A Saber tooth tiger is an enormous, ancient cat family member in the overall animal kingdom. It has two razor-edged and long canine teeth protruding from the top of its jaw as its robust physique. Its stocky body had short limbs and was covered by fur.
Top 5 Intriguing Facts About Saber Tooth Tiger
With the blade-like canines as the outstanding features and sturdy anatomy resembling the contemporary felines, the Saber-toothed tiger is acknowledged as the most iconic creature of the Ice Age globally.
Despite its name, the Saber Tooth tiger was neither a tiger nor a cat. It was a machairodont.
Keep reading to discover the most astonishing facts about the Saber-toothed cats.
Saber-Toothed Tigers Are Extinct
Saber-toothed tigers are mammals of ancient times native to North America. They existed during the Ice Age and are presently labeled as extinct animals. Research on the Smilodon fatalis skeleton reveals that the Saber-toothed tiger skull resembles that of the modern lion. They are believed to be the ancestors of modern lions.
The constantly changing environment on earth and human-induced factors contributed to Saber tooth tiger capitulating and failing to adapt to new changes. For this reason, most of the study about this prehistoric cat is grounded on their fossil remains.
Saber-toothed tigers hunted in packs and preyed on giant animals like the wooly mammoth, camels, and the bison. Today, there are many fossils of the Saber Tooth Tiger at the La Brea Tar Pits in the American city of Los Angeles.
Saber-Toothed Tigers Were Apex Predators
It is suggested that Saber tigers attack their prey by stabbing and slashing at their prey with their sharp canine teeth. Unlike the 60 degrees gape of today’s lion, this animal had a wider gape that allowed it to open its mouth to wider degrees. Sabertooth animals fully utilize all the inches of their canine teeth which were exceptionally long.
Unlike the present felines, the short and thick limbs of the Saber tooth tiger had powerful abductor muscles and denser bones. This favored the animal’s stability when it wrestled with killing its prey during hunting.
Saber Tooth Tigers Were Ambush Hunters
Saber tooth tigers were ambush hunters that stalked their prey. The extinct megafauna had stocky bodies and short legs, making them well suited for taking down large prey. Once they had surprised their prey, they would have delivered a fatal ripping wound using their impressive canines.
Saber tooth tigers had bobtails, unlike big cats with long tails, which provide stability and balance when chasing after their prey. More likely, this feline did not try to grapple and chase its prey over long distances, as leopards and cheaters do. A plausible hypothesis suggests that they waited for the prey to be close enough before attacking.
Saber Tooth Tigers Were Pack Hunters
The formidable predators had a social structure like lions and hunted in packs. From their fossils, the pack hunters were not always peaceful, as they would fight over food or their female counterparts.
Many bone fossils proved that some Saber tooth tigers experienced fractures, severe crushing, and degenerative diseases. The injured cats were more likely taken care of due to their enormous, deadly, sharp canines’ extensive healing and regrowth.
Logically, if these cats were solitary hunters, they would have died before these wounds healed.
Average Litter Size of Saber-Toothed Tiger Was 3
It is assumed that Saber-toothed tigers bred in spring, with the female giving birth to a maximum of three cubs. The cubs are also likely to have been born blind, just like other cubs.
The incubation period is suspected to be eight months, after which cubs are born helpless depending on their parents; similar to those of the modern-day cats.
Saber tooth tigers are mammals that lived in the Pleistocene epoch and are today known from fossils. Despite being extinct for a million years, the Saber tooth tiger is still a topic of interest to feline enthusiasts and paleontologists.