What’s the Difference between Bengal and Siberian Tigers?

what's the difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers

Among the various species on our planet, tigers are among the most observed and talked about creatures. They belong to the feline family, and are the most prominent group members. With numerous species living in jungles around the world, a few remain the focus of attention. Bengal tigers and Siberian tigers are among them!

If you were to ask us which of the two is the most beautiful creature from the tiger family, we would be at a loss for words. Honestly, they are both stunning creatures in looks and lifestyle. We’ll leave this choice to you and let you decide which one is better after reading this article about what’s the difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers!

Difference between Bengal and Siberian Tigers

1. A Brief Introduction

Bengal and Siberian tigers are famous among their own kind and humans for many reasons. One of them is their existence in one continent only. These subspecies of tigers are found only in Asia, making them intriguing for wildlife enthusiasts.

Another reason for them being so popular is their continued existence despite many other species of tigers going extinct. Their perseverance and glory make it challenging to determine who would win between the two striped cats!

2. They Live in Asia, but Where Exactly?

Bengal tigers or more commonly known as ‘royal Bengal tigers,’ call Indonesia, India, Bhutan, Thailand, Nepal, China, and Vietnam, their home! They have been in these regions for a long time, primarily because of the climate conditions. They prefer tropical to temperate climates and live in deciduous forests or grasslands.

Siberian tigers aren’t that different from royal Bengal tigers except for their preference for colder climate regions. They live in northern parts of Korea, China, and East Russia. Forests of birches and conifers are their home.

Siberian tiger with brown stripes

3. Does the Habitat Affect Them?

The two giant cats may look similar at first glance, but their climate preferences define their way of living in different ways. Siberian tigers are fond of snowy forests and cold temperatures. And Bengal tigers like to prance around in humid conditions of deciduous forests! The habitat differences impact the diet and appearance of these two tigers.

A Siberian tiger finds prey that also lives in a cold environment, like a small deer and large moose species. On the other hand, a Bengal tiger would find a game in a tropical setting, something like a smaller deer species native to India. This difference determines their health factors despite their carnivore preferences.

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4. What’s the Difference in Their Appearance?

The difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers is apparent in their coat and color. Siberian tigers have a thick coat in rusty red or pale golden color. The belly is all white with black or brown stripes adorning the fur. They live in snow and ice for most of the year, so their coat is thicker than Bengal tigers.

Bengal tigers have a darker coat in a yellowish shade with black stripes. They have tropical surroundings, so their appearance fits their habitat. If a person is used to seeing a Bengal tiger in their habitat, they would be able to identify the two different species quickly.

The two tiger species also differ based on their body mass. Since the Siberian tigers live in snow-covered forests, they have an abundance of fat pockets along their bellies and sides. The amount of fat protects them from harsh winters.

Bengal tigers have a thin coat with a slim figure, maintained throughout the year. Their environment never gets too cold, so they do not need excess fat pockets to survive.

5. Are They Different in Size?

Yes, they are. Siberian tigers are giant compared to Bengal tigers. They are about 2-4 inches taller with a reach of 10-12 feet and 675 pounds. Siberian tigers are heavier due to the excess fat on their bodies. It acts as an insulating layer to protect Siberian tigers during cold temperatures.

On the other hand, Bengal tigers can reach 8-10 feet in length with a weight of 525 pounds. These numbers are for the males in both species. A female Bengal and Siberian tiger would be much smaller.

The size difference is among the defining factors of these two species. Even if they look similar from a distance, their habitat and size can determine whether it is a Siberian tiger or a royal Bengal tiger.

Fierce Bengal tiger

6. What Are Their Dinner Preferences?

Both tiger species are carnivores, globally known as apex predators. They can easily catch and kill their prey with their sharp claws and teeth. However, their prey preferences differ based on their location and climate condition.

Siberian tigers have a taste for deer, elk, rabbits, hares, and, if available, brown and black bears. They can only find their food in the cold forest they inhabit, so their diet depends on the weaker species that live in the same forest.

Bengal tigers also have massive yet limited food choices because of their habitat. They have water buffaloes, wild pigs, gaur, sambar, and other hoofed mammals living in the same environment.

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7. Do They Mark Their Territory?

Like all the apex predators of this world, Siberian and Bengal tigers also mark their territories. Siberian tigers have a region of around 2500-4000 sq. miles. They can hunt for food at night and effortlessly cover a 40 sq. miles area within their territory.

Bengal tigers Do not have a territory as vast as the Siberian tigers. Their area is limited to 77 sq. miles during the warm season and 42 sq. miles during winters.

8. Who’d Win If These Tigers Are Face to Face?

Now that we know the difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers, it should be easier to tell who’d win if they faced each other! A Siberian tiger will easily defeat a royal Bengal tiger because it is considerably more significant in size. Their harsh habitat has shaped their personalities to be aggressive, so they won’t back off while facing a Bengal tiger.

Tigers have a standard way of fighting their opponent. They stand on hind legs and use their arms and paws to cause harm. Their sharp claws also come in handy when the tigers are ready to rip their opponent’s face! It’s all about muscle strength, which determines who will win the fight.

Siberian tigers have a much larger body, giving them the edge to block any attack from Bengal tigers. Their strikes are faster and more forceful, knocking the Bengal tigers off balance.

Tigers in a fight

9. Are They Endangered Species?

Another difference that sets Siberian tigers apart from Bengal tigers is their rarity. There are no more than 600 Siberian tigers on the planet which is a deficient number. We can say that finding a Siberian tiger is quite tricky because of the endangerment and habitat.

Bengal tigers are around 3500 globally, so they aren’t as rare as the Siberian tigers. Looking at other apex predator categories, it’s clear that both species are endangered and rare.

This unfortunate situation is due to the increase in hunting and poaching activities. Furthermore, climate change affects the two species along with the encroachment of humans on their natural land.

10. Why Are These Tigers Not Ruling the Jungle?

Given the size and tenacity of a tiger, one would think that it should be the king of the jungle, but that’s not the case in this world. Tigers are solitary creatures who do not stay with their families for more than two years. They leave their mothers and go out on their own to conquer the great wilderness!

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Their lives are a lot more complicated than lions because they have to defend their territory and protect their prey from other predators. They have to be ferocious to survive any fight, whether for survival or food! Moreover, Siberian and Bengal tigers are endangered enough to worry about survival instead of ruling the jungle.

Lions are not like that; in terms of strength and power. They are the real kings of the jungle because they fear nothing and no one! They can also last longer in a fight than a tiger.

Siberian Tiger vs. Bengal Tiger – Fighting Techniques

If you wonder what would happen if a Bengal Tiger went head-to-head with a Siberian Tiger, watch as this Amur tiger fights this Bengal tiger. Here you can see the full force and fighting techniques of these tigers!


Now that we understand what’s the difference between Bengal and Siberian tigers, we can truly say that tigers are some of the most precious species in the world! Although different in size, appearance, diet, and territory, these tigers are stubborn and fierce in their way of living.

It’s sad to see that Siberian and Bengal tigers are endangered species due to human negligence. We can only hope that people would stop poaching and hunting them for their own good and let these beautiful creatures survive nature as they are meant to do!

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