Is there any difference between these sentences apart from structure?
The tiger is a ferocious animal.
Tigers are ferocious animals.
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When you say "The tiger", it is a stand-in for "all tigers"; apart from having to make the subject and verb agree, the two sentences are the same.
You can use the same equivalence in other cases that don't look exactly the same:
"Man is mortal." / "All men are mortal." (Note that in this usage, "men" is gender-neutral.)
"Humankind is fallible." / "All humans are fallible."
"Art nurtures the soul." / "The arts nurture the soul."
No real difference.
I would say the second one ("tigers are ferocious animals") would be more common in everyday speech or writing.
The first one ("the tiger is a ferocious animal") sounds like it would be in a more formal setting like a documentary film or TV show about tigers, or in a research paper, when you are talking about "the tiger" as a collective animal species.