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The Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni), exclusively found in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula, was not considered a subspecies in its own right until 2004. The new classification came about after a study by Luo et al. from the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity Study, part of the National Cancer Institute of the United States. Recent counts showed there are 600–800 tigers in the wild, making it the third largest tiger population, behind the Bengal tiger and the Indochinese tiger. The Malayan tiger is the smallest of the mainland tiger subspecies, and the second smallest living subspecies, with males averaging about 120 kg and females about 100 kg in weight. The Malayan tiger is a national icon in Malaysia, appearing on its coat of arms and in logos of Malaysian institutions, such as Maybank.
The tiger,a member of the Felidae family, is the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. The tiger is native to much of eastern and southern Asia, and is an apex predator and an obligate carnivore. The larger tiger subspecies are comparable in size to the biggest extinct felids, reaching up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) in total length, weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds), and having canines up to 4 inches (100 mm) long. Aside from their great bulk and power, their most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes that overlays near-white to reddish-orange fur, with lighter underparts. The most numerous tiger subspecies is the Bengal tiger, while the largest is the Siberian tiger.
Tigers have a lifespan of 10–15 years in the wild, but can live longer than 20 years in captivity. They are highly adaptable and range from the Siberian taiga to open grasslands and tropical mangrove swamps.
They are territorial and generally solitary animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey demands. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans. Three of the nine subspecies of modern tiger have gone extinct, and the remaining six are classified as endangered, some critically so. The primary direct causes are habitat destruction, fragmentation, and hunting.
Historically, tigers have existed from Mesopotamia and the Caucasus throughout most of South and East Asia. Today, the range of the species is radically reduced. All surviving species are under formal protection, yet poaching, habitat destruction, and inbreeding depression continue to threaten the tigers.
Tigers are among the most recognisable and popular of the world's charismatic megafauna. They have featured prominently in ancient mythology and folklore, and continue to be depicted in modern films and literature. Tigers appear on many flags and coats of arms, as mascots for sporting teams, and as the national animal of several Asian nations, including India.
Tigers typically have rusty-reddish to brown-rusty coats, a whitish medial and ventral area, a white "fringe" that surrounds the face, and stripes that vary from brown or gray to pure black. The form and density of stripes differs between subspecies (as well as the ground coloration of the fur; for instance, Siberian tigers are usually paler than other tiger subspecies), but most tigers have over 100 stripes.
The pattern of stripes is unique to each animal, these unique markings can be used by researchers to identify individuals (both in the wild and captivity), much in the same way that fingerprints are used to identify humans. It seems likely that the function of stripes is camouflage, serving to help tigers conceal themselves amongst the dappled shadows and long grass of their environment as they stalk their prey. The stripe pattern is also found on the skin of the tiger. If a tiger were to be shaved, its distinctive camouflage pattern would be preserved.
Like other big cats, tigers have a white spot on the backs of their ears. These spots, called ocelli, serve a social function, by communicating the animal's mental state to conspecifics in the gloom of dense forest or in tall grass.
Tigers have the additional distinction of being the heaviest cats found in the wild. They also have powerfully built legs and shoulders, with the result that they, like lions, have the ability to pull down prey substantially heavier than themselves. However, the subspecies differ markedly in size, tending to increase proportionally with latitude, as predicted by Bergmann's Rule.
Large male Siberian Tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) can reach a total length of 3.5 m "over curves" (3.3 m. "between pegs") and a weight of 306 kilograms,. This is considerably larger than the sizes reached by island-dwelling tigers such as the Sumatran, the smallest living subspecies, with a body weight of only 75–140 kg. Depending upon subspecies tigers may be 1.4-2.8 m (4.6-9.2 ft) long from along the head and body, while the tail may add a
Andrew Symonds brings gusto to whatever he does, whether firing down offbreaks or mediums, hurling his ungainly bulk round the field or vigorously ruffling the bowler's hair at the celebration of a wicket. He saves his loudest grunt for his batting, where he is that rarest of modern-day creatures - an unabashed six-hitter in the mould of a George Bonnor or a Colin Milburn or a David Hookes. Batting for Gloucestershire at 20, he scythed 16 sixes in the first dig [a world record] against Glamorgan at Abergavenny, 20 for the match [another first], and then announced he couldn't care less about the milestone; he wanted only to help his team. He has been matter-of-factly demolishing attacks ever since. His flaw has been to attempt one six too many - invariably off the wrong ball.
"I used to hate watching him bat," his old coach Toot Byron once lamented. "He wasn't in control of his shot-selection ... he'd get 24 off an over and then go out on the last ball of that over." Legend has it that Symonds, a dreadlocked Queensland larrikin, once turned up barefoot and wearing a cowboy hat for a contract meeting with Cricket Australia's then-chief executive Malcolm Speed. He also graciously ruled himself ineligible for any award at the 2006 Allan Border Medal - he would have been the One-Day Player of the Year - after being suspended for turning up drunk before Australia's embarrassing loss to Bangladesh on the 2005 Ashes tour.
During almost five years in and out of the one-day side he frittered away golden opportunities galore. One day changed everything. Striding out with his team in turmoil against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup, a game and tournament he never expected to play in, Symonds sculpted a masterly 143 not out in 125 balls. Until that day, he had mustered just 762 one-day runs at only 23; ever since he has averaged more than 45 and become a hero to the masses. "In the past," he admits, "I was a man without a map when I went out to bat." Now he understands his one-day role perfectly - he could have claimed to be the side's most valuable player after pounding three hundreds and taking 21 wickets in 2005-06. His impact to the limited-overs outfit was shown the following season after he ripped a tendon from his arm playing a fierce drive. Without him the team strled to its worst losing streak in a decade. Symonds proved he was an incredibly quick healer by entering the World Cup mid-tournament and was part of his second consecutive triumph.
Born in Birmingham, Symonds could have played for England but dreamed only of wearing the baggy green. In 2004 his fantasy was fulfilled in decidedly unGabbalike surroundings: the crackling minefields of Sri Lanka. He batted gamely without looking altogether comfortable, and was dumped after two Tests. Almost two years later he received an extended run as Australia's selectors searched for an answer to Andrew Flintoff, but he couldn't consistently mirror his one-day performances. Faced with the axe, he cracked a huge six at the MCG to open his scoring in a pressure-relieving 72 from 54 balls, which included a ground-record five maximums, but was dropped on the Bangladesh tour after strling for reliable impact in the previous series against South Africa. Given another opportunity when Shane Watson was injured and Damien Martyn retired, he appeared in his first Ashes series and reached a career high in his second game with 156 at the MCG. Batting with his fishing friend Matthew Hayden, he showed he had the mindset to make it.
The past year has been easily his best, with 777 runs in nine Tests against Sri Lanka, India and West Indies. The high was an unbeaten 162 in the first innings at the SCG, which was quickly followed by the low of a lengthy race row involving Harbhajan Singh. The problems did not prevent him becoming the most popular overseas player at the Indian Premier League auction, where he sold for US$1.35m, and he had four games with the Deccan Chargers. After the tournament he switched back into five-day mode and a pair of half-centuries in the tight opening contest with West Indies showed his growing batting maturity and sense of security at Test level. By the end of the campaign his average was a respectable 44.65. However, his off-field attitude continued to be a problem and the last straw came when he went fishing in Darwin when he should have been at a team meeting in the lead-up to an ODI series against Bangladesh. Symonds was sent home from the series and not picked for the tour of India in late 2008, although he declared himself keen to return to the top level via state cricket.
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