Tigers might seem lazy and sleepy, but they are powerful predators who use their long resting schedule wisely. It helps them conserve their energy for hunting, and allows them to stay ready for the moment of truth when they must pounce on their prey.
The big cats typically spend 16 to 20 hours each day sleeping, a lot of which happens during the day. Being nocturnal, they prefer to hunt during the night and to spend their days resting and hiding away from other predators.
They often choose secluded spots that provide protection and shade, including caves, tall grasses, bushes, dense trees, or rocky game trails. They also like to rest in shallow water holes, as they help them keep cool and avoid biting flies.
When a tiger is resting, their tail hangs loose and relaxed. However, if they are feeling aggressive or defensive, they may move their tail from side to side to signal to other tigers that they are alert and ready to defend themselves.
Tigers have exceptional eyesight, thanks to binocular vision and a higher number of photoreceptors in their eye rods (which detect shapes) than in their cones (which are responsible for color vision). They can see better at night, when they typically hunt, by maximizing the volume of light that enters the retinal tissue through this special structure called the tapetum lucidum. Having superior nighttime vision is a great advantage for hunters, as it gives them the ability to stalk their prey at night and pounce on them when the time is right.