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Siberian Tiger vs. Bengal Tiger: What's the Difference?

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Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a Siberian tiger and a Bengal tiger? While it can be difficult to tell the two big cats apart, their habitats and preferred living locations give them many characteristics that differ from each other. While you might not be able to tell the difference at first glance, there are some key distinguishing traits between these two big cats!

In this article, we'll go over the differences in detail so you can learn how to tell the two tigers apart. We will also discuss where these cats are common and how endangered and population they are. Let's get started and learn more about them now.

Comparing Siberian Tigers and Bengal Tigers

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

© AZ-Animals.com

siberian tiger Bengal tiger
belongs to Panthera Panthera
Place Russia and North Korea India and parts of China
Habitat Snowy tundra and taiga; cold grasslands Grasslands, wetlands, mangroves, deciduous forests
appearance thick fur coat with fat stores; stripes are brown, coat usually light orange or yellow, rust colored Light coat with black stripes; usually orange or light with contrasting stripes
size 7-12 feet long; 300-600 lbs 6-10 feet long; 200-600 lbs

Key Differences Between Siberian Tiger and Bengal Tiger

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

© Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.com

There are a number of key differences between Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers. Although they are from the same genus of big cats, the places where these tigers are found in the wild are quite different. Siberian tigers prefer the cold, snowy climate of Russia, while Bengal tigers are commonly found in India and China. As a result, their preferred habitats also vary widely, but we'll discuss this in more detail if you read on.

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Siberian Tigers vs Bengal Tigers: Size Based on Sex

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

© iStock.com/slowmotiongli

The main difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers is their overall size. Siberian tigers are larger than Bengal tigers, especially males. In both types of tigers, the male tiger weighs far more than the female tiger. Regardless of sex, however, Siberian tigers tend to be heavier and grow larger than Bengal tigers.

Siberian tigers range in length from 7 to 12 feet, while Bengal tigers average 6-10 feet in length. Also, the Bengal tiger weighs slightly less than the Siberian tiger; however, both of these big cats can weigh over 600 pounds, if not more!

This may be due to differences in their habitats and preferred field locations. Siberian tigers live in a much colder climate, which means they store far more fat than Bengal tigers.

Siberian Tigers vs. Bengal Tigers: Location Discovery

Siberian Tiger vs. Bengal Tiger
Siberian tigers live in cold and snowy forests or tundra, while Bengal tigers prefer moist and humid places such as deciduous forests.

© Andrey Gudkov/Shutterstock.com

Another difference between Bengal tigers and Siberian tigers that we have already mentioned is where these tigers are found. Siberian tigers live in the colder climates of eastern Russia and northern China and Korea, while Bengal tigers can be found across India. You can also find wild Bengal tigers in parts of Thailand, China and elsewhere.

Siberian and Bengal Tigers: Habitat

As we already mentioned, the preferred climates of Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers are very different. Although these two cats look similar, they have completely different living environment preferences! For example, Siberian tigers live in cold and snowy forests or tundra, while Bengal tigers prefer damp, humid places like deciduous forests.

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Climate preferences between the two tigers also greatly affect their appearance and diet. Considering the specific habitats these cats live in, even though they are both carnivores, their prey are very different. For example, Siberian tigers eat smaller deer but also larger moose, while Bengal tigers tend to eat smaller deer that are only found in India.

Siberian Tiger vs. Bengal Tiger
Siberian tigers feed on smaller deer but also larger moose, while Bengal tigers tend to prey on smaller deer found only in India.

©dangdumrong/Shutterstock.com

Siberian Tiger vs Bengal Tiger: Appearance

Another major difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers is their appearance. The Siberian tiger has a lighter coat color compared to the Bengal tiger. This is largely due to the fact that Siberian tigers live in snow and ice for most of the year, and they compensate for this with light reddish-orange fur with brown stripes. Bengal tigers have contrasting black stripes and dark yellow fur, well suited to their habitat in India.

You may also notice a difference in the appearance of the two cats, depending on the amount of fat stored in their bodies. For example, Siberian tigers have large pockets of fat on their sides and abdomen, while Bengal tigers maintain a slender body. That's because Siberian tigers live in much cooler temperatures than Bengal tigers, and they need extra fat stores.

Siberian Tiger vs. Bengal Tiger
The Siberian tiger has a lighter coat color compared to the Bengal tiger.

©Anuradha Marwah/Shutterstock.com

Siberian and Bengal Tigers: Rare or Endangered Status

One final difference between Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers is their rarity and endangered status. It is estimated that there are fewer than 600 Amur tigers in the wild today, while experts estimate there are more than 3,500 Bengal tigers in the wild. While both numbers are very low in the grand scheme of things for a species, Siberian tigers are much rarer than Bengal tigers.

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This may be due to poaching and hunting. However, Siberian tiger populations are also likely to experience greater declines due to climate change and human encroachment on their natural habitat. Bengal tigers are likely to face similar issues, so it's important to keep animal conservation in mind as much as possible.

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featured image

siberian tiger vs bengal tiger
Young Siberian tiger, Panthera tigris altaica, walking in a forest stream in a dark green spruce forest. Tigers are very good swimmers and have been known to drown their prey.

© Martin Mecnarowski/Shutterstock.com


about the author

august croft


I am a non-binary freelance writer working full time in Oregon. A graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BA in Theater and a major in Creative Writing, I have an interest in a variety of topics, especially the history of the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping on the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my family's kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast-iron skillet.

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