8 Facts about Saber-Toothed Tigers
When saber tooth tiger became extinct?… 10,000 years ago
The first saber-toothed mammals appeared before more than 50 million years, and the last saber cats Smilodon and Homotherium died out only 10,000 years ago. This means that they lived in the popular “Ice Age” period.
Their large teeth were used to attract females
Their large teeth are not used only for easier tearing of meat, saber-toothed tigers with larger canine teeth were more attractive to females. It is known that many animals still have huge teeth or tusks – from elephants and walruses through baboons and hippos up to several species of deer. They usually adorn the heads of males who use them in order to win the favor of females and demonstrate their social superiority.
How big were saber tooth tigers?… Big twice as today’s tiger…
It was as big twice as a tiger and weighed from 70 to 450 kg (up to 900lb) (depending on the subspecies), short tail as lynx, and their canines were long 15-20 centimeters. They prey were gazelles that lived at that time, buffalo and even mammoths. Their jaw could be opened up to 120 degrees.
…but it is not real tiger
This species is not the ancestor of today’s tiger or any other cats. Saber-toothed tiger belongs to a separate branch in the evolution of cats that have gone extinct 10,000 years ago. It is wrong to call it the saber-toothed tiger, but correct is saber-toothed cat.
Existed five species
Existed at least five species of Smilodon or saber-toothed tiger: Smilodon Fatalis (extinct 10,000 ago), Smilodon Populator (extinct 10,000 ago), Smilodon californicus (extinct 10,000 ago), Smilodon floridus (extinct 10,000 ago) and Smilodon gracilis (extinct 500,000 ago). The largest was Populator (weighed about 400 kilograms) and it was the twice size of today’s tiger or lion, and the smallest was gracilis (weighing approximately 70 kilograms), and it was the size of a today’s jaguar.
More than 2,500 fossils in L.A.
Many smilodon fossils have been found in the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, which it is one reason why it is the best known of all historical cats. According to estimates there are at least 2,500 smilodon fossils and is the second most common fossils at La Brea.
How strong was the saber-toothed tiger – tiger and lions are much stronger
Until recently it was thought that the saber-toothed tiger was the most powerful cat that lived, studies have shown that the bites of today’s lions and tigers were three times stronger. Also the lions and tigers can open their jaws maximum 60 degrees, and smilodon can twice as much. Due to poor bites are most likely to have pulled down prey with paws before it bites.
Did saber-toothed tigers live in packs – yes, they probably lived in packs
Most likely, they lived in packs, like today’s lions. In favor of this are going research showing that some fossils were very old when they died, which could mean that they lived in packs. The life span of predators who do not live in a pack is much shorter, as it is much harder to catch prey when they are old and alone. Also presence of hyoid bone in the mouth means they roar like lions today.
Read also this article How Do Jaguars Survive In The Rainforest!