The sabre-toothed tiger (scientific name, Smilodon) is thought to have inhabited the Arctic regions of North America from 2.5 million years ago to around 10,000 BC. Despite the sabre-tooth's name, this powerful species of big cat is not thought to be related to the tiger, but more likely the modern lion.
Sabre-Toothed Tiger Skeleton
The sabre-toothed tiger is most famous for their exceptionally long top canine teeth that were generally around 17cm long. The slightly larger species of sabre-toothed tiger is known to have had teeth that were up to 28cm long and therefore would protrude past their lower jaw by 17cm! The sabre-toothed tiger was also thought to be able to open its mouth to an enormous angle of 120 degrees, to give you some perspective, a lion can open its mouth to an angle of 65 degrees! Despite this, the sabre-toothed tigers bite is thought to have actually been weaker than those less powerful species of big cat, as the sabre-tooth would of most likely used its long teeth for piercing its prey rather than holding onto it.
A Sabre-Toothed Tiger
The sabre-toothed tiger would most certainly have been one of the most dominant predators in its environment, fearing bears and possibly packs of the Arctic wolf. It has also been speculated that the older world big cats would have been more inclined to hunt in packs rather than being as solitary as the tiger is today, meaning that the sabre-tooth populations thrived over millions of years!
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