Sometimes one comes across a tiger that has a bit of a stomach. Loose skin hanging off of his belly.
Not enough gymming? Too many carbs? Beers in front of the TV set? Unlikely.
Usually this is very noticeable when you spot a tiger that hasn’t eaten in a while.
The technical term for this flap of skin and fat, which often feels like a half-full water balloon, is the “primordial pouch”.
This bit of loose skin and padding at the belly provides extra protection and insulation during fights when a tiger’s practice of “bunny kicking” with the rear paws could result in severe abdominal injury to their opponent. In fact, cats have excess skin covering the entire body, which helps them squirm out of the grasp of other predators.
Another function of the abdominal flap is to allow the tiger freedom of movement to fully stretch and extend the back legs when in full stride. It also allows the stomach to stretch to hold extra food when necessary, such as when gorging after a large kill in the wild, given that the adult body weight of a male tiger is about 500 pounds and their favorite food is a Sambhar deer which can weigh upto 900 pounds.
Time for me to knock out some sit -ups now…?