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Sabre-Toothed Tiger

A model showing what a Sabre-Toothed Tiger may have looked like.A Sabre-Toother Tiger skeleton.Sabre-Toothed Tiger (Smilodon populator)A taxidermist's concept of a Sabre-Toothed Tiger, almost certainly wrong because the tiger this work is based on is a jungle cat.Sabre-Toothed Tiger (Smilodon populator)A drawing of a sabre-toother tiger.A Sabre-Toothed Tiger skeleton at La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, USA.Sabre-Toothed Tiger (Smilodon populator)
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Sabre-Toothed Tiger Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Carnivora
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Felidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Smilodon
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Smilodon populator
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Carnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
2m - 2.5m (79in - 98in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
300kg (661lbs)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
20 - 40 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Pack
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Extinct
Extinct:
When the entire species has disappeared from Earth
10,000 BC
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Tan, Brown, Yellow, Black, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Fur
Favourite Food:Deer
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Forests and grasslands
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
3
Main Prey:Deer, Bison, Woolly Mammoth
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Large muscular body and long canine teeth

Sabre-Toothed Tiger Location

Map of Sabre-Toothed Tiger Locations

Sabre-Toothed Tiger

The sabre-toothed tiger is one of the most well-known prehistoric animals along with giants such as the woolly mammoth. Sabre-toothed tigers roamed the mid-western US and parts of both North and South America and were named for the enormous canines which skeletons show, protruded quite far out of their mouths.It became extinct in the Quanternary period(the end of the dinosaur period) and during the ice age.

Despite it's name, the sabre-toothed tiger was not actually related to the modern tigers that are found throughout the jungles of Asia. It is thought that the sabre-toothed tiger would have roamed across the grassland plains and open woodlands throughout both North and South America where individuals would of varied slightly depending on the area which they inhabited.

The sabre-toothed tiger is one of the best known ice-age animals but little is really known about them as they are thought to have become extinct around 10,000BC which is a long time ago. The sabre-toothed tiger was named for the canines that could grow to more than 7 inches in length and were capable of fatally wounding their prey with one bite.

Sadly, the colour of the sabre-tooth tiger is unknown but it is thought that is would of been of a similar colouration to the modern day lion found in Africa (and which it is not closely related to). The sabre-toothed tiger also had a powerful, muscular body which meant that it could quickly catch and pounce on it's prey before using it's knife-like teeth to cause to the fatal blow.

In the same way as modern day felines, the sabre-toothed tiger was a carnivorous animal and would of been the most dominant predator within its environment. Large herbivorous animals such as deer and bison would of been the most common prey of the sabre-toothed tiger along with occasional giant such as a small woolly mammoth should their ranges cross, although their exact diet is unknown.

The sabre-toothed cat would of been the most ferocious and therefore the apex predator within it's environment so had no natural predators on the American plains. Humans are thought to be the most likely cause for the demise of this enormous cat and more than 2,000 sabre-toothed tiger skeletons have been found emerged in the tar pits close to Los Angeles.

As with modern felines, the sabre-toothed tiger would of bred in the warmer months of early spring, when after a gestation period that could last as long as 8 months, the female sabre-toothed tiger would give birth to an average of 3 cubs per litter. Nothing is known about sabre-toothed tiger cubs but they could be born blind like the cubs of today's felines.

The sabre-toothed tiger is thought to have become extinct more than 12,000 years ago when human settlers first arrived in the Americas, hunting this species to extinction. Although climate change could also be the primary cause for their demise, little however is really known.

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First Published: 9th August 2010, Last Updated: 8th February 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]

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