris or, aka the “tiger”, since we talked about the lion last week. Not many people know this, but there were actually nine subspecies of tigers that have lived on the continent of Asia:
Bengal Tiger

Indochinese Tiger

Siberian Tiger

Malayan Tiger

Sumatran Tiger

South Chinese Tiger

Javan Tiger

Caspian Tiger
The only free Bali Tiger picture I could track down
 Today, there are only six species; the Caspian (which went extinct in the 1970's), the Bali (which went extinct in 1937) and Javan Tigers (which also went extinct in the 1970's) are all gone, which is why the pictures I found are in black and white. We’ll talk about why in just a minute. Now technically, tigers actually are related to lions, as only a single pair of cats came off Noah’s Ark after the Flood. And this cat kind had the DNA in it for ALL the later species of cats. And from this cat kind, a species called the tiger emerged from a process of natural selection. Natural selection is NOT evolution, by the way. However, today I wish to stay on the tiger topic, so for more on natural selection, check out one of my previous posts entitled “Return of the Great Mammoths”.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, I remember. Tigers all descended from the cat kind and from there they spread out over Asia and diversified into the different sub-species of tigers. A subspecies is different from a species. “Subspecies” is a term that is used to describe the differences within a species of animal, in this case, the tiger.

Tigers habitats very greatly. They live everywhere from the lush tropical forested, almost swampy habitats, to the freezing cold Polar Regions called the Taiga. They also hunt a wide range of prey, including wild pigs, monkeys, orangutans, deer, baby elephants, you name it!  They use those black stripes to camouflage into the dense jungle. Did you know that tigers are the only cats to have orange skin? Yep, the fur is not the only orange thing on this cat. Tigers also can be white. This is caused by a genetic mutation. However, no matter how hard you look, you will never ever see an adult white tiger in the wild. Why? Well, because they are too easy to spot in the dark jungles. A predator can easily spot a baby tiger and eat it. And even if the baby white tiger managed to survive predators, it wouldn't be able to catch enough food because prey would see it from a mile away. Now if these white tigers lived near, let’s say the North Pole and they had a thick coat of fur, they would be quite common in the wild. But apparently, God didn’t want these cats in the North Pole. So if you’re looking for a white tiger, try the nearest zoo.

You have probably heard about a famous extinct cat called the Saber-Toothed Tiger. It probably got this name, not only because it has saber-teeth, but also because of its resemblance to a tiger. But guess what, the name “Saber-Toothed Tiger” is really a misnomer, since these cats are only distantly related to tigers. This is why scientists prefer to call them “Saber-Toothed Cats”. By the way, since we are talking about extinct cats, this is probably a good time to bring up the topic of why some subspecies of tiger have gone extinct. The answer is that they were overhunted. Who could dare over hunt the beautiful tiger? Well, their beauty is also their downfall. Many hunters over the years have hunted these cats for their coats. Fortunately, some ingenious people noticed that tiger populations were in decline, so they had the tiger put on the Endangered Species List so it was illegal to hunt the tiger. Now they’re safe . . . right? Not quite. See, there are still people who will illegally go out and kill tigers. These evil hunters are called poachers. Even today, tiger skin and bones will fetch a pretty price in some countries. You may be wondering why on earth so many folks would want tiger bones (and most of these people don’t wish to display the tiger bones in a museum or something). In many cultures, people believe that tiger bones have medical capabilities and are crushed up to use as medicine! Really, I’m not joking around! And believe it or not, these so-called “medicines” don’t really work, so they have no practical use to the buyer (but apparently, the buyers don’t know that). The South Chinese Tiger is really on the brink, it is almost extinct in the wild. The majority of these tigers is in captivity. And even the ones in captivity only came from about six individuals, so the gene pool is very small. It is already too late to save the Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers, but what can we do to save the other six species of tigers?

Well, people have set up national reserves to protect the living space for these predators! Also, people have been breeding tigers in captivity so that their numbers can eventually go up. In the past few years, tiger numbers world-wide are starting to become stable. There is also a way that you can help! How? Well, tell your friends and family not to buy tiger products and to also tell other people about the tiger’s plight. You can even send money to special organizations who help tigers (I’m not saying use money that would otherwise go in the offering plate at church. Give 10% to God, the creator of the tiger and then use some for the tigers themselves). By doing all these things, we can save one of God’s creations, the tiger, from extinction!

Well, that’s all we have to tell about for today. Be sure to check back next week for more updates, animal facts and other cool stuff! Bye for now!

PS: Have a puzzling question about me, animals (including dinosaurs), Creation, God, Christianity, my book, “The King on a Cross,” or etc? Want to just get some information in general? Post your question as a comment or send me an email to

PS 2: Be sure to check back next week to see which animal will win in "Animal Face-Off: Lion vs. Tiger!" To see the last stop-motion movie I made, click here.

PS 3: What's the latest news headline? Check it out on Smiley's News.

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