Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Buck
Published: February 21, 2022
Image Credit Martin Mecnarowski/Shutterstock.com
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Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a Siberian tiger vs Bengal tiger? While both of these big cats can be difficult to tell apart, their habitats and preferred living locations give them many different traits from one another. While you may not be able to tell upon first glance, there are some key distinguishing features between these two big cats!

In this article, we will address these differences in detail so that you can learn how to tell the difference between these two types of tigers. We will also discuss where these cats are commonly found and their levels of endangerment and population amounts. Let’s get started and learn more about them now.

Comparing Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger

siberian tiger vs bengal tiger
Siberian tigers prefer the cold and snowy climates of Russia while Bengal tigers are commonly found throughout India and China.

A-Z-Animals.com

Siberian TigerBengal Tiger
GenusPantheraPanthera
LocationRussia and northern KoreaIndia and parts of China
HabitatSnowy tundras and coniferous forests; cold grasslandsGrasslands, humid areas, mangrove forests, deciduous forests
AppearanceThick fur coat with fat stores; stripes are brown and coat is often a light orange or yellow, rust coloredThin coat with black stripes; often found in a yellow orange or light shade with contrasting stripes
Size7-12 feet long; 300-600 pounds6-10 feet long; 200-600 pounds

The Main Differences Between Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger

siberian tiger vs bengal tiger
Siberian tigers are larger than Bengal tigers, especially males.

There are many key differences between Siberian tigers vs Bengal tigers. While they are from the same big cat genus, the locations where these tigers are found in the wild differ greatly. Siberian tigers prefer the cold and snowy climates of Russia while Bengal tigers are commonly found throughout India and China. Their preferred habitats also differ greatly because of this, but we’ll address that in more detail if you read on.

Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Size Based on Gender

siberian tigers vs bengal tigers
Siberian tigers grow anywhere from 7 to 12 feet in length, while Bengal tigers grow 6-10 feet in length on average.

iStock.com/slowmotiongli

A primary difference between Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers is their overall sizes. Siberian tigers are larger than Bengal tigers, especially males. In both tiger species, the male tigers far outweigh the female tigers. However, no matter the gender, Siberian tigers tend to outweigh and grow larger than Bengal tigers.

Siberian tigers grow anywhere from 7 to 12 feet in length, while Bengal tigers grow 6-10 feet in length on average. Plus, Bengal tigers weigh slightly less than Siberian tigers; however, both of these big cats can reach over 600 pounds, if not far more!

This is likely due to their habitat differences and preferred wild locations. Siberian tigers have a much colder climate that they live in, which means that their fat stores are far greater than those of a Bengal tiger.

Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Location Found

Siberian tiger vs bengal tiger
Siberian tigers live in cold and snowy forests or tundras, while Bengal tigers far prefer humid and damp locations such as deciduous forests.

GUDKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock.com

Another difference that we have already touched upon is the location in which Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers are found. Siberian tigers are found in the cold climates of Eastern Russia as well as northern China and Korea, while Bengal tigers are found throughout India. You may also find wild Bengal tigers in parts of Thailand, China, and beyond.

Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Habitat

As we have already mentioned, the preferred climates of Siberian tigers vs Bengal tigers differ greatly. These two cats may look similar, but their preferences are completely different in terms of living environments! For example, Siberian tigers live in cold and snowy forests or tundras, while Bengal tigers far prefer humid and damp locations such as deciduous forests.

The climate preferences between these two tigers greatly affects their appearances and diets as well. Given the specific habitats that these cats live in, their prey is extremely different despite them both being carnivores. For example, the Siberian tiger eats smaller deer species but also large moose species, while Bengal tigers tend to feed on smaller deer species only found in India.

Siberian tiger vs Bengal tiger
The Siberian tiger eats smaller deer species but also large moose species, while Bengal tigers tend to feed on smaller deer species only found in India.

dangdumrong/Shutterstock.com

Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Appearance

Another key difference between the Siberian tiger vs Bengal tiger lies in their appearance. Siberian tigers have a lighter colored coat when compared to a Bengal tiger. This is largely due to the fact that Siberian tigers live in snow and ice for the majority of the year, and they have a light reddish-orange coat with brown stripes to make up for this. Bengal tigers have black stripes and a darker yellowish coat in contrast, perfect for their habitat in India.

You may also notice a difference in the appearance of these two cats based on the amount of fat that is stored in their bodies. For example, Siberian tigers have extreme fat pockets along their sides and bellies, while Bengal tigers maintain a slim figure. This is because Siberian tigers deal with much colder temperatures than Bengal tigers do and they need the extra fat storage.

Siberian tiger vs Bengal tiger
Siberian tigers have a lighter colored coat when compared to a Bengal tiger.

Anuradha Marwah/Shutterstock.com

Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Rarity or Endangered Status

A final difference between Siberian tigers vs Bengal tigers is their rarity and endangered status. It is estimated that fewer than 600 Siberian tigers exist in the wild today while experts estimate that there are more than 3500 Bengal tigers in the wild currently. While both of these numbers are extremely low in the grand scheme of a species, the Siberian tiger is far more rare than the Bengal tiger.

This is likely due to poaching and hunting. However, the Siberian tiger may also experience greater population decline based on climate change and humanity encroaching on their natural habitat as well. The Bengal tiger is likely facing similar issues, so it is important to always keep animal conservation in mind whenever possible.

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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