Apparently، there are more types of tigers than scientists initially thought. A new study revealed six unique subspecies of tigers currently in existence، as the Technical Times said.
The new study analyzed whole genomes from 32 tiger specimens from across habitats and locations around the world. They found that the 4،000 living tigers can be split up into six subspecies spread throughout Asia: Bengal tiger، the Sumatran tiger، the Siberian tiger، the South China tiger، the Indochinese tiger، and the Malayan tiger. Three other subspecies are now extinct.
Their findings were published in the journal Current Biology.
Finding New Information About Tigers The team behind the new study involved researchers from China، Russia، and the United States. The same people that led the new study also previously published a paper calling for the Malayan tiger to be recognized as a distinct subspecies.
From studying a whole tiger genome، the researchers also found a load of new information about each subspecies. The study showed researchers' evidence of natural selection.
This comes as a surprise because while tiger fossil record stretches back to a couple million years ago، tigers that are still living today can trace their ancestry back to only about 100،000 years ago. This is most obvious from Sumatran tigers that might have been naturally selected to be smaller in size as to not require as much energy to survive.