Sabre-toothed Cat

Here is the detailed collection of Sabre-toothed cat physical characteristics, diet, facts, habitat, extinction, behavior etc. Scroll down the page to get all these information.

About Sabre-Toothed Cat

Sabre-toothed cat which can alternatively spell Saber-toothed cat is a member of various extinct groups of predatory mammals that were characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth. The large teeth came out from the mouth even it was closed. One of the best-known genera is Smilodon, has the popular species S. fatalis, but incorrectly referred to as a ‘saber-toothed tiger’, a genus within the subfamily Machairodontinae of the carnivoran family Felidae. The extinct members of Felidae include cats of the subfamilies Pantherinae and Felinae.

Sabre-toothed cat any of the extinct catlike carnivores might belong to either the extinct family Nimravidae or the subfamily Machairodontinae of the cat family (Felidae). The mammal had a pair of elongated bladelike canine teeth in their upper jaws. They are often called sabre-toothed tigers or sabre-toothed lions. The modern tiger and lion are true cat of the Felinae subfamily. The mammals’ species became extinct in the Old World during the late Pliocene, the species died also.

Sabre-toothed Cat Evolution

Sabre-toothed cats existed from the Eocene through the Pleistocene Epoch. The Nimravidae were extant from about 37 to 7 million years ago according to the fossil record. Only distantly related to fields, they include the genera Nimravus, Hoplophoneus, Dinctis, and Barbourofelis. The mammals roamed North America and Europe throughout the Miocene and Pliocene epochs. They had spread to Asia and Africa by Pliocene times. The cats were also present in South America during the Pleistocene.

Sabre-toothed Cat Physical Characteristics

The Sabre-toothed cats are from the most widely known genus Smilodon. The mammal had the body length was about 175 cm from nose to the rump. It had the height of its shoulders was up to 100 cm. The tail was found of a length of 35 cm. The mammal had a large head with two long canine teeth in the upper jaw. The canines grew up to their full size three years after birth. The mammals can gain their weight ranged from 55 to 400 kg which means it was the largest cat to live on earth.

The running speed of the cat is still unknown. But it believed that it might have a top speed up to 25-30 mph because it was a heavy cat and might slower than Lion and Tiger. The average lifespan is still unknown. The size of the sabre-toothed cat was similar to the modern lion in size, but it was more robust with shorter limbs.

Sabre-toothed Cat Diet

Many of the sabre-toothed cats’ main sources of food were large mammals such as elephants, rhinos, and other colossal herbivores of the era. The evolution of enlarged canines in Tertiary carnivores was a result of large mammals being the source of prey for these mammals. The development of the mammals appears to represent a shift in function and killing behavior, rather than one in predator-prey relations. Some researchers believed that these had the killing methods by attacking soft tissue such as belly and throat, where biting deep was essential to generate killing blows.

The size of the sabre-tooth reserved functional advantage suggests predation on species within a similar size range to those attacked by present-day carnivorans, rather than ‘megaherbivores’ as previously believed by the many settlers. The cat had the prey-killing abilities to its large neck muscles rather than its jaws. Large cats use both the upper and lower jaw to bite down and bring down the prey.

Sabre-toothed Cat Behavior

The sabre-toothed cat lived and hunted in groups. This ensured that they had food even when they were injured, ill, or old. Other members of the group share the food with the affected member. The mammals hunted animals in the groups by trapping them just like modern lions. There were no visible differences in behavior and appearance in between the male and female cats. The behavior with the humans of these mammals is unknown as they extinct before that time, the human known about these species.

Sabre-toothed Cat Interesting Facts

  • Sabre-toothed cat was slightly shorter but much heavier as compared to a modern lion.
  • The species of mammals only distantly related to modern lions, cheetahs, and tigers.
  • The cat was covered with the thick coat that had been probably yellowish-beige colored, like in lions.
  • The mammal species had a thick neck, broad chest, muscular body, short-thick legs, and curved canine teeth.
  • The species used their canine teeth for slicing the jugular vein and windpipe of their prey.
  • The species was an ambush predator that waited for its victims hidden in the trees.

Sabre-toothed Cat Reproduction

The animal species are now extinct. So, nobody can know how the species reproduced but it is believed that it reproduced like any other large cat. Sexual reproduction and live birth are the only things that are assumed on reproduction for a sabre-toothed cat. There are many theories about the reproduction in these mammals which can be true or not.

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