Sumatran tiger yawning     The most common interaction observed by Panthera tigris sumatrae is a predatory relationship. It is known as an apex predator because it is not prey to any other predators. This is also seen in Polar Bears. The Sumatran tiger preys on animals such as leopards and rabbits, as well as young elephants and rhinoceroses. A recent study found video evidence of a predatory relationship with Tapirus indicus (Linkie & Ridout, 2011). Other species that have been identified as prey to the Sumatran tiger include Rusa unicolor, Muntiacus muntjak, Macaca nemestrina, Tragulus kanchil, Sus scrofa, and Argusianus argus (O’Brien et al. 2003). Almost all species of P. tigris are known to hunt for prey alone. When prey is discovered, the tiger quickly pounces (can burst at 65 km/h) to force its prey off balance, and immediately targets the throat, killing by strangulation (Schaller, 1967). Tigers rely heavily on the element of surprise. If there is any inclination that they are sensed by the prey, they will abandon the hunt, rather than battle. Very few hunts are successful, and it is because of this that tigers can go without eating for up to two weeks (Novak, 1999).


     The Sumatran tiger also has a commensalistic relationship with several plant species. It uses Elaeis guineensis and Acacia sp. as protective cover, primarily from human poachers (Sunarto et al. 2012). Several parasitic relationships have been observed with hook worms, flies, ticks, and fleas, among others (Patton et al. 1994). It is well known that Panthera tigris sumatrae is an endangered subspecies, and this is primarily due to poaching by humans, to which they are considered prey (Linkie et al. 2008). The Sumatran tiger is a carnivore at the top of its food web. Therefore, it obtains essential nutrients by consuming flesh and visceral organs of its prey. In addition, it receives nutrients already digested by the dead animal.


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