The tiger (Panthera tigris) is a member of the Felidae family; the largest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. Native to much of eastern and southern Asia, the tiger is an apex predator and an obligate carnivore. Reaching up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) in total length and weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds), the larger tiger subspecies are comparable in size to the biggest extinct felids. Aside from their great bulk and power, their most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes that overlays near-white to reddish-orange fur, with lighter underparts. The most numerous tiger subspecies is the Bengal tiger while the largest subspecies is the Siberian tiger.
The word "tiger" is taken from the Greek word "tigris", which is possibly derived from a Persian source meaning "arrow", a reference to the animal's speed and also the origin for the name of the Tigris river. In American English, "Tigress" was first recorded in 1611. It was one of the many species originally described, as Felis tigris, by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae. The generic component of its scientific designation, Panthera tigris, is often presumed to derive from Greek pan- ("all") and theron ("beast"), but this may be a folk etymology. Although it came into English through the classical languages, panthera is probably of East Asian origin, meaning "the yellowish animal," or "whitish-yellow."
A group of tigers is rare (see below), but when seen together is termed a 'streak' or an 'ambush'.