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The derivation from Greek pan- ("all") and ther ("beast") may be folk etymology.

These derive from the Old French tigre, itself a derivative of the Latin word tigris.

By 2008, the wild population was estimated at between 441 and 679 in 10 protected areas covering about 52,000 km The tiger's closest living relatives were previously thought to be the Panthera species lion, leopard and jaguar.

Results of genetic analysis indicate that about 2.88 million years ago, the tiger and the snow leopard diverged from the other Panthera species, and that both may be more closely related to each other than to the lion, leopard and jaguar.

The extent of area occupied by tigers is estimated at less than 1,184,911 km The global population in the wild is estimated to number between 3,062 and 3,948 individuals, down from around 100,000 at the start of the 20th century, with most remaining populations occurring in small pockets isolated from each other, in which about 2,000 tigers live on the Indian subcontinent.

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 once ranged widely across eastern Eurasia, from the Black Sea in the west, to the Indian Ocean in the south, and from Kolyma to Sumatra in the east.

The original source may have been the Persian tigra meaning pointed or sharp and the Avestan tigrhi meaning an arrow, perhaps referring to the speed with which a tiger launches itself at its prey.

The validity of several tiger subspecies was questioned in 1999.

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, most recognizable for their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside.

The species is classified in the genus Panthera with the lion, leopard, jaguar, and snow leopard.

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The population is the last surviving of the three Indonesian island tiger populations.