Tiger Life Cycle: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Tigers go through a life cycle from cub to adult. This lesson will teach you about how big the cubs are when they're born, what happens as they grow up and some other cool facts about tigers.

Tiny Tigers

Think about a tiger. You probably picture a large animal with orange fur and dark stripes that can take down huge animals with its sharp claws and big teeth. But when tigers are born, they're just tiny cubs that must be taken care of by their mothers. They have a lot of growing to do and danger to avoid in order to become that big, strong animal you pictured.

Tigers have a life cycle, or the stages they go through as they grow from a newborn cub to an adult.

When a tiger mom is ready to have her cubs, she finds a safe den where she can hide them and still find enough food to hunt. On average, she'll have three cubs at a time. When her tiger cubs are newborns, they may weigh as much as 3.5 pounds. That's about a pound heavier than a large, hand-tossed pepperoni pizza.

These tiny tiger cubs don't open their eyes for six to twelve days, and even when they do, everything around them is a little blurry for about two weeks. Their mom will stay with them most of the time and feed them only milk until they are about six to eight weeks old.

Mom protecting cub
Mom protecting cub

She also keeps an eye out for animals that eat cubs, and will move them if she thinks there's a threat nearby. She will continue to protect them as they grow.

Growing Cubs

When they're around two months old, the tiger cubs start to follow their mom out when it's time to hunt. However, the cubs still hide in a safe spot while their mom looks for a snack to bring them. And though they now eat meat, they also still drink their mother's milk.

Cubs drinking milk
Cubs drinking milk

By the time they're six months old, the cubs don't drink their mother's milk anymore and are getting bigger, but they still need their mom to hunt their dinners. The male cubs now weigh as much as 105 pounds, which is a little heavier than a large German shepherd.

Learning to Hunt

Just like your parents taught you how to feed yourself, a mother tiger teaches her cubs how to hunt and defend themselves. They go out with her when they are eight to ten months old to help kill prey as they learn to take care of themselves.

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