Facts about Smilodon, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Smilodon


Smilodon californicus
Click here for more Smilodon Pictures

Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Chordata
  Class Mammalia
  Order Carnivora
  Family Felidae
  Subfamily Machairodontinae
  Genus Smilodon
Smilodon (sometimes popularly known as the "saber-toothed cat" or "saber-toothed tiger") was a predator that lived in North and South America from the late Pliocene epoch to the late Pleistocene epoch, between about 2.5 million years ago and 10,000 years ago. Despite being sometimes called a "saber-toothed tiger", it should be noted that Smilodon was not closely related to tigers.

Although about the size of a large lion or tiger, Smilodon was much more heavily built, with a build more like that of a bear. The heaviest animals probably almost 900 pounds (400 kilograms).

The most immediately noticeable feature of Smilodon is of course its massively long canine teeth. In some species these were upto 7 inches (17 centimeters) long. It is thought that Smilodon probably wrestled its prey to the ground and then used its canines for delivering a killing bite to the trachea or jugular vein of the prey. This style of hunting would have been well-suited for hunting large prey, but Smilodon would have struggled to hunt smaller animals when the environment changed (a fact that may have contributed to its extinction).

Smilodon skeletion:
Smilodon skeletion

Smilodon Timeline:

Smilodon was a saber-toothed predator that lived between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago

Smilodon was a saber-toothed predator that lived between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago

Related Information & Resources

See Also

Smilodon Books

Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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Smilodon: The Iconic Sabertooth
Johns Hopkins University Press
Released: 2018-06-24
Hardcover (224 pages)

Smilodon: The Iconic Sabertooth
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Product Description:

Few animals spark the imagination as much as the sabertooth cat Smilodon. With their incredibly long canines, which hung like fangs past their jaws, these ferocious predators were first encountered by humans when our species entered the Americas. We can only imagine what ice age humans felt when they were confronted by a wild cat larger than a Siberian tiger.

Because Smilodon skeletons are perennial favorites with museum visitors, researchers have devoted themselves to learning as much as possible about the lives of these massive cats. This volume, edited by celebrated academics, brings together a team of experts to provide a comprehensive and contemporary view of all that is known about Smilodon. The result is a detailed scientific work that will be invaluable to paleontologists, mammalogists, and serious amateur sabertooth devotees.

The book
• covers all major aspects of the animal's natural history, evolution, phylogenetic relationships, anatomy, biomechanics, and ecology
• traces all three Smilodon species across both North and South America
• brings together original, unpublished research with historical accounts of Smilodon's discovery in nineteenth-century Brazil

The definitive reference on these iconic Pleistocene mammals, Smilodon will be cited by researchers for decades to come.

Contributors: John P. Babiarz, Wendy J. Binder, Charles S. Churcher, Larisa R. G. DeSantis, Robert S. Feranec, Therese Flink, James L. Knight, Margaret E. Lewis, Larry D. Martin, H. Gregory McDonald, Julie A. Meachen, William C. H. Parr, Ashley R. Reynolds. Kevin L. Seymour, Christopher A. Shaw, C. S. Ware, Lars Werdelin, H. Todd Wheeler, Stephen Wroe, M. Aleksander Wysocki

By Alan Nayes

Released: 2011-10-07
Kindle Edition (0 pages)

Product Description:
Jason Bristol, ex-prize fighter and expert animal tracker, and part-time drunk, teams up with beautiful wildlife biologist Norah Phelps as they pursue a man-eating predator that threatens to derail her father’s prize real estate development project in north central Idaho.

Against the majestic pristine backdrop of Idaho’s Bitterroot Wilderness Area, the adventure unfolds. Jason, with Norah’s assistance, soon discovers the ghosts of his past are nothing compared to the battle he’s undertaken.

Smilodon. A saber-toothed cat. He’s angry, he’s frightened, he’s hungry, and he’s 12,000 years from home!

SMILODON 75,000 words or about 300 pages

Alan Nayes is the author of the spellbinding sci-fi apocalyptic series, The Resurrection Trilogy (GARGOYLES, PLAGUE, RESURRECTION), and the giant cat thriller, SMILODON. His most recent release is ABOMINABLE. For a complete list of all his books, please visit anayes.com.
Smilodon (Sabre-toothed Cat Trilogy Book 1)
By James Paddock

Desert Bookshelf Publishing
Released: 2011-07-13
Kindle Edition (427 pages)

Smilodon (Sabre-toothed Cat Trilogy Book 1)
Product Description:
Book 1 of the Smilodon trilogy. Imagine recreating the saber-toothed cat for fun? The possibility sounds exciting, but the reality could be nightmarish. In James Paddock’s new novel, Smilodon, the main character is drawn into in a world where man becomes the hunted. It is fast-paced fiction where cats change the rules and people run for their lives.

Tigers in the wild and a lucrative fee lure freelance writer Zechariah Price into the frozen mountains of Montana. The assignment drops him into a world of Bengal tigers, illegal aliens, prehistoric saber-toothed cats, and psychic premonitions. As the possibility of death by man and animal surrounds him, he quickly learns that he too is destined to become food for the cats. Trapped between man and beast, his assignment turns into that of survival.

Smilodon intertwines the exciting possibility and nightmarish reality of cloning in an age in which advanced genetic engineering is rapidly evolving. “Consider the very real possibility of cloning your recently deceased pet,” says the author. “We are on the brink of just such a thing. If after your pet, what about your child, or an entire genetically engineered perfect society?” Smilodon will send one back to thinking, “What if?”
Sabertooth Cats (Ice Age Animals)
By Melissa Higgins

Capstone Press
Paperback (24 pages)

Sabertooth Cats (Ice Age Animals)
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Seven-inch fangs made sabertooth cats a formidable ice-age animal. Awesome illustrations accompany carefully-leveled text about food, habitat, life cycle, and extinction, bringing sabertooth cats to life like never before.
Saber-Toothed Cats (On My Own Science)
By Susan E. Goodman

Brand: First Avenue Editions
Released: 2006-08-01
Paperback (48 pages)

Saber-Toothed Cats (On My Own Science)
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Product Description:

Do you know which ice-age animal had a body similar to a bear’s, a short stubby tail, and razor-sharp, 7-inch teeth? A Smilodon! Fierce predators, Smilodons were large saber-toothed cats that lived more than 11,000 years ago―so how do scientists know so much about them? By studying their fossils and the parts of the world where they once lived! Dig through the past to uncover how these remarkable predators once lived―and died.

Sabre-Tooth Tiger (Smithsonian Prehistoric Zone)
By Gerry Bailey

Crabtree Publishing Company
Paperback (32 pages)

Sabre-Tooth Tiger (Smithsonian Prehistoric Zone)
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Realistic illustrations highlight this story about a day in the life of the powerfully built sabre-tooth tiger. Created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, information sections give all the vital statistics about the sabre-tooth tiger.
Sunchaser (Smilodon Pride) (Volume 2)
By Beryll Brackhaus

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (208 pages)

Sunchaser (Smilodon Pride) (Volume 2)
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Ain't nothing wrong with playing human – it's the other humans that ruin the fun. After too many weeks as a New Mexico farm hand, werecat Roan desperately needs to get out of town or he'll start eating idiots instead of ignoring them. But he discovers an abused werewolf in the pen of a travelling circus, and even though he can't stand the „dogs“, he decides to rescue his fellow werecreature. He is unaware that Betsy, the idealistic daughter of the local Sheriff, plans to do exactly the same. Together, they manage to fuck up a perfectly good rescue operation and Roan catches a chest full of lead. Which isn't enough to kill a werecat, but now Roan is on the run to Mexico with overeager Betsy and their crippled werewolf charge in tow. They will have to overcome their prejudices and grow into a family if they are to outrun the police, angry parents, jealous fiancees and vengeful circus fey hot on their heels. *** Sunchaser is a non-romantic road-movie about a werecat drifter, a wide-eyed human girl and a defective werewolf learning that sometimes, family really is the ones you didn’t pick. Tags: Urban Fantasy - Adventure - Non Romance - Shifters - Roadmovie - Family - Friendship - USA - New Mexico - Mexico
Was the Saber-Toothed-Tiger, Smilodon, Paleontologists most laughable mistake?
By Archimedes Plutonium

Released: 2019-03-30
Kindle Edition (16 pages)

Was the Saber-Toothed-Tiger, Smilodon, Paleontologists most laughable mistake?
Product Description:
Ever since I was a teenager in High School, I was troubled with the saber-toothed tiger-- how evolution could have built such an animal. But I was not logical in mind as a teenager, and had to wait until now to let my logical mind survey that perplexing question. To an extraordinary claim in science-- huge teeth that an animal cannot cope with, requires extra-special evidence and proofs of science. How can evolution theory (even though it is a rule or algorithm) (see my Superdeterminism replaces Darwin Evolution book), how can evolution produce an animal with teeth that "get in the way of everything" as the animal goes through life. So, I am asking the science community to completely re-examine the fossil evidence of Smilodon. I do not have that evidence available, but the entire Paleontology community can make the evidence available. For what I suspect is that the tiger never had saber-teeth and that those teeth found in digs or tar pits, were the teeth of Entelodonts or some ungulate horn or walrus type animal teeth. In other words, I question the claim there ever existed a cat with huge canine teeth.

Cover Picture: What spurred me onto this small book was a few days ago seeing the cover of Science News showing a Saber-Toothed Tiger. And how utterly ridiculous for a tiger to have those teeth. And just as ridiculous that grown scientists believe such nonsense without questioning it.
Tophero Son of Smilodon
By W.W. Ni

Top Hero Entertainment
Released: 2011-12-14
Kindle Edition (356 pages)

Tophero Son of Smilodon
Product Description:
“I felt a sense of familiarity with this creature in my racing heart. Suddenly, I felt myself a stranger in a foreign land, overtaken by troublesome thoughts: Why did I, the most fearsome cat of the jungle, look not so much like his brothers but like this outlandish two-legged creature with a bewildering fair golden mane? And those haunting emerald green eyes--why do they reflect the romantic mystery of a bottomless lake?

Who am I?”

Tutored by his sabertooth siblings, young Gora learns to master the prehistoric world of Opalon, with its smoldering volcanoes, dueling dinosaurs, and treacherous tar pits. But the discovery of a computer in a hidden cave changes Gora’s world: he is able to teach himself English. Gradually, he internalizes the moral lessons to be found in the greatest literature and poetry of the planet Earth. He masters military strategy and trains himself in the martial arts. Upon realizing that he is a human being, he vows to uphold the highest values of humankind. He names himself Tophero (To’-Pha-raoh). His magnificent physique and sterling intelligence do not help to stave off loneliness; Tophero longs to meet others of his kind. But when they come, they bring love as well as destruction, and Tophero must use the primitive ways of the jungle to battle high-tech invaders. At stake: the survival of his home planet . . . the love of his life, an Earthling . . . and his very identity.

The interstellar romance and Tophero's quest for his roots play out against Powlo-Varkiss, the Opalonian master sorcerer of prehistoric beasts, the evil agenda of billionaire Derek Cole, also aboard the expedition in search of Opalon's fabled diamond mines; the machinations of the enemies of Tophero's human parents; and the unexpected discovery of the besieged Opalonian kingdom of Xandria, whose beautiful ruler, Princess Nya, desires Tophero for her own…

Tophero is an action-packed science fiction adventure that is a 21st century amalgam of Tarzan, Jurassic Park, and King Solomon’s Mines—the first volume of a trilogy of the Opalonian saga. Tophero: Son of Smilodon is a story of triumph over tragedy, one that celebrates the power of lexis and the ability of love and brotherhood to conquer and thrive in an exotic, uncharted world.

The book showcases the masterful talent of Lloyd’s fantasy art. Stunning, evocative, and meticulous, Lloyd’s images and W.W. Ni’s words combine the visual power of a fantastic graphic novel with the opulence of classical literature. Herein, Opalon and its denizens come alive.

Editorial Reviews

A heady blend of Conan the Barbarian, science-fiction archetypes, monstrous prehistoric beasts, and intrigues among fictional billionaires (who live in Montecito!), Tophero, Son of Smilodon: Jungle Lord of the New Millennium might just be the most action-packed entertainment you will find outside a movie theater. --The Independent

The author tapped into an ancient yearning for the wild part of ourselves to find expression and release... W.W. Ni has imagined this world so thoroughly, his powers of description are formidable, and his research is outstanding. When I wasnt reading the book, I found myself daydreaming about the characters, and felt a constant tickle of curiosity about what would happen next. This is a fascinating story, and I congratulate this talented writer. --Lois Gilbert is the author of River of Summer (Penguin-Putnam, 1999), Without Mercy (NAL Dutton, 2000,) and Returning to Taos (Five Star, 2006). Her work has been translated into German, Russian and Italian.

...A terrific idea. Part Tarzan, part space odyssey, part medieval epic, part crime novel, and part love story, it has something for everyone. Again, you have a very fruitful concept in Tophero--a yarn that mixes the prehistoric past, the present, and a space-age future--and you deliver it with obvious excitement and energy. --Peter Gelfan, Editor, Editorial Department, Inc., New York

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