Proportions of the tiger – head length

Check this image of Baikal:

As we can see, the head-body length of this
tiger is about 5 times its head length. Take in count that the body of Bailkal
is crouched, so if it were stretched, they will match perfectly with the five
bars on its back.

This suggests that Mazák assumption that the
large Amur tigers had heads that represents about 1/5 of the head-body seems to
be correct. Now, let’s see if this value is accurate.

Now, check the proportions of “head-body – head
length” the other captive Amur tigers:

* Amur No. 11: 4.89

* Benjamin No. 102: 4.79

* Amur No. 143: 4.20

**Average ratio: 4.63 –
range 4.20-4.89**

This is close to the 1/5 estimated by Mazák. Sadly,
these are the only captive specimens that have its head-length available.

Now, let’s use the CBL of all the specimens,
including those of Dr Christiansen, to achieve the ratio of “head-body – CBL”:

* CN5698: CBL=350.9 mm – HB-CBL= 5.81

* CN5697: CBL=334.2 mm – HB-CBL= 6.16

* CN6049: CBL=337.8 mm – HB-CBL= 5.77

* Amur No. 11: CBL=322.5 mm – HB-CBL= 6.82

* Benjamin No. 102: CBL=331.2 mm – HB-CBL= 6.07

**Average ratio: 6.13**

I consider these measurements more reliable, as
are based in the actual bones compared with the body length. Head-length only
is very variable and can change depending of the musculature of the face. Body length
can change to, but the difference in musculature is less than in the head.

Now, the wild ones, to get the “head-body –
head length”:

Zheny-1: HL=41 cm – HL-HBL= 4.78

Dale: HL=45 cm – HL-HBL= 4.44

Aleksei: HL=41 cm – HL-HBL= 4.51

Igor: HL=46 cm – HL-HBL= 4.39

Maurice: HL=41 cm – HL-HBL= 5.07

Sasha: HL=48 cm – HL-HBL= 4.13

Misha: HL=46 cm – HL-HBL= 4.17

Valodia: HL=43 cm – HL-HBL= 4.51

Andrey: HL=40 cm – HL-HBL= 4.98

Victor: HL=38 cm – HL-HBL= 5.00

Zheny-2: HL=37 cm – HL-HBL= 4.81

**Average ratio: 4.62 –
range 4.13-5.07**

Interesting both captive (4.63) and wild (4.62)
specimens have about the same “head-body – head length” proportions. The range
of wild specimens is more variable because the sample is larger.

This data show that Mazák was correct, as 4.6
is just slightly less than the 1/5 estimated by him. Sadly, we don’t count with
this data for the other tiger populations.

Taking in count that we estimated an average
head-body length (in straight line) of 233 cm, based in the large femur, for
the largest Ngandong tiger, we can obtain the head length based in the Amur
tiger ratios:

* Wild specimens: ratio 4.62 – head of 504 mm.

* Captive specimens: ratio 4.63 – head of 503 mm.

Now using the average ratio of 1.16 like the
relation of “head length and GSL”, we can get the following GSL estimations:

* Wild specimens: 504 mm / 1.16 = 434.5 mm.

* Captive specimens: 503 mm / 1.16 = 433.6 mm.

The average GSL would be of 434 mm, which is
only 6 millimeters less than the previous estimation of 440 mm. This is
evidence that tigers are very symmetrical animals and there is no doubt that these
same proportions are shared with all the other tiger populations.

So, here are the body proportions of the
tigers, based in Amur specimens:

*** Head-body length – head length = 4.62**

**
***** Head-body length – Condylobasal length = 6.13**

**
***** Head length – greatest skull length = 1.16**

Obviously these values can be variable depending
of the specimens, but at least they are useful to estimate body size of extinct
Pleistocene tigers.