How many stripes do tigers have?

In answering the question I took a common sense approach. Taking one side of a tiger and counting the stripes on one side of the face, the stripes on one leg, the stripes on the flank, the stripes on the hind legs and the tail (counting half of them) I came up with around 60 stripes which I had to double making a predicted 120 stripes on a tiger!!

Amur tiger showing the stripes
Amur tiger. Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay 

That is pretty crude I guess. Essentially, I counted the stripes on one side and doubled it. The problem is that the stripes are not nice and neat. They are irregular and broken. This obviously makes counting them imprecise. They are actually stretched out spots. It is a bit like the mackerel tabby domestic cats. Their stripes are joined up dots.

But I don't think the person asking the question would mind. I counted the stripes on a Sumatran tiger. I would expect the same result on other species of tiger, plus or minus around 10-20 stripes. It can't be an accurate process.


Each striped pattern is unique. Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints. You can identify a tiger by his/her stripes and people do sometimes.

One last point: the bright, high contrast coat of the tiger is surprisingly good camouflage because the animals that it attacks can't see reds very well so the tiger looks a dull grey-brown. That's what the experts say. Also the stripes are great as the warm coloured setting sun cuts through burnt forests and grasses, a time when the tiger is hunting.


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