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Oct 24 13 11:24 AM

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Post documents, pictures, history, data of the Tigers of Asia
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#1 [url]

Oct 25 13 4:58 AM

On Javan Tigers

peter: 2a - Adult male. Photo from Hoogerwerf (In Mazak). Only photograph of a wild Javan tiger.


2b - Captured, but wild (and emaciated), adult male used for an ancient Javan ritual (rampog macan). Unique photograph (Boomgaard, 2001).


2c - Skull of a wild adult male (private collection).


2c - Same skull


Compared to Sumatran skulls, those from Java are, on average, more vaulted, somewhat more massive in the area of the rostrum and slightly larger and heavier. Range in size, however, more limited. Largest skulls (Java and Sumatra) similar in size. Canines fractionally shorter, but a bit more massive. Nasals and occiput narrower. 

Most island subspecies are smaller than mainland subspecies. The Java tiger, according to Mazak, was similar in size to the Chinese tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) or a bit smaller. The old (Dutch) naturalists and biologists thought the Javan tigers could have been descendants of the very large Ngangdong tigers. 

Just captured to be shipped to Europe (Munnecke, between 1920-1922)

3b - Adult male Soengei Serdang (Van der Valk, 1940)


Adult male, nicknamed 'The Butcher'. This tiger killed and ate 69 humans in less than 6 months in South-Sumatra. Shot by Hoogerwerf, but it was a very close call. Although smaller than most other subspecies, some males were large animals. 


Panthera tigris amoyensis
4a - Adult male shot in South China (in Mazak)


4b - Adult male Central China Prague Zoo (Mazak)


THE TIGER OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA (Panthera tigris corbetti)
5a - Adult male shot in Burma (Thom, in The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society). This massive animal measured 9.4 (284,5 cm.) in a straight line.


5b - Adult female shot in Burma (Thom, JBNHS). This animal measured 8.9 'over curves'.

THE USSURI OR SIBERIAN TIGER (Panthera tigris altaica)

6a - Adult 473-pound male (photo from a different thread). Heaviest male actually weighed.


6b - The Jankowski tiger. This animal was shot on July 9, 1943 in China (Heilongjiang). In his letter to Mazak, Jankowski stated the animal measured 11 feet and 6 inches 'over curves' (between 10.8 and 10.10 'between pegs') and estimated the weight at " ... no less than about 300 kg. ... ". Mazak thought it could have been the largest tiger ever and Jankowski, more than once, stated it was the largest tiger he, his brothers and the Korean professional hunter Sin-En-Tschzin (on the photograph) had ever seen by quite a margin.

Grahh wasn't impressed by the Jankowski tiger. I was. It could have been the largest tiger ever which was actually photographed and the size of the skull is impressive. In his letter, Jankowski stated the tiger, a few days before he was shot, had killed and eaten a very large male brown bear. Which would explain the enormous weight. Jankowski most unfortunately didn't provide evidence for his statement and we have no option but to take his word for it.

Animals of similar size are seen every now and then and most often in captivity. In his book, Mazak published a few photographs of a captive male tiger of similar size. The tiger was measured by Dr. Gewalt of the Duisburg Zoo and he wrote Mazak the tiger measured 320 cm. (210 + 110) in a straight line. The weight was estimated at 280-300 kg. as well. The size of this animal (length of the head 50 cm. and height at the shoulder 110 cm.) can be measured by the second tiger (a fully-grown female).

Indian tiger (Panther tigris tigris)

Bengt Berg (Sweden) wrote different books on his adventures in India before World War Two. He was one of the few who didn't only photograph dead tigers. Berg was a hunter as well. His largest tiger (from Assam) measured 9 feet and 7 inches 'between pegs' and weighed 565 pounds. I assume this is the one:


And this is the one he didn't shoot. He stated this male, also from Assam, was larger than the one posted before:


The Luckvalley tiger was shot in Nilgiris by a German traveler (Herman Wiele) who, nearly a century ago, worked for Hagenbeck (animal handler). Wiele wasn't out for tigers in particular. He happened to be in the area and heard about the tiger, which had been hunted by many because of his size. The Luckvalley tiger was an old tiger who had learned to be elusive.

He made one mistake which was to be his last as well. When Wiele had shot a gaur and couldn't find the animal, the tiger did. He administred the finishing touch and rested for a number of days near the gaur. 

Wiele searched for the gaur, which was a large bull, and found the remains by following a big wild boar. The boar apparently had tried to get to the gaur and saw his chance when the tiger had left for a drink. Wiele ignored the boar and sat up for the tiger. So did the boar, who apparently had had a lot of experience with tigers. Wiele sat up in a machan, while the boar sheltered in a patch of bamboo.   

When the tiger arrived, the boar attacked. Wiele had a fairly good few from his machan and saw the fight. After 4 rounds, Wiele concluded the tiger wouldn't be able to force a decision. He shot the tiger, who fled. Wiele climbed down and returned the next morning. While searching for blood, the boar attacked. Wiele wasn't able to shoot the boar, because the animal took shelter in the patch of bamboo every time he raised his gun.

The Luckvalley tiger was found near a small stream. Although he didn't measure and weigh the animal, Wiele stated the tiger was one of the heaviest he had seen. The boar, one assumes, had to be of similar size. But I've never heard of an animal exceeding 350 pounds in weight in India.

Two photographs will be posted in two different posts. In the first, the size of the gun compared to humans is shown. In the second, the gun rests on the Luckvalley tiger. This would enable a rough guesstimate of the size of the tiger, I think.


And this is the same gun resting on the Luckvalley tiger. The photograph illustrates some tigers in Southern India were impressive animals. Which was confirmed by Ullas Karanth not so long ago (adult male Nagarahole tigers are able to exceed 550 pounds at times). 

The gun is a Mauser. Wiele walked and shot his way through India between 1900-1910. Any ideas regarding the size of the Luckvalley tiger? And the boar he fought? It must have been a large animal. 

Bazé witnessed a similar fight in Viet-Nam shortly after the Second World war. The battle lasted for a couple of rounds. When Bazé decided the fight would be a draw, he shot both animals. Four men were needed to carry the tiger and six to carry the boar. But I never heard of a boar exceeding 350 pounds in India and even that weight was considered exceptional, whereas the Luckvalley tiger was a very large animal. And these, back then as well as nowadays, can exceed 550 pounds. Was the tiger too old or was the boar an exceptional warrior? One would expect the heavier of the two to get to a conclusion in the long run.       


Finally, a photograph which was published in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. Another dead tiger, but that's the way most were photographed back then. The tiger, a massive animal, wasn't weighed but measured 'between pegs'. The question is what the outcome of the measurement was. 


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#2 [url]

Oct 25 13 5:11 AM

On Tigers of Asia

KingDecember:believed to be the largest ever. 857 lb


some more disturbing images here:

good news from Kaziranga:

I agree that  "debate requires some kind of consensus".

"I agree he was plenty big for his size" = exceptionally large . Will you accept it?

According to your logic this photograph shows "average" ursus arctos lasiotus:


" .. posted to show even a tiger shorter than average can reach a great weight at times ... ".

Tigers : Deccan Ranger (Colonel H. Eraser), who shot for many years
in the Hyderabad Dominions, came to the same conclusion as the present
writer as to the measurement being an insufficient guide to size ; and,
during the last few years of his shooting days, weighed all tigers killed by


It would be of general interest if sportsmen would weigh animals they
shoot. A Salter's circular spring balance to weigh 300 lbs. will give sufficiently
accurate results as, with due care, an animal can be weighed in two or
three pieces with but little loss of blood and consequent guess work.

Perhaps an Engineer member of the Society can suggest a simple
weighing balance to weigh up to say 2,000 lbs. ; such as that used by
Mr, Roosevelt during his African expedition ?
Here are Deccan Rangers' records —

Tiger 10' 1" 425 lbs. Tigress 9' 330 lbs.
9' 10" 432 1 „ „ 9' 282 „
9' 10" 425 „ „ 8' 11" 284 „
„ 9' 6" 447i „ „ 8' 11" 245 „
„ 9' 6" 420 „ „ 8' 9i" 281 „
„ 9' 6" 370 „ „ 8' 8" 270 „
„ 9' 4" 400 „ „ 8' 8" 285 „
„ 9' 4" 368 „ „ 8' 6" 250 „
„ 9' 2" 330 „ „ 8' 5V' 240 „

„ 8' 5" 256 „
" ,,8 5 253 ,,

Averar/e ; Tigers: 402 lbs., tigresses: 270 lbs. All these animals were
shot in the Hyderabad country, and those obviously not full grown are
excluded. Col. Fraser records that a friend (Col. Baigree), who had shot
over 200 ligers, said that the 432^ lb. beast was the largest — excepting
one, that he had ever seen.

In 1872 (Vol. V, p. 73), the late Sir Montagu Gerard contributed mea-
surements of some tigers shot by him in Central India.

His last expedition, which was in 1898, in the Northern part of the
Hyderabad country, brought his personal bag of tigers to 227.
His 1872 records are as follows : —
Average of 15 tigers, 8' 11"
„ of 20 tigresses, 8' 1^"
Measurements taken from point of nose to tip of tail, the tape loosely
following the curves of the body.

Other writers to the Magazine record measurements of tigers, but
there is nothing to indicate that these are reliable, or how they were taken,
so they are not mentioned here.

In " Shooting in Cooch Behar " the Maharajah records that the largest
tiger — tail included — that he ever saw or shot was 10' 5", this animal weigh-
ing 504 lbs. The heaviest tiger actually weighed 546 lbs. " fully gorged "
and amongst the records given are 7 tigers which weighed 500
lbs. or more. From this it is evident that the tigers of Bengal attain
larger dimensions than those of Central India and Hyderabad. At page
144 of Vol. XXIII of our Journal, the measurements of a Central India
tiger are given as 11' 6'', the body being 8' 2" and tail 3' 4", It is a pity
this animal was not weighed.

shorter than average  ?
"Average of 15 tigers, 8' 11" „ of 20 tigresses, 8' 1^" Measurements taken from point of nose to tip of tail, the tape loosely following the curves of the body. "

What "average" mean ?

I might add the tiger, for head and body length (193 cm.) and weight (>250 kg. when comparing him to the 261 kg. Sauraha tiger), was about as robust as an average male representative of Ursus arctos lasiotus (582 pounds according to Kucerenko).           

Really ?
Weight does not always mean  robust quality .Especially for ursus arctos.
tiger captured by Mel Sunquist in 1975. He's listed as 261 kg in some sources, but this inf. is not clear:
total length: 3.1m, tail:1.13m, neck:80cm, girth:140cm. Weight(261-272 kg). At least 261 kg.
total length: 2.92m, tail:1.07m, neck:75cm, girth:127cm. Weight 200 kg.
Adult males (brown bear) ≥ 5 y.o Awerage chest circumference =140 cm ,Range variations =112-155 cm ,Awerage neck girth =92 cm ,Range variations= 70-101 cm SPRING 

200 kg brown bear  GM09 (measurment taken in the spring ) is more robust than the tiger captured by Mel Sunquist in 1975.

peter: KingD, Some of the tigers featured in the photographs you posted (referring to the link to NitroX) seemed quite a bit larger than the 1967 Hasinger tiger. I noticed some were shot in Assam, whereas others were shot in southern India. Two of the Assam tigers were enormous. Same for the largest of the Kerala tigers (second photograph). Third animal smaller, but still bigger than the Hasinger tiger. First two unique photographs and thanks again.    


Meaby some of the stories on very large tigers in the past (1800's) were not a result of imagination at all. 


This one was posted before. Details unknown. Meaby some of you know more. If so, a post would be appreciated.


Indian jungle (Bengt Berg, 1930's)


Near a river



Thanks for the link to Inglish' book. You were right regarding the 9.1 tiger shot by Burton. He was a bit shorter than average in length, but much more massive than most (which was already stated). I reread Burton's letter to the JBNHS and concluded the tiger (but not quite sure) was not baited.

The average, according to Dunbar-Brander (in 'Wild Animals of Central India') is 9.3 (281,9 cm.) and 419 pounds (190 kg.) for males and 8.4 (254 cm.) and 290 pounds (131,54 kg.) for females. His results relate to 42 males and 39 females shot in the Central Provinces nearly a century ago.  

Your remarks regarding 'average' and size are true. And difficult to answer. I distinguished method, average and, finally, then and now (history). Method in this post. Information on average and history later.  

1 - Method

There are three ways to measure a tiger. The old boys measured a tiger with a flexible tape along the centre line from the point of the nose to the end of the tail, following " ... any curves ... " (Inglish) of the body. Some took head and body and tail seperately, whereas others did not. This method wasn't appreciated by biologists, because it was considered unreliable. Unreliable, because every measurement yielded different results. Meaning there are different ways to measure 'curves'. And there are different tapes. A tiger measured in this way was measured 'over curves'.

Sterndale, in his book (late 19th century), proposed to measure a tiger in a straight line. First step was to stretch the tiger in such a way that the top of the skull and the vertebrae would constitute a horizontal line. Than three stakes or pegs had to be driven at the point of the nose, the root of the tail and the tip of the tail (hairs not included). The distance between the three pegs had to be taken in a straight line. Preferably with a steel tape and head and body and tail seperately. This method, in his opinion, would yield similar results when a tiger would be measured by different people. A tiger measured in this way was measured 'between pegs'. The method described by Novell and Jackson is similar.

Modern biologists (and India in particular), according to Guate, measure a tiger 'in a straight line over curves' (but not in Russia, where tigers are measured in the way described by Novell and Jackson). I haven't got a clue as to how they do it and what is measured, but I assume the result of this method could be intermediate between 'pegs' and 'curves'. 

Biologists, when reporting on the size of tigers (in books mostly), often make mistakes. Most of these, so it seems, can be attributed to a lack of knowledge on the (essentials and effects of the) methods described above. Pocock (1929) initially thought only measurements taken 'over curves' were realistic and reliable and was than lectured by both Dunbar-Brander and Col. Stockley (JBNHS, Vol. XXXIV, page 553-555). In his excellent book on the fauna of British India and Ceylon (1939), only measurements taken 'between pegs' were used.

Same for Mazak. Initially (1965), he only used measurements taken 'over curves' and stated some (Siberian) tigers could get to a length of 12 feet or more. After learning about the reliability of measurements taken 'over curves' the hard way, he, for the third (1983) edition of his book, decided to use measurements taken 'between pegs' only. In the third edition, he explained why he had been misled by Arseniev, Baikov and Barclay. 

Things only very slowly change. Sunquist, in his excellent overview of big cats ('Wild cats of the world', 2002) fell into the same trap and stated Siberian tigers were able to get to 290 cm. in length. Without the tail, of course.

It is not easy to get to a comment regarding the average difference between both methods. Lt.-Col. Stewart Capper (letter of Jan 28, 1921 to the JBNHS) stated the difference was about 7-8 inches in males and 11-12 inches in females (...). But Dunbar-Brander (his book) stated the difference was 3-5 inches only and Corbett thought the difference in large males was about 6 inches. Mazak's large Prague Zoo tiger taped 319 cm. 'between pegs' and 337 cm 'over curves' and in 10 animals measured both 'over curves' and 'between pegs' by the Maharajah of Cooch Behar the average difference for males was 13,85 cm. (but as much as 7 inches for a 10.5 male). The adult male Siberian tiger I measured was 298 cm. 'between pegs' and 312 cm. 'over curves'. The 312 cm. was a result of 3 attempts (every attempt yielded a different result).

One can only conclude it depends on the one measuring. It seems 6 inches or thereabout (a bit more in large animals and less in small animals) could be not far from the mark, but you never know. The hunter quoted in the book of Inglish (referring to your link) stated he measured the animals " ... taking any curves of the body ... ", but he also stated he would run the tape in a tight way. Could, therefore, be less than 6 inches. 

The real measurements of the Sauraha male are in the document of of Sunquist (monograph of 1981, first image) and in second image.



About the second image, there is no reference of where it came, presumably from a report, but Dr Sunquist say’s its reliable. The only mistake is that the image say "along curves", but Dr Sunquist correct it, as he takes his measurements in straight line. All the other measurements are real and accurate.

By the way, Dr Sunquist weighed the Sauraha male twice (1974 and 1975), but in both occasions, he used a scale of 500 lb. It was until 1980 when Dr Dinerstein and his team used a new scale of 600 lb to get more accurate figures, but again, this great male bottoms it! We must take in count that at this time, this male was no longer captured by baits, but by his radio-collar signal.


Source: 'Thirty-seven years of big game shooting in Cooch Behar, the Duars and Assam. A rough diary'. The Maharajah of Cooch Behar, Bombay 1908 (459 pages). Through

The Maharajah and his guests shot 365 tigers between 1871 and 1907, of which the dimensions of 129 only (94 ♂ and 35 ♀) were given (reasons unknown ). Of 94 males, 87 werd used for the table (seven were either immature or not measured). All 35 females were used for the table.

FEMALES (sample - min - ave - max in cm.)

35 - 254,0 - 268,6 - 288,3 - total length (average nearly 8.97)
17 - 171,5 - 180,7 - 190,5 - head and body (average a little over 5.11)
17 - 078,7 - 090,4 - 099,1 - tail (average a little under 3 feet)

11 - 118,4 - 140,9 - 163,3 - weight (average 310,55 pounds)
05 - 104,1 - 105,3 - 106,7 - chest
05 - 050,8 - 055,9 - 058,4 - biceps

One female was measured both 'over curves' (9,05) and 'between pegs' (8,775). The difference was 12,07 cm. or a 4,75 inches for a female a bit larger than average. The average 'between pegs' of these 35, therefore, could have been close to 256 cm., or roundabout 2 cm. longer than the 39 measured by Dunbar-Brander.

MALES (sample - min - ave - max in cm.)

87 - 257,8 - 294,1 - 316,5 - total length (almost 9.8 'over curves')
52 - 162,6 - 202,9 - 217,2 - head and body
52 - 071,2 - 094,1 - 106,7 - tail

50 - 168,3 - 208,7 - 247,7 - weight
40 - 114,3 - 129,7 - 142,2 - chest
39 - 043,2 - 048,1 - 053,3 - fore-arm
39 - 085,7 - 093,4 - 102,9 - skull circumference
39 - 057,2 - 068,1 - 073,7 - biceps

After the introduction of the new method ('between pegs'), 12 males were measured in this way. Of these, 10 were measured 'over curves' as well.  

10 - 274,3 - 290,1 - 316,5 - total length of 10 males measured 'over curves' (cm.)
10 - 261,6 - 276,4 - 301,0 - total length of same 10 males measured 'between pegs ' (cm.)
10 - 012,7 - 013,7 - 015,9 - difference between both methods (cm. or 5,41 inches).

The 10 animals measured in both ways were about 4 cm. shorter than average (294,1 cm.). The average 'between pegs' of these 87 could, therefore (294,1 - 13,7), have been very close to 280-281 cm. or thereabout. Again very close to the average of Dunbar-Brander's 42 tigers (9.3 or 281,9 cm.). Same for the averages of the other dimensions.

The averages 'over curves' mentioned above are similar to those found by Colonel Fraser for the Deccan (close to 9.6) and the friend of James Inglish for Nepal (almost 9.7) about 150 years ago. And they get more similar when the sample gets larger. In most part of India, about a century ago or thereabout, the average 'between pegs' in south-central, central and north-west India could have ranged between 8.11 and 9.4 for males and between 7.11 and 8.5 for females. Averages in the Sundarban area and the eastern part of Assam would have been less (roundabout 8.6-8.7 for males and 7.9-7.11 for females), while they could have been a bit higher in the northern part of Assam, Bhutan, Bengal and, perhaps, Nilgiris (between 9.2-9.6 for males and 8.3-8.7 for females).

Same for weights. Averages for adult females ranged between 270-310 pounds (122,5-141,0 kg.) and 400-460 pounds (181,5-208,7 kg.) or thereabout for males in most parts of central and northern India (less in the Sundarbans and the Naga Hills and more in Assam, Bhutan and the Terai in general). Modern tigers seem to be much heavier, which could perhaps be a result of well-stocked and protected reserves on one hand and population pressure (competition) on the other hand. The information needed, however, is limited. There are no large samples available.

Two remarks to finish with. The information I found, points in the direction of a difference between (young) adults and mature animals. Secondly, it has to be stated the samples mentioned above did not include very large animals (the longest of the Mahajrajah of Cooch Behar taped 301 cm. 'between pegs' and Dunbar-Brander wrote he wasn't able to shoot two males similar in size to his largest). But they were there and it seems they were shot in most places. There seems to be no pattern, meaning they were encountered nearly everywhere.    


One of the best books on lions (habits, behaviour and size) was written by Lt. Col. J. Stevenson-Hamilton ('Wildlife in South-Africa', Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1947 - I got the third, 1957, edition), who was Warden of the Kruger National Park in South-Africa for a long time about a century ago. 

Mazak (1983) thought the lions of Kruger (Panthera leo krugeri) were possibly the largest of all at the time he wrote his book. Stevenson-Hamilton published a list with the dimensions of 50 large adult male lions, which was posted by Bold some time ago. Impressive animals. But the average adult male lion taped

" ...  a little under 9 feet, a really fine one 9 feet 4 inches and an exceptionally large one 9 feet 6 inches ... " (page 149). The average weight of a big male without stomach contents, he thought, was under 400 pounds, while that of a big female " ... some 100 lb. less ... " (page 150).  

Stevenson-Hamilton compared to Dunbar-Brander in many ways. They both measured their animals 'between pegs' and both were unbiased and experienced observers. Stevenson-Hamilton stated he based his opinion on the general size of South-African lions not only on the animals he killed and measured himself, but also

" ... on the two thousand or so (...) which have been killed by the staff in the precincts of the Reserve since 1903, of which any exceptional one as always noted, and I have had some confirmation from reliable sportsmen of experience in other parts of the continent regarding lions elsewhere ... " (page 150). 

There is not much to add. The information discussed indicates adult male tigers in the Indian Central Provinces, about a century ago, were a bit longer and heavier than adult South-African male lions. This general statement can't be specified, because Stevenson-Hamilton did not provide precise information on average length and weight. But reliable information (from both Africa and Gir) points in the direction of a difference of roundabout 6 inches in length and about 50 pounds.

Modern lions (adult males average between 390-430 pounds in most regions) and Indian tigers (adult males in Nagarahole, Panna, Pench, Nepal and northern and eastern Assam seem to average close to or even over 500 pounds) are heavier, but the difference in size (weight) between both species then and now doesn't seem to be very different.

When comparing, one, in order to be able to get a clear view, needs to compare then with then and now with now. Same for the Siberians. It seems the Indian tiger is the largest modern big cat.   

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#3 [url]

Oct 25 13 5:22 AM

On tigers


1 - WILD AMUR TIGER SKULL - adult male (from an article on a Russian forum posted by Guate)


2 - WILD AMUR TIGER SKULL - adult male, Manchuria, Mazak, 1983




4 - SKULLS OF A WILD MALE LION (Kalahari, top) AND (bottom) A CAPTIVE MALE AMUR TIGER - original




6 - SKULL OF AN ADULT WILD MALE INDIAN TIGER - original (occiput reconstructed)






a - The length of the canines in your picture is only seen in some captive male Amur tiger skulls. The profile of the skull, however, is untypical for Amur tigers. Too vaulted and too short. 

b - Amur tiger skulls often are different from other subspecies in that they have a (relatively) longer, more horizontal (straight) and more elevated face. 

c - Amur tiger skulls, in this respect (see b), resemble lion skulls. The axis, however, often is different. Same for the mandibula.

d - Skulls of Indian tigers, compared to both Amur tiger and lion skulls, usually are more vaulted, a bit shorter, (relatively) wider and more massive (heavier).

e - Java tiger skulls compare to Indian tiger skulls, but they are shorter and even more vaulted.

f - Sumatran skulls, at times, are close to lion skulls in the shape of the mandibula. For their length, they could have the longest upper canines.

g - Some wild Indian tigers, at times, have skulls with almost similar canines. Same for captive tigers, accoording to trainers. The skull of the Sauraha tiger again:


h - The leopard skull in your picture. I saw larger and more robust leopard skulls from India, Iran, Central-Africa and South-Africa. Amur leopards seldom exceed 60 kg. (the heaviest I know of was 62 kg.). One would, therefore, expect smaller and less robust skulls. The skull in your picture, in this respect, could be the skull of an Amur leopard.

I saw a number of captive Amur leopards in European zoos. The males in particular were quite long and tall, but not as robust as those from Iran and Central-Africa. Compared to the other subspecies, I'd say well better than halfway for size. In robustness, however, I would get to intermediate or just over. Heptner and Sludskij thought some might get to 70 kg. or a bit better, but my guess is they referred to leopards from the south of Russia (close to Afghanistan and Iran).

Pocock described a number of male leopard skulls exceeding 10 and even 11 inches in greatest total length (GTL). Most were from Central-Africa, but Indian skulls can be large. Many years ago, there was a debate on an exceptional leopard skull (just over 11 inches) in the JBNHS. The skull initially was attributed to a young tigress. Pocock, in a letter to the JBNHS, showed Mr. Limouzin's skull was that of an exceptional leopard. The reasons were rostral width, canine length and robustness (weight). Even large male skulls seldom exceed 0,6 kg., whereas the smallest tiger skulls (female Bali and Sumatra skulls ranging between 250-260 mm. in GTL) usually are over 0,7 kg. in weight.  

Some Indian leopards, in spite of that, well exceed 250,00 mm. and 0,5 kg. Some time ago, I posted on an alliance between a very old male tiger and a an exceptional male leopard. Central India and authentic all the way. They often walked together. When prey was detected, the tiger said boo and the leopard did the killing, as he still had his teeth. They apparently also dined together. Meaby the 100-kg. plus male leopard (his weight just before he was caught and transported to a zoo) who recently died wasn't the only one of exceptional size in India. Chui thinks some males can get to 200-220 pounds and he isn't the only one.

Official records are ok, but that doesn't mean they represent reality. I saw a documentary on puma's in Patagonia some years ago. The researchers were able to drug the female and her two almost fully-grown cubs. In length, they surpassed anything I had seen. I wouldn't be surprised to read some males over there top 200 pounds and 8 feet straight.    

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#4 [url]

Oct 25 13 5:30 AM

Records of big tigers


I decided I'll post the table from Big game shooting Volume 2 (1894) by Clive Phillipps Wolley

tiger measurements

He gives quite a number of measurements. What do you guys think?

There are a few errors though, particularly from the Deccan ranger list. 

peter: The Old Tiger and the Big Leopard of Magardeh

The story is in 'Call of the Tiger'. This book, printed in Great Britain in 1964 (Faber & Faber Limited, 24 Russell Square, London), was written by Lt.-Col. M.M. Ismael (8 Gurkha Rifles). I bought about a year ago in the UK through The book has 174 pages (4 short stories, an epiloque and a glosssary) and one photograph. I posted the photograph (of the Palasghata cattle slayer - a big male tige in his prime) some time ago (see 5d below). 


The story is based on facts. Ismael had invited a friend (Prof. G.I. Finch, who had climbed the Everest in 1923) for a shoot. In February 1956, Ismael started spending his weekends locating tigers. After an extensive search of the jungles north of the Narbada River, he settled for a hamlet not too far from the road between Indore and Kannaud. The hamlet (Dhobgata) consisted of ten huts near a very old well. The people of the hamlet were mostly Bhils. Ismael described them as hospitable and steeped in jungle lore.

A male tiger lived close to the old well, but he was considered sacred and not to be touched. A relative of the Maharajah of Dewa had a go at the tiger many years ago. He thought the tiger was the largest he ever saw (not less than 10 feet 6 inches for sure).

Ismael tried to find another tiger. He moved camp to Magadeh, about four miles away. The headman of Magardeh was a man called Bhima:

"  ... Bhima told me that in the jungle beyond their village there was a very old tiger, not very big but so old that the skin had become visibly loose on his body - particularly around the neck. This tiger, he said, was always seen in the company of a very big leopard which was almost as big as the tiger! He said that on many occasions both these animals had come out together into the fields surrounding the village and had been seen by practically everyone in the village. In the past they had killed a few of their cattle but during the last couple of months they had left the cattle alone. They had been seen in the surrounding forest on several occasions by the village people who went into the jungle regularly to collect firewood and grass. The leopard, Bhima said, was the more aggressive of the two ... " (pp. 118).

Ismael decided to find out all he could. He saw their pug marks on a track. The leopard had gone before the tiger, but

" ... whether they had gone close together or were seperated by several hours during the same night, it was not possible to say ... " (pp. 127). Not long after, it was perfectly clear the pair was completely aware of the new arrival:

" ... The clear footprints which I made when I had left the car were superimposed by the pug marks of two different animals. At first I thought them to be of a tiger and tigress, but on closer examination I saw that they were of an old male tiger and of a very big male leopard. These pug marks were all around the car and in some places within one foot of it ... " (pp. 131).

" ... The tiger and the leopard passing that way at night had seen the car, not knowing what it was, and after watching it from some distance had come up to investigate. The instinct of curiosity is very strong in all felines; anything unfamiliar ... will always attract their attention and they will, ..., come closer to satisfy their curiosity. On reaching Magardeh I told my friends what I had seen. They were not surprised ... " (pp. 132).


That night, Ismael, on his own (Finch couldn't make it), sat in a machan close to a buffalo killed (probably by the leopard). He fell asleep, but was awakened by the langurs a few hundred yards away. When he heard an animal on the kill:

" ... The beam of light showed a huge leopard in the act of pulling the kill. I have never seen a leopard of that size and build. Later when I measured him he was 7 feet 10 inches between pegs, whichis almost as big as a tigress. He had a massive head and a heavy and powerfully built body ... (pp. 136).

" ... With the report of the rifle I heard another heavy animal with padded feet bolting over the loose stones of the nullah bed to our right ... " (pp. 136). It was the old tiger.

Two days later, another party returned to the village. They had brought a tiger with them. It was the old companion of the big leopard:

" ... As the inhabitants of Magardeh had told me, the skin around the tiger's neck and shoulders hung in loose folds, he was emaciated and decidedly very old. On closer examination I found that all his four canines were worn down to the bone to blunt yellow stumps and two claws were missing in the front left paw. If I ever saw a tiger all set for becoming a maneater, this one was. What saved him from that unnatural mode of life was the far more unnatural association with the big leopard. This is the only instance I know personally where a tiger and a leopard became friends. Many years ago, I believe, a similar frienship between a tiger and a leopard was reported in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society ... " (pp. 141).


In his book, Ismael, more than once, wrote he saw and heard many things in the jungle he could not understand or explain. I read many books of those who lived in large tropical forests for a considerable amount of time. Most had similar experiences, but not all wrote about it. Some did. Read, for example, the book of Rabinowitz on his time in the Belize jungles. Yes, I'm referring to the famous Rabinowitz. He wrote about jaguars, but also about 'duendes'. Read it if you can. Not that far from Guatemala. Right, Guate?

When young, I often talked to my father about his travels. He had great stories, but most took 'm with quite a bit of salt. I mean, sailors, thirst and stories. Need I say more? But I took the stories very serious. I didn't forget what he told me on Shri Lanka and India. Decisive experiences, I thought.

I've been in tropical jungles twice. I saw things. In one case, I had to carry the woman I knew so well away. She was stiff as a piece of wood as a result of what we saw, but quickly recovered later. And I graduated and don't do booze. One day, I'll talk. In the book.

You don't need to go to jungles to see strange things. Animals are animals most of the time, but some are way more capable than many think. All animals, but predators more often than others, I think. Meaby it's the eye of the beholder after all. But the animals I refer to know that too. They don't talk to all.



A few photographs of animals to finish with. I think they are as informative as any story.

a - The old male tiger of Pomakheri (B. Berg) - watch his face


b - The descending tigress (B. Berg)


c - The Blue tiger of China


 d - This is the cattle killer Ismael shot (see above). Not a gentle animal.


e - Man-eater India


f - Sumatran tiger after training 1941, Wassenaar



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#5 [url]

Oct 25 13 7:35 AM

Tiger Hunting pictures

African hunting tigers India:

Tiger hunting picture from the British Raj Era
Tiger hunting picture from the British Raj Era

Tiger hunting picture from the British Raj Era

Hunting Tiger

Hunting Tiger India

5- 10.6 ft Maneater Tiger (1938)
1938 10.6 ft Maneater Tiger

6- Tiger and Panther King George V 1906
Tiger and Panther King George V 1906

7- H.H. Nizam Asaf Jah VI Tiger Hunt Hyderabad India 1906

H.H. Nizam Asaf Jah VI Tiger Hunt Hyderabad India 1906

8- A man-eater Tiger hunted in India by John Stoddard with natives in 1890s

A man-eater Tiger hunted in India by John Stoddard with natives in 1890s

9 - A large male Tiger
A large male Tiger shot in India weighing no less than 600 pounds.    

A large male Tiger




Last Edited By: Kingtheropod Oct 25 13 7:44 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#7 [url]

Oct 26 13 12:38 AM

Quite upsetting at the loss of all the discussion. If anyone would like to me add anything to the prehistoric cat subject specifically, let me know, and I will do so. Other than that, you guys will know my full take once my document nears its publication.

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#8 [url]

Oct 26 13 4:32 AM

Big tigers shot in Rajpootana

Indian Game: From Quail to Tiger

In writing this, the auther William Rice (1884) mentions them as the largest tigers seen in India. "Hardly ever disturbed" he calls. This highlights that hunting played a big role in affecting the size of Bengal tigers in historical times. This in theory would mean the big turkey shot would have made them smaller then they are today and smaller then they were before British sport hunting in india.

Colonel Beresford mentioning the average length of tigers writes that of the many tigers he shot, the average male measured 10 ft. 6 inches and a female as 9 ft. 8 inches (probably over curves). One of the animals he writes, was probably the longest ever shot in india as far as I know, measured 12 ft. 4 inches as he lay (Over curves). The writer of the book also got to measure tigers from that part of india, but did not get a chance to measure any before skinning. William Rice seems to agree on Beresford regarding tigers shot there.

tigers measured 

If we are to go off what peter has mentioned, this would make these tigers something over 10 ft. straight line.


Last Edited By: Kingtheropod Oct 26 13 4:40 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#9 [url]

Oct 29 13 1:24 AM

Picture of tiger hunting in Nepal

Raja Dinesh Pratap Singh Ji The Taluqkdar of Kasmanda .. hunting tigers & Rhino in Nepal -1950


01 - ASSAM - watch the man right and the skins. Skins of normal tigers. Than watch the skin left. An exceptional tiger without doubt.


02 - INDIA - No information, but the tiger was a big male. Watch the man in the middle.


03 - INDIA - No information, but I thought I saw the same man as above - The tigers, though, are different. He probably was a tracker. One who knew about tigers. Most hunters dedicated their book to their relatives. Real hunters often dedicated their book to their trackers and companions.


04 - INDIA - No information, but I see 4 rhinos and 6 tigers - To say there were baited would be the understatement of the year, but the last tiger was a large animal at any rate. A tidy picture, but messy all the same. How not to hunt, I concluded. 


05 - BIG - No details, but this one seems to be close to Old One Eye shot in the Nilgiris.  


Let me see. Yes, found it.


Same man, I think. Same tiger as well. Had to be. He was measured, but not weighed. The Indian officials thought 700 pounds on account of the measurements and some calculations, but I had some doubts. Still have, as he was baited for one. But it was a very big tiger.

06 - INDIA - No information, but the tiger was a large male. 


07 - BIG SKULL - I got no idea as to region and year, but could be between 1955-1970. This photograph has no angles. The tiger, if anything, seems smaller than he is, because he is situated behind the hunter. I don't know how large the skull is, but I'd advice those who dismiss reports on exceptional animals on sight to have a good look at the photograph. Same for those who think Indian tigers do not exceed 378,00 mm. in GTL (Mazak, 1983). The most striking features of this tiger are width and rostrum. A real big skull. Paws and shoulders not moderate as well.


08 - INDIA - No information, but another big male tiger.


09 - INDIA - No information, but my guess is Cooch Behar or the Duars (the Maharajah) - last decades of the 19th century - This tiger was empty - The photograph is deceptive. He doesn't seem to be large, but he was.


10 - TIBET, BHUTAN OR MONGOLIA? - No information, but my guess is Tibet for now. Could be the eastern part close to western China. If true, it shows tigers, as Brandt (1856) wrote, were not uncommon in Tibet and north-east (China) about 150 years ago. I read letters of those who saw or heard about tigers in Sikkim and adjacent regions in the JBNHS about a century ago. We recently heard some tigers make their home well above 9.000 feet in Bhutan.  

A unique photograph. 


11 - This one was 11.6 'over curves', but his other dimensions were average:


12 -
The Bachelor:


12 - The last two could have compared to the 11.6 Sungari River tiger shot by the Jankowski's:


13 - No details
Shikaris Tiger

14 - No details


This photograph probably was taken in the Terai. Long time ago. The tiger in the centre is long and muscular. Looks to be larger than the tiger shot by Hewett's daughter ('Jungle Trails in Northern India'). Referring to the tiger that had a 16,25 inches skull. He was 10.2 'over curves', but was recovered stiff. If he would have been measured directly after death, he, Hewett thought, could have been 10.4-10.5 or just over 10 feet straight (Hewett used both methods and concluded the difference between both was 2-3 inches in most cases).

The one below, in my opinion, was quite exceptional. No distortion as a result of angles, this time. Could have compared to the Sauraha tiger. Nepal produced very large tigers a century ago as well.  


16 - Shot by Eleanor (1965) with her 30-06 rifle. Seems to be normal sized.


A few tiger hunting picture frames...



Last Edited By: Kingtheropod Oct 29 13 1:38 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#10 [url]

Oct 31 13 2:37 AM

Caspian tiger

Photograph from northern Iran, 1940 (thanks, Warsaw). Large male tiger.


Stuffed male in Tiblisi Museum. Not quite up to par, but the only photograph there is (Mazak).


I  assume some posters will have seen Pocock's 1929 article on tigers. But others may not. In his article, Pocock specifically refers to hunters (late 1880's) who had returned with skulls and skins. I think it's interesting and decided to post the information he collected. 







Last Edited By: Kingtheropod Oct 31 13 2:41 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#11 [url]

Oct 31 13 2:58 AM


The Paris Zoo male tiger was 89-90 cm. at the shoulder (actual standing height according to Mazak, page 180). The length of the head (in cm.) was 2,05 cm., whereas the body was 7,60 cm. and the tail measured 4,95 cm. or thereabout. Total length, therefore, is 14,6 cm. (2,05 + 7,60 + 4,95) or thereabout (all this from the photograph Mazak published).

We know (I measured the tiger on the photograph) this animal stood 5,15 cm. at the shoulder and we also know 5,15 cm. on the photograph is 89,5 cm. (the average of 89-90) in reality. I took the upper limit (90 cm.) in order to be able to make calculations easier.

The value of X is 17,475728 (90 divided by 5,15). Meaning

035,83 - length of the head
132,82 - length of the body
086,51 - length of the tail
255,15 - total length
089,50 - height at the shoulder

Head and body length 168,65 cm. or thereabout straight line. In order to guesstimate the weight, this length has to be multiplied by a factor . This factor, in Indian adult males, is roundabout 1,05 in average animals and between 1,1-1,4 in large and massive animals. In smaller subspecies, like those belonging to Panthera tigris corbetti, this factor would be less than 1 for average males and roundabout 1 or a bit more for mature and well built males. 

As the Paris Zoo tiger was both, the length was multiplied by both 0,95, 1 and 1,05. This would mean the tiger was between 160-177 kg. in his prime if he was indeed 168-169 cm. 

My final guesstimate for both length and weight, however, would be a bit less, as the upper limit only (90 cm. for standing height) was used for the calculations. I would get to 160-168 cm. for head and body; 85-88 for the tail and 245-255 cm. for total length (straight line). His weight would have been between 150-175 kg. or thereabout. 


There's no reliable information on the impact of the war. Usually, wild animals flourish during conflicts. In Russia, for example, the number of wolves rose significantly during the Second World War. But cluster bombs, as far as I know, weren't used in that war. They're still working on the removal of these bombs in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodja, as people still get wounded or killed. The number of children wounded in Vietnam and Cambodja, for example, is staggering.

Man-eaters, according to Mazak (1983), Bazé (1957) and Oggeri (2010), were not scarce in Vietnam before the Vietnam-war and I read reliable reports in which it was stated tigers preyed on wounded soldiers (American soldiers). It could be the rapid decline of tigers in Vietnam wasn't a direct result of the war, but of the hunt on man-eaters operating directly after the war.

That the war must have had an impact on tigers as well, was illustrated by Oggeri (2010). When on a safari with a client close to Manoi, a Montagnard village thirty kilometres from the highway between the stations of Krong Pha and Nha Trang, he met a group of armed villagers on their way to the province chief of Phan Rang to ask him to send soldiers to their village to kill the tiger that had killed four villagers in a month. Oggeri decided to sit up over the mangled corpse of the woman killed. She was found in a patch of bamboo about 100 yards only fom the village. He fell asleep, but woke when the tiger tried to break the rope with which he had tied the woman to a tree. Oggeri turned on the light, shot the tiger and, after a little while, followed the trail:

" ... Thanks to my lamp, I found him lying dead some distance from his headless victim. The tiger had summoned the strength to go more than one hundred metres with two bullits in his corpse, one in the neck and the other in the chest. He was a magnificent animal but a poor trophy. The man-eater had only three legs (...), which explained why he attacked a human instead of the wild animals that could run away faster ... " (page 122).

So we know there was a war, cluster bombs and a three-legged tiger preying on humans. I never heard of a wild three-legged tiger before. And that's as close as one can get to an assumption regarding wars in which cluster bombs are used and humans and animals living in areas in which these bombs were used.

A tragic story and it wasn't the only one I read. Oggeri, more than once, stated (South-Vietnamese) soldiers ordered to villages tormented by man-eaters often weren't able to find the tiger and shot up the entire area, creating only more problems. Many Vietnamese villagers, as a direct result of the war, carried and used modern weapons after the war had finished. The results were devestating, for not only tigers nearly entirely disappeared. Things, however, seem to have changed a bit:

" ... I hope ... the present regime in Vietnam will be willing and able to protect ... wildlife and the forests of that wonderful country. On 25 August 2004 a Vietnamese friend gave me some good news: A law now stipulates that anyone killing a gaur will go to jail ... " (page 130). Hunting, it seems, now is preserved for a few and one needs a permit.

I decided to post one photograph from Oggeri's book, as I assume Safari press (Huntington Beach, CA) won't object to a bit of promotion. Many of us, after all, are interested and potential customers.

The tiger, described as huge, was shot in Dong Mé in 1953, apparently shortly before transport (note the ropes and the two poles). The tiger has a very pale ground colour and the stripes are limited in number, thick (sometimes double) and very black. Most adult males, like this one, had a distinctive, thick ruff of hair at the side of the cheekbones and the neck. Skulls usually were broad and the photographs Oggeri published show adult males often were large, thick-set animals very close in size to Indian tigers. In his book, Oggeri stated most of the males he shot taped well over 10 feet ('over curves') and approached or exceeded 500 pounds. After his career as a hunter, he, by the way, turned conservationist. 

This photograph was never posted. Remember there are photographs and rights. As these haven't expired, you could face serious problems when you use it outside this thread. If someone is interested, they would have to visit this forum.  



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#12 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:01 AM



Oggeri shot many tigers, but never stated how many. The information on size isn't easy to comprehend. It's also unclear in what the way the animals were measured. Below, a number of quotes. 

" ... He (American trophy hunter B.B. Brooks) especially liked two beautiful tiger skins, each measuring 3,25 metres. I told him that a hunter did not often have the opportunity to shoot such outstanding animals, but that I was in a different situation since I was constantly in the jungle and around wild beasts at least three hundred days a year. So, I sometimes shot such animals, but out of any ten tigers that I killed or helped a customer to kill, only two would be longer than 3 metres; the others would tape between 2.6 and 2.9 metres ... " (page 166).

One day, while waiting in a hide for a tiger, Oggeri saw a large male black bear (Ursus thibetanus) at the bait: " ... On its hind legs, it stood more than 2.15 metres tall and would weigh more than 250 kilo's (550 pounds) ... " (page 176).

The tiger on the photograph posted a few days earlier was a full-grown male: " ... The beast must measure 3.20 metres from its muzzle to the end of its tail and it must weigh about 250 kilo's ... ".

Other large male tigers:

" ... The plain of R'Pouma Klong was famous for its tigers and buffaloes, which represented the great majority of big game. In 1957, during an expedition of forty days, I brought back five tigers, of which two were males 3,5 metres long from the muzzle to the tip of the tail ... " (page 126).

" ... When we arrived at the blind, I went to see the bait and noticed that the footprints, ..., were indeed impressive - the size of a dinner plate. That tiger must weight 300 kilo's at least ... " (page 100).

" ... A big adult male is between 2.80 and 3.30 metres ... and weighs 250 to 300 kilo's. There are rare exceptions. I shot a few specimens 3.50 metres long ... " (page 13).

" ... In 1968, the Fayetteville Observer, a newspaper in North Carolina, told the story of a tiger that entered the American military base at Khe Sanh. This area was well known for its fierce battles between US Marines and the North Vietnamese guerillas who surrounded them during the war. At the end of one such a confrontation, the tiger - attracted by the smell of blood - was found prowling about the base. The marines killed it with bursts of M16 carbine fire. That tiger was colossal, 13 feet long ... and weighing 500 pounds. I heard of only one other really enormous cat. Plas, a well-known professional hunter of Djiring, South Vietnam, guided one of his clients to a huge tiger that was 12,5 feet long. Cats that large are extremely large ... " (page 13).   
One the strength of tigers: " ...  In spite of its weight, this animal is unbelievable agile. The colossal strength of its front legs and jaws allows it to drag a 300-pound deer easily. I saw a tiger drag a female gaur weighing more than 800 kilo's for 100 metres and  nother move an elephant a few metres to the shade of a clump of bamboo ... " (page 13).


Not one of Oggeri's tigers was measured in a straight line, meaning it is difficult to assess the real size of the animals he shot. Same for weights. There are no precise records, but indications and round numbers only. Oggeri apparently didn't make any of the photographs himself as well.

My guess is he, as he stated, wasn't interested in trophy's, size and photographs. His clients were. Oggeri was someone who was interested in the jungle and its inhabitants. He was convinced he was born to be a hunter and one gets the impression he enjoyed every minute of it until he turned conservationist. His account, in my opinion, oozes reality all the way. Not a book written by someone out for exaggerations or status. Just a man who wanted to inform us on the way it was, back then, in Vietnam. Because it's all gone today.


And the size of Vietnamese tigers? Well, Oggeri's information isn't much different from Bazé, who also stated most animals ranged between 150-220 kg. and 260-290 cm. 'over curves' (240-275 cm. 'between pegs'). About 20% of the population (could be mature males) ranged between 280-330 cm. 'over curves' (265-315 cm. 'between pegs'). Every now and then, a male well exceeding the normal upper limit was shot. These animals compared to the very large Indian tigers posted earlier on this thread. 

Although Mazak (1983) had his doubts regarding these very large animals, the information available indicates animals between 9.4-9.8 ('between pegs') were encountered in most parts of south-east Asia in the days tigers still roamed most of that part of the continent. And the 11 or 12 feet animals? Well, there are too many accounts from too many hunters (with first-hand experience) to dismiss all stories on very large tigers. Pocock (1929) mentions a skull from Annam (the old name for French Indochina) close in size to the enormous 16-inch skull mentioned by Bajkov. The Annam skull was wider (11.5 inches for zygomatic width) and the size was corroborated by both Pocock and Rowland Ward.


Bazé's 338 cm. ('over curves'), 260 kg. tiger was a very large animal and there's no doubt animals of this size also existed before the massacre began. Locke (1954) mentioned a 9.8 tiger ('between pegs') shot in Johore and then there are the large tigers (one 9.4 'between pegs' and one 10.4 'over curves') mentioned by both Thom (Upper and Lower Burma) and Burgess (who mentioned tigers of 9.8 - 9.4 - 9.3 - 9.0 shot in Malaya) about a century ago.

One has to remember the sample (Peacock, Pocock, Thom, Burgess and Bazé) is relatively small, indicating Mazak (1983), when assessing the size of Panthera tigris corbetti (230-255 cm. for females and 255-285 cm. for males), was very conservative. The evidence there is, suggests tigers from Vietnam, Cambodja, parts of Thailand, Upper Malaya and Upper Burma compared to the large lions of South-Africa (Panthera leo krugeri), who averaged (Stevenson-Hamilton) " ... a little under 9 feet'... " straight. Vietnamese tigers, ranging between 150-220 kg. and up to 260 kg. (Bazé), could have been very close in weight as well. Oggeri's remarks regarding the size of tigers in the southern part of Vietnam, therefore, were not remarkable.

This is not true for the super sized animals (well exceeding 12 feet in length) he mentioned. But even these, in an indirect way, were corroborated. James Inglis, for example, referred to a hunter he absolutely vouched for. This man, who operated in Berar and Nepal, shot an animal taping 11.1 'over curves' (his largest) and stated the skin of this tiger was dwarfed by some of the older skins. This was in the days tigers (and not skins) well exceeding 12 feet were mentioned more than once by different hunters in different magazins (1850-1875). Even Dunbar-Brander, in his book, stated 11 feet 'between pegs' was still possible in India a century ago. There are many others I wouldn't dismiss. 

One should not forget things changed very rapidly in two centuries only and it's likely apex-predators, more than others animals, would have responded quickly as it takes a lot of effort to get to and to maintain 11 feet and 600 pounds. Why super size when super-sized wild bovines were quickly disappearing? It's no wonder rumours on very large tigers are limited to those places where bovines still roam. The guerillas operating in Upper Burma (Myanmar), where large wild animals still occur in good numbers, could have realized they're controlling a natural gold mine. The news poaching (and markets) in these areas would be controlled in the future (by the guerillas) was considered special in Holland. More so than the news from St. Petersburg (Tiger Conference). But Putin did a good job by any standard and it is likely the agreements reached at this top will have more impact in the long run.                                     


Last remarks for wild boars and Tibetan bears. Oggeri stated large (mature) adult males (both species) averaged close to 6.5 feet in length and roundabout 440 pounds in weight, with some animals, like the one mentioned above, well exceeding normal upper limits every now and then. Meaning they were (Oggeri assmed most would have disappeared by now) larger than their relatives in most other parts of Asia. Meaby the wild boar that fought the large male tiger in Vietnam was such an animal. Bazé, who witnessed the fight and shot both during a break stated four men were needed to carry the tiger and six for the wild boar. Must have been quite a boar.

It may sound strange, but everything I read seems reminiscent of eastern Siberia. Some elevated parts of southern Vietnam (I heard similar rumours for parts of northern Vietnam) must indeed have been a paradise for animals not so long ago.  

Thanks for the book, Oggeri. Liked it. 



Ten years after first publishing on the Indochinese tiger, Pocock (in his book on the fauna of British India and Ceylon) summarized reliable records on the size of tigers in Burma (then part of British India). All records 'between pegs'.

Although he noticed the differences (discussed in his 1929 paper) between both, Pocock in 1939 (apart from size) didn't distinguish between tigers from India and Burma. The seperate status of the Indochinese tiger seems to have been a result of Mazak's proposal to treat Indochinese tigers as a different subspecies.

Pocock's notions indicated there was, for size, not much to choose between both:



The records I have from Terengganu, Johore, Birma and Thailand show tigers in southern Asia are decidedly shorter than Indian tigers. From left to right sample, minimum total length, average and maximum. All records 'between pegs'.

35 - 178,0 - 232,7 - 254,0 - total length adult females (cm.)
57 - 243,8 - 262,8 - 294,7 - total length adult males (cm.)

It has to be remembered there are significant differences between Johore (average for males 257,8 cm), Terengganu (average length for males 261,6 cm.) and Thailand and Burma (average for males 272,1 cm.). The lower limit for females is suspect, meaning the sample probably included immature animals (see the paragraph about weight below).

The averages mentioned above, because of the low number of tigers from Thailand and Burma, are biased, meaning the true average would be higher. Furthermore, the records from Vietnam (Bazé and Oggeri), where tigers apparently were larger than in most other parts of Asia, have not been used.

The information I have, indicates there are many differences between Johore, Terengganu, Thailand, Burma, southern China, Laos, Cambodja and Vietnam. The differences in size and markings are such, they could in itself be a reason to make clear distinctions between the different regions. One attempt (animals from the Johore area were renamed Panthera tigris jacksioni) was already made and it is to be expected more attempts will follow.   


The number of reliable records on weight is very limited indeed. Mazak stated adult males would average between 170-190 kg. (1983). He mentioned one male from Pleiku (northern part of southern Vietnam) weighing 402 pounds. Pocock (1939) stated the Bankachon 9.1 male tiger mentioned in the table weighed 382 pounds. This tiger was considered 'large' for the district. The records of Bazé and Oggeri, again, have not been used for obvious reasons.

There are more recent records of tigresses. In Terengganu, 8 tigresses averaged 72 kg. (range 24-89), whereas 5 tigresses from Kelanatan (Thailand) averaged 97 kg. (range 53-156).  The lower limits in both samples are suspect, meaning both probably included immature animals. The average for total length in both cases (221 cm. in Terengganu and 222 cm. in Thailand) is a bit lower than the average I mentioned above, which also is a result of contamination (immature animals). The regional difference, in spite of the problems mentioned and the small sample, is, however, quite clear. Tigresses in Thailand, although shorter in head and body length (145 vs 148 cm.), are heavier. This again shows tigers from the southern tip of Asia are smaller than in other parts of Asia. Very different animals.

And that's all there is on Panthera tigris corbetti. 


To finish this department, a repost of the 8.9 tigress (measured 'over curves') shot by Thom (JBNHS, Vol. 37) about a century ago in Upper Burma. This tigress would have measured about 8.4 'between pegs'. The tail only measured 2.7, meaning the tigress, for head and body length (roundabout 5.9), was a large animal.

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#13 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:05 AM

Size of tigers


Since the last part of the nineteenth century, the debate on size never really stopped. Most agreed northern Indian tigers (and those inhabiting sal forests and alluvial plains in particular) were a bit longer, but less muscular than (and not as heavy as) southern Indian tigers. Talkin' adult males.

If one has a closer look, generalities seem to disappear. There are large tracts of forests as well as mountaineous regions in most parts of India. Meaby, it's better to distinguish between landscapes and see if there is a connection between differences in landscapes and differences between tigers. And prey animals should be included. It seems tigers living in areas where they hunt large bovines are larger (and heavier) than in areas where these animals have disappeared.


In The Indian Forester and the Journal of the National Bombay History Society (JBNHS), numbers of articles and letters on the size of tigers in different parts of India (all 'between pegs') have been published. R.C. Morris (a planter) reported on the size of tigers in Mysore and North Coimbatore; Dunbar-Brander reported on the size of tigers in the Hoshangabad District (Central Provinces); the Maharajah of Bikanir reported on the size of tigers shot in Nepal and Phytian-Adams reported on the size of tigers in the Blue Mountains (Nilgiris, Southern India).

In this post, some measurements ('between pegs') of tigers shot in southern India (females only) posted by Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, 1938) and R.C. Morris (JBNHS, 1932, 1938 and 1940). From left to right total length - head and body - tail (cm.) - sex and age - report - location - details.

01 - 254,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - P.A. - Nilgiris 
02 - 264,2 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - P.A. - Nilgiris      
03 - 261,6 - 165,1 - 096,5 - ad. ♀ - P.A. - Nilgiris 
04 - 264,2 - 170,2 - 094,0 - ad. ♀ - P.A. - Nilgiris 
05 - 266,7 - 165,1 - 101,6 - ad. ♀ - P.A. - Nilgiris - 279,4 'over curves' (difference 5 inches)
06 - 243,8 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - Mysore
07 - 251,5 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
08 - 259,1 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
09 - 261,6 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
10 - 248,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
11 - 269,2 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
12 - 248,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
13 - 238,8 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - North Coimbatore
14 - 261,6 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ad. ♀ - R.C. - South India

The average for these 14 animals, shot in southern parts of India between 1925-1939, is 256,7 cm. (range 238,8 - 269,2) in a straight line. Not very different from the averages found by Col. Fraser (Deccan), Dunbar-Brander (Central Provinces) and the hunter mentioned by James Inglis (Berar and Nepal). No different from my average well (253,3 cm. for 53 adult females from all parts of India).      

This is one of the females shot by Phytian-Adams in Nilgiris between 1925-1937. She was described as long and lanky.


Southern india Males

In order to be able to compare tigers in different regions, this post has a number of records on southern Indian tigers. All records posted in The Indian Forester or The JBNHS. From left to right number - total length - head and body - tail - sex/age- report - location - details. All records, except for the first one, 'between pegs'.

The first one was added in order to show the difference between average and very large tigers. The difference between these in not in length, but in bulk. Indian tigers average 48-49 cm. in girth of the fore-arm, 129-130 cm. in chest girth, 86 cm. in skull circumference and 180-225 kg. in weight. For large animals, the numbers are 50-55, 140-150, 94-100 cm. and 225-270 kg. or thereabout. In extra large animals, the numbers are well over 60 cm. (up to 86 cm.), well over 160 cm. (up to 185 cm.), 100-104 cm. and 600-700 pounds or even more. 

Animals of this size were and are very seldom seen, but there is absolutely no doubt they were, and are, there. There's too many reports of animals of this size by reliable witnesses to dismiss all out of hand and it has to be remembered circumstances changed very rapidly in the last two centuries. Today, there's just no use for 11 or even 12 feet animals capable to tackle even the largest of bovines, because they have gone in all but the most remote places.   

The numbers below relate to animals of more or less normal size (259,1-303,5 cm. in a straight line). Weights, unfortunately, not available.                   

01 - 309,9 - 215,9 - 094,0 - ♂ - South India - chest 185,4 - head 104,1 - fore-arm 86,4 (...) - JBNHS (Vol. 27)
02 - 284,5 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Pocock (JBNHS, Vol. 33) 
03 - 289,6 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Kanara - skull 14.1 x 10.5 - Murray (JBNHS, Vol. 9)
04 - 285,8 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Kanara - skull 15.1 x 10.5 - Hill (JBNHS, Vol. 10)
05 - 281,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - A Royal shoot in Mysore - JBNHS (Vol. 29)
06 - 205,7 - 205,7 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - A tailless tiger - Morris - JBNHS, 1934 - photograph
07 - 264,2 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
08 - 299,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
09 - 279,4 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
10 - 274,3 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)

11 - 259,1 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
12 - 259,1 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
13 - 281,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
14 - 287,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
15 - 274,3 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 40)
16 - 284,5 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, letter Aug. 24, 1938)
17 - 287,0 - 182,9 - 104,1 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, letter Aug. 24, 1938) 
18 - 294,7 - 190,5 - 104,2 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, letter Aug. 24, 1938) - chest 129,5
19 - 271,8 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, letter Aug. 24, 1938)
20 - 281,9 - 191,9 - 090,0 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, letter Aug. 24, 1938) - 294,7 'on curves' (difference 5 inches)

21 - 264,2 - 177,8 - 086,4 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, letter Aug. 24, 1938) - chest 119,4 - fore-arm 50,8
22 - 276,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - Morris (JBNHS, letter July 23, 1938)
23 - 274,3 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - South Coimbatore - Morris  (JBNHS, letter July 23, 1938) - weight 421 (pounds) 
24 - 264,2 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, letter July 23, 1938) - skull 13 x 9 (inches)
25 - 287,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - North Coimbatore - Morris (JBNHS, letter July 23, 1938) - skull 14 x 9,5 (inches)
26 - 281,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Morris (JBNHS, letter July 23, 1938) - skull 14,5 x 9,5 (inches)
27 - 264,2 - 177,8 - 086,4 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Morris (JBNHS, letter July 23, 1938) - chest 144,8 - fore-arm 50,8 - head 86,4
28 - 287,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - South India - Morris (JBNHS, letter July 11, 1945)
29 - 279,4 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 47)
30 - 289,6 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 39)

31 - 289,6 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 39)
32 - 274,3 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Mysore - Morris (JBNHS, Vol. 39)
33 - 303,5 - 000,0 - 000,0 - ♂ - Nilgiris - Phytian-Adams (JBNHS, Vol. 48 + 49)

There are more records, but this will do for now. Average for 31 (nrs. 1 and 6 not counted) is 279,89 (range 259,1-303,5), or a little over 9.2 'between pegs'. Head and body (n=6) between 177,8-205,7 and tails between 86,4-104,2 cm. (n=5). The other records are close to the average found for these 31. It has to be noted the sample is not polluted by immature, very old, very large or very small animals, meaning the average found probably is as reliable as it gets. Note the difference between this average and the average Dunbar-Brander found is close to zilch. Again.

Here's the 205,7 cm. tailless tiger shot by R.C.Morris in 1934.


Remember the 10 feet tiger mentioned by Morris wasn't in the table. Same for the other giant animals posted on this thread. Referring, for instance, to this one from Kerala.


The conclusion is southern India tigers are as large as those in other parts of India. Or, taking Nagarahole into the account, perhaps even larger (heavier). Large tracts of forest, hills and large bovines, that is.   

Central india

Tigers from the Central provinces were and are large animals. Dunbar-Brander's average for 42 males was 9.3 (straight) and 419 pounds and other reliable records confirm his findings. In the table, a number of records from other sources. From left to right number, total length, head and body, tail, source, location and details. All records in cm. and 'between pegs'.

01 - 269,2 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Hoshangabad - Burton, R.G. ('Death cry of tigers', in JBNHS, 1948) - weight 172,4 (kg.)
02 - 276,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Melghat - Burton, R.W. (JBNHS, Vol. 48) - weight 172,4 (kg.)
03 - 281,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Central Provinces - Burton, R.W. (JBNHS, Vol. 48) - weight 190,5 (kg.)
04 - 299,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - India (Central Prov.) - Sterndale ('Mammalia of India') - fore-arm 71,7 (cm.)
05 - 266,7 - 167,6 - 099,1 - India (Central Prov.) - Sterndale ('Mammalia of India') 
06 - 283,2 - 188,0 - 095,2 - India (Central Prov.) - Sterndale ('Mammalia of India')
07 - 287,0 - 200,7 - 086,3 - India (Central Prov.) - Sterndale ('Mammalia of India') - chest 160,0 - head 99,1 - fore-arm 78,8 (cm.)
08 - 276,9 - 185,4 - 091,5 - Central Prov. - Hunter, W.H. (JBNHS, Vol. 10) - weight 238,1 (kg.) - chest 130,8 - head 97,8 (cm.)
09 - 261,7 - 172,7 - 088,9 - Central Prov. - Hunter, W.H. (JBNHS, Vol. 10) - weight 220,5 (kg.)
10 - 264,2 - 172,7 - 091,5 - Central Prov. - Hunter, W.H. (JBNHS, Vol. 10) - weight 194,1 (kg.)

11 - 281,9 - 193,0 - 088,9 - Central Prov. - Hunter, W.H. (JBNHS, Vol. 10) - weight 265,4 (kg.) - chest 142,2 - head 99,1 (cm.)
12 - 281,9 - 194,3 - 087,6 - Central Prov. - Hunter, W.H. (JBNHS, Vol. 10) - weight 203,2 (kg.)
13 - 279,4 - 185,4 - 094,0 - Central prov. - Hunter, W.H. (JBNHS, Vol. 10) - weight 190,5 (kg.)
14 - 271,8 - 188,0 - 083,8 - Central Prov. - Dunbar-Brander (Indian Forester, Vol. 34, 1908) - weight 173,7 (kg.)
15 - 297,2 - 205,8 - 091,4 - Godavari - Burton, R.W. (JBNHS, letter May 14, 1915) - weight 188,7 (kg.), fore-arm 53,3 (cm.)
16 - 287,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Central India - Stewart-Capper (JBNHS, Vol. 28) - skull 14 x 10
17 - 279,4 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Central India - Stewart-Capper (JBNHS, Vol. 28) - skull 13,4 x 9,5
18 - 269,2 - 193,0 - 076,2 - Central India - Stewart-Capper (JBNHS, Vol. 28) - very heavy
19 - 269,2 - 177,8 - 091,4 - Central India - Stewart-Capper (JBNHS, Vol. 28) - lanky
20 - 264,2 - 172,8 - 091,4 - Central India - Stewart-Capper (JBNHS, Vol. 28)

21 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Central Prov. - Burton, R.W. (JBNHS, Vol. 43) - weight 181,4 (kg.)
22 - 313,1 - 201,3 - 111,8 - Central Prov. - JBNHS, Vol. 34 - weight 224,5 (kg. - gorged) - chest 132,1
23 - 294,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Mandla - Hall, J.E. (JBNHS, Vol. 39) - unusually massive, short tail, immense head - wrist 16 (inches)
24 - 295,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Banda Forest - Alikhan, I. (JBNHS, Vol. 40)

From left to right sample - min - average - max

23 - 261,7 - 280,5 - 313,1 - total length
15 - 167,6 - 186,5 - 205,8 - head and body
15 - 076,2 - 091,3 - 111,8 - tail
13 - 172,4 - 201,2 - 265,4 - weight

Although only 5 of the 23 were over 9.6 (most animals in the sample are shortish), the average is over 280 cm. (9.25) for total length (a little over 9.7 'over curves') and over 201 kg. (443,6 pounds) for weight. Again very close to Dunbar-Brander's averages, meaning most adult males in India, a century ago, averaged between 9.0 - 9.4 in total length and 402 - 460 pounds in most regions.

I agree the difference with South-African male lions, a century ago, wasn't spectacular. But there is a clear difference between 'a little under 9 feet and less than 400 pounds' and the numbers found for India. Which was also stated by those that had had experience with both. One, furthermore, has to remember the South-Africans were the largest in Africa and tigers from northern India and Assam are larger than those from Central and South-India.

It is true modern lions average close to most old tigers, but close isn't equal to and there also is a difference between old and modern data. Meaning one has to compare old with old and modern with modern. Which would lead to similar conclusions then and now. Wild Indians tigers are a bit longer and heavier than large African lions. And a bit is roundabout 6 inches straight and 50 pounds in weight.

This is nr. 23, which was described as an unusually massive tiger with an immense head and a very short tail. Wrist 16 inches. He had been known for at least 15 years when he was shot by Hall in 1936.


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#14 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:07 AM


All authorities stated tigers from northern India (Kumaon, Behar, Nepal, Gwalior, Bengal, Cooch Behar, The Duars and The Terai), Sikkim and Bhutan are large animals. There are many rumours regarding the size of tigers in the northern part of Myanmar (Burma).  

I never saw a summary of measurements from the regions mentioned. In this post, an attempt will be made. The table will include animals measured 'over curves' as well, because so many were measured in that way only. From left to right, number, total length 'between pegs', head and body, tail, total length 'over curves', source, location and details. All measurements in cm., unless stated otherwise.

Assam not included because of very contradictory records. Will be done later.

01 - 292,1 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 307,3 - Berg, B. ('Tiger und Mensch', 1943 - Torsa River - weight 256,3 (kg.) - he saw 2 larger
02 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 322,6 - Corbett, J. ('Man-eaters of Kumaon', 1947) - Kumaon
03 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 312,4 - Corbett, J. ('Man-eaters of Kumaon', 1947) - The Pipal Pani Tiger
04 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 101,6 - 335,3 - JBNHS, Vol. 27 - chest 137,2 - fore-arm 66,0
05 - 295,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - The Indian Forester, Vol. 34 - close to Nepal (shot on 29-12 1902) 
06 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 101,6 - 350,5 - JBNHS, Vol. 23 - Gwalior (shot on 11-04 1914) - chest 137,2 - fore-arm 53,3
07 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 093,9 - 307,3 - JBNHS, Vol. 27 - Nepal (shot on 20-03 1920) - Maharajah of Bikanir
08 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 307,3 - JBNHS, Vol. 27 - Nepal (shot on 23-03 1920) - Maharajah of Bikanir - head 94,0
09 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 289,6 - JBNHS, Vol. 27 - Nepal (shot on 26-03 1920) - Maharajah of Bikanir
10 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 287,0 - JBNHS, Vol. 27 - Nepal (shot on 18-04 1920) - Maharajah of Bikanir

11 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 283,2 - JBNHS, Vol. 27 - Nepal (shot on 01-04 1920) - Maharajah of Bikanir
12 - 281,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS (1922) , 'A Royal Shoot in Nepal' - shot on 14-12 1921 - chest 129,5
13 - 294,6 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS (1922) - do - shot on 14-12 1921 - chest 132,1
14 - 292,1 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS (1922) - do - shot on 16-12 1921 - chest 127,0
15 - 279,4 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS (1922) - do - shot on 17-12 1921 - chest 124,5
16 - 299,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS (1922) - do - shot on 19-12 1921 - chest 129,5
17 - 279,4 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS (1922) - do - shot on 21-12 1921 - chest 121,9
18 - 279,4 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS, Vol. 29 - 'Royal Shoot in Gwalior' - shot on  10-02 1922
19 - 266,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS, Vol. 29 - do - shot on 10-02 1922
20 - 264,2 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS, Vol. 29 - do - shot on 11-02 1922

21 - 266,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - JBNHS, Vol. 29 - do - shot on 11-02 1922
22 - 281,9 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 290,8 - Col. C.H. Stockley - JBNHS, Vol. 31 - skin pegged out 10.10,5 inches - skin dressed 10.3
23 - 289,6 - 200,7 - 088,9 - 304,8 - Col. C.H. Stockley - JBNHS, Vol. 34 - skin pegged out 11.7,5 inches - fore-arm 53,3
24 - 315,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Hawkins, T.B. - JBNHS, Vol. 52 - Kheri - shot on 25-03 1946 - chest 137,2
25 - 276,9 - 193,0 - 083,9 - 292,1 - Burton, R.W. - JBNHS, Vol. 30 - Terai - shot on 24-02 1924 - chest 139,7
26 - 294,7 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Singh, K.S. - Tiger Paper - shot on 02-02 1932 - white tiger
27 - 287,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Ives ('Of tigers and men') - northwestern United Provinces, 1955
28 - 287,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - Singh, B.A. ('Tiger Haven') - had killed humans
29 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 000,0 - 339,0 - Singh, K. (his book, 1959) - weight 590 (pounds) - man-eater

From left to right sample, minimum, average and maximum length.

19 - 264,2 - 285,8 - 315,0 - total length 'between pegs' (cm.)
14 - 283,2 - 309,2 - 350,5 - total length 'over curves' (cm.)

Reliability of the average 'between pegs' (285,8) better than the average 'over curves', but less than in the other samples mentioned in previous posts (referring to the averages 'between pegs' found in South and Central India), because I am not quite convinced about the way tigers were measured during the Royal Shoots. You never know with these Royals and those that did the measurements. Referring to rumours about 'special' tapes. But it has to be stated their averages were lower than in most other records and it also has to be stated a number of small animals were mentioned. It could even be some of these were immature. 

The other average ('over curves') is, although impressive indeed (309,2 cm.), less reliable. Many of the animals were handpicked because of their size. I therefore prefer the averages 'over curves' from Berar (James Inglis' friend stated the average of 52 was a little over 9.7) and the Maharajah of Cooch Behar (average almost 9.8). Both samples were larger and both lacked very small or very large animals.       

I, however, don't think these very large tigers were fabricated. There are, as I stated in my previous posts, numbers of records 'over curves' I consider trustworthy. There is, of course, a difference between reliable and accurate, but that doesn't mean all records of very large tigers have to be dismissed because of that reason. Too easy. 

Below, photographs of two very large animals. The first one is nr. 6. This animal was, at 350,5 cm. 'over curves', similar in size to the Jankowski tiger, but less impressive all the way. This is not true for the tiger in the second photograph (nr. 29). This very large animal was a man-eater and it could have been the 590-pound tiger he referred to in his book ('One man and a thousand tigers', 1959). Another tiger, he stated, was 600 pounds (...). Look at the length of the legs, the size of the front paws and the bulk of this animal.





Lt.-Col. A. Locke's book on (man-eating) tigers in Malaysia ('The tigers of Terengganu', London, 1954) undoubtedly is one of the most interesting written. Locke was a District Officer in a remote and wild region in the late forties and early fifties of the last century. It was his task to protect the local population from various enemies. These included

" ... Communist terrorist gangs who infested the jungle, and cattle-destroying and man-eating tigers living in the same resort. Colonel Locke only sought to shoot tigers when they forsook their normal diet ... and took to dining off domestic animals or human beings in the kampongs. Otherwise he felt the admiration for those lordly beasts ... and left them free to roam at will in their kingdom ... " (foreword by the Right Honourable Malcolm Mac Donald, Commissioner-General for the UK in  South-East Asia).

Locke estimated there were, at that time, roundabout 3000 tigers in all of Malaysia. He saw the records of the Sultan of Johore and got to an average of nearly 8.6 for adult males ('between pegs') and 8.2 for adult females. When his tigers were added (he shot 11 adult males averaging 8.7 and 8 adult females averaging 7.4), the averages for Johore and Terengganu combined were 8.6 for males and 7.10 for females. His largest male taped 8.11. Had its tail been intact, this animal, he thought, would have taped 9.4, as opposed to 9.8 for the longest shot by the Sultan of Johore.

All this means tigers in Johore and Terengganu, at 8.6 for adult males and 7.10 for adult females, were very close in size to Indian lions (adult males) for length. The longest tigers taped 9.8, 9.6 and 9.4 (all adult males). The tigers in the southern part of Malaysia, however, probably didn't compare to the Gir lions for weight. Locke wasn't able to weigh many, but the few weighed were well below 400 pounds. Locked thought only a very large and gorged male would be able to top 400 pounds (pages 6-15). 

This, again, suggests Mazak's (1983) estimate (110-120 kg. for females and 170-190 kg. for males of Panthera trigris corbetti) most probably didn't include tigers from Johore and Terengganu.

In one of the previous posts on this thread, it was stated females in Terenggganu averaged close to 80 kg. and the photographs I saw indicate this could be close to reality. It  has to be stated, however, the small sample from Terengganu included at least one immature animal. Assuming the real average would be between 80-90 kg. for most adult females, this means the average for adult males, who usually are 50-60% heavier, would range between 120-150 kg. or a bit more in some cases. Based on what I saw, my guess is 350 pounds would be quite a weight for an adult male tiger in Johore and Terengganu.   

All this clearly indicates tigers from the southern part of Malaysia were smaller than Indian tigers all the way. As for colouration, Locke thought tigers from Malaysia were better marked. He distinguished between tigers living close to villages, who mainly hunted at night, and tigers living in the jungle, who were active at all times of day. Locke, apart from one male who, for some reason, shifted ground and became a confirmed man-eater, only was in contact wih tigers operating near villages, of which quite a number, after they had started as cattle-killers, developed to man-eaters. 


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#15 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:10 AM


3.0 - HABITS

In the years Lt.-Col. Locke was stationed in Terengganu, he hunted and shot 11 adult males and 8 adult females. All of these were either cattle- lifters (15) or man-eaters (4). As it was his aim to eliminate tigers causing problems only, Locke, in every case, took his time to study the local situation and the animal he was after.

This means he, unlike many others hunting tigers, was able to observe tigers to an extent seldom witnessed before. Although well hidden in his book, many observations were both unique and interesting. There is, in my opinion, no doubt Locke, regarding knowledge on wild tigers, was second to none. In this post a number of direct quotes of interest to many.   





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#16 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:11 AM



This water buffalo was killed by a tigress. As these seldom exceed 100 kg. in Terengganu, it was an impressive display of strength and technique.


When Locke found the buffalo, he tried to move the animal to a better spot. Eight men (...) weren't able to move the animal one inch. The tigress, however, was. After the animal had been shot, the buffalo was moved with a four-wheel drive (...). 



It is known tigers like to swim and often cross considerable distances. In Malaysia, tigers used to swim to Hong Kong. The last one did so in 1950, according to Locke. Another tiger used to swim the four miles to his restaurant, which was situated on an island. He always was the only customer.

Sorry for the large size and the strange scan.



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#17 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:14 AM



The females shot by the Sultan of Johore averaged 8.2 (248,9 cm.) 'between pegs', whereas 8 shot by Locke averaged 7.4 (223,5 cm.). The average of both regions combined was 7.10 (238,4 cm.), which seems rather long. The Sultan of Johore, according to Locke, measured his tigers 'between pegs', which means the averages mentioned are accurate.

Kitchener ('The natural history of the wild cats', Comstock Publishing Associates, 1991, ISBN 0-8014-8498-7, page 249) collected measurements of all wild cats. Regarding those mentioned for Malaysia, he referred to an article of Khan, M.K. bin M. ('Tigers of the world', Noyes, New Jersey, 1987).

Khan stated 8 females from Terengganu averaged 72 kg. (range 24-89) and 221 cm. in total length (range 148-246), with head and body ranging between 119-170 (average 148 cm.)  and tails between 53-79 (average 72 cm.). These records are suspect, as the lower limit suggests at least one immature animal was included.

Khan also stated 5 females from Kelanatan (Thailand) ranged between 53-156 kg. in weight (average 97 kg.) and 183-249 cm. in total length (average 222 cm.), with head and body ranging between 122-165 cm. (average 145 cm.) and tails between 61-86 cm. (average 77 cm.). Same remark regarding reliability, as the lower limit suggests at least one animal was immature.

Anyhow, the information available suggests tigresses in Johore and Terengganu range between 223,5-248,9 cm. in total length (averages) and 24-89 kg. in weight (average 72 kg.). The real average (weight) could be a bit higher. One would, regarding all this, expect adult tigresses to be long and lanky animals and the photographs in Locke's book suggest this is indeed the case.  


This is a close-up of the head of a young, not quite full-grown, tigress. 


This is a photograph of two young adult tigresses shot by Locke. Long and lanky, with long legs. Weight well below 100 kg. and many narrow, well marked (nearly black) stripes. 



Adult males in Johore and Terengganu averaged 8.6 (259,1 cm.) in total length 'between pegs'. The longest taped 9.8 (294,6 cm.) and 9.6 (289,6 cm.). There are no records for weight. If the relation between the sexes is similar to the relation found in other parts of Asia, adult males would be 50-60% heavier than adult females and we know these, most probably, average between 80-90 kg. or thereabout. This means most adult males would range between 120-150 kg. or a bit more.

Tigers in the northern part of Malaysia (Perak), according to Burgess (JBNHS, Vol. 38), are decidedly larger. He described the animals he shot as 'well conditioned and massive' and out of a series of 14, 4 animals taped 9.8 (294,6 cm.), 9.4 (284,5 cm.), 9.3 (281,9 cm.) and 9.0 (274,3 cm.). Burgess thought the animals he shot compared well to Indian tigers. Large animals. 

Same for Thailand. Kitchener (see the previous post for details), quoting Lekagul, B. and McNeely, J. ('Mammals of Thailand', Bangkok, 1977), stated adult males ranged between 170-229 cm. in head and body, 95-119 cm. in tails and 180-245 kg. in weight (way of measuring not stated). Pocock (his 1929 article) mentioned an animal of 9.3 (281,9 cm.) shot by Col. C.H. Stockley in Bankachon.

Tigers in Burma, like in Perak and Thailand, also are large animals. Thom, W.S. ('Tiger shooting in Burma', JBNHS, Vol. 37) referred to animals taping 10.4 ('over curves'), 9.4 ('between pegs') and 9.0 (274,3 cm.).    

This is the longest shot by Locke. This animal was 8.11 (271,8 cm.) and, according to Locke, would have measured 9.4 (284,5 cm.) if the tail had been intact. In appearance, the tiger compares to the adult females posted before. Long body and legs and lanky.


The photographs he published, suggest most males were similar to this one. There is, however, a lot of variation. Two of the photographs showed heavy and muscular animals. This male, a man-eater, was short, but stocky and bigger all the way.


   1 - A villager has been killed. Dragmark of the last victim of the Jerangau-maneater.


2 - Stalking, because of the terrain and the dense jungle, was out of the question.


3 - The dragmark was followed until the victim was found. Then a suitable tree was selected, a platform was contructed (photograph 3) and a hide was made (photograph 4).


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#18 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:15 AM

Body mass tigers (Random)

Overall sample:


Finally, an overall sample of all India, just from male specimens. Some come from my previous investigation and others from Peter.


Measurements were taken between pegs and in cm.



Tiger No.               Total length          Weight in kg (and lb).         Location                                  Reference

1                             292                         198.2 (437)                                                                         Brown, 1893

2                                                          236.2 (520.8)                       Purneah, East Bengal         Brown, 1893

3                             292                         201 (443)                              Central India                         Brown, 1893

4                                                          158.5 (349.5)                                                                      Brown, 1893

5                                                          161 (355)                                                                            Inverarity, 1888

6                             283                        172.4 (380)                          Central India                     Lydekker et al., 1897

7                             267                         164 (362)                              Central India                   Lydekker et al., 1897

8                                                          267.6 (590)                          Gwalior                                   Singh, 1959

9                             323                         222.7 (491)                          Duars                                     Ward, 1907

10                                                        275.8 (608)                          Gwalior                                  Pocock, 1939

11                                                        272 (600)                              Gwalior                                 Singh, 1970

12                                                        250 (551)                              Panna NP                         Chundawatt, pers. Comm.

13                                                        240 (529)                              Panna NP                             Chundawatt, 2004

14                                                        220 (485)                              Sariska NP                        Sariska Web page

15                           297                         188.7 (416)                          Godavari, Central India      Burton, 1915

16                           292                         256.3 (565)                          Mandarihat, Bengal            Berg, 1943

17                           277                         172.4 (380)                          Melghat                                 Burton, 1926

18                           272                        173.7 (383)                          Central India                         Brander, 1908

19                           269                         172.4 (380)                          Narbada                                Burton, 1948

20                                                        156 (344)                              Naga Hills, Assam             Marshall, 1937

21                                                        149.7 (330)                          Naga Hills, Assam              Marshall, 1937

22                           285                         213.2 (470)                                                                       Stewart, 1927

X                             286.3                     205.5 (453.2)                      


Average: 205.5 kg. n=22. Range: 149.7 – 275.8 kg.

This average is no different than the figure of 205 kg calculated to all the populations together, excluding the Sundarbans tigers, which are, apparently, a different subspecies. From a sample of 54 males, I calculate an average chest girth of 131 cm (range: 114 – 168 cm).

This is the data that I have about the body mass of the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). Peter, if you have more data of body mass, especially about females, it will be excellent as it will enrich these results.



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#19 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:19 AM

About Sundarbans tigers

Here is the full study of Dr Barlow. It results to be the same published in Barlow (2009). Through the reading, you can see that Sundarbans tigers had distinct characteristics than the mainland Bengal tigers.





The final conclusion: It is necessary to make genetic analysis to corroborate what the bones had stated, but for the moment, this population most be maintained isolated from the Bengal subspecies.


Here is the image of a skeleton of a Sundarbans tiger; its face looks completely different than an average Bengal tiger:



Here is the picture of one of the tigress captured by Barlow’s team:


She weighed 75 kg, but it was very thing and emaciated. However, even been in good conditions, her body size is about the same that a large leopard or a jaguar, just like the extinct Bali tigers.

LT.-COL. C.H. STOCKLEY ON MR. SIMMOND'S TIGER (Rowland Ward's 1921 table)


Finally, we could propose a scientific name for this new tiger: Panthera tigris fluviatilis (Sterndale, 1884). This could be the same case of the Sonda tigers, which according with J.H.Mazák, are a complete different species than the mainland tigers. BUT this is another history. 

This is a letter Lt.-Col. Stockley wrote on March 4, 1930. The letter is a reaction to Pococks 1929 article on tigers and was published in the JBNHS (Vol. 34). In the letter, Stockley educates Pocock on the size of Indian tigers in no uncertain way. Pocock apparently took the letter to heart.

In the letter, Lt.-Col. Stockley referred to the 10.7 tiger from Annam (with a 15.5 x 10.5 inch skull) mentioned by Pocock in his 1929 article. He also referred to Mr. Simmond's large (ten feet and half an inch) tiger and to his own (9.3) tiger, which was described as an average tigress in India by Pocock. Finally, he provided details of a large (9.6) tiger he shot in Kheri (northern India) in January 1930. All measurements (those of the Annam tiger and Mr. Simmond's tiger included) 'between pegs'.

Lt.-Col. Stockley knew about tigers and his remarks regarding the tigers mentioned have to be taken seriously. Here's the letter.




In post 143, I referred to a very large tiger from southern India. This animal was mentioned in a discussion on the correct way to measure a tiger in the JBNHS. The measurements of the large tiger were considered as reliable by all participating (most of these hunters) and Sterndale also mentioned this tiger in his book. 

I decided to scan and post the pages I referred to. This means everyone interested in the subject is able to read about the discussion. It had an effect, which also was a result of Sterndale's advice (in his book) to measure tigers 'between pegs' and not 'over curves' in the future. Many hunters, after the discussion, obliged and the Maharajah of Cooch Behar was one who, after the discussion, decided to measure the tigers he and his guests shot in both ways.




This is the last part of the discussion I referred to in the previous post.


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P Tigris.animalvsanimal

Posts: 17 Member Since:relative

#20 [url]

Oct 31 13 3:19 AM

Great new forum, King. I'll contribute more a bit later. Props and let's keep info here safe.

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