When most people think of tigers, they imagine a roar like no other sound. They roar to defend their territory, get the attention of other tigers or call out for help.
But there are many more vocalizations that these powerful cats use to communicate. They also growl, snarl and hiss when they feel threatened or aggressive.
Roars are made in the hyoid apparatus, located in the oral cavity. Tigers roar gradually, opening and closing their mouth slowly. The tiger's roar is usually heard about three miles away, and they repeat it several times in order to alert other animals that they are there.
Researchers have discovered that tigers can create sounds below 18 hertz, which is below human hearing range. These sounds are called infrasounds and can travel long distances and through objects, including buildings and dense forests.
They can also produce sounds in the low frequencies below 100 hertz, which are above human hearing range. These infrasounds can travel for miles and are used in many types of communication, such as when a mother tiger calls her cubs.
Tiger cubs are born around 16 weeks after copulation and remain with their mothers until they become competent hunters at about 18 months of age. At this point, tiger cubs leave their mothers' territory and disperse to find their own.
They hunt primarily at night, using sight and sound to identify their prey. Their striped coats help them blend into their surroundings. When their prey is spotted, tigers pounce on it, take it to the ground and finish its death by biting or breaking its neck.