How big was the Saber Toothed Tiger?

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The Smilodon, more commonly known as the Saber Toothed Tiger, have been found in Europe and in North America, many fossils have been found in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.   Some would have grown marginally bigger but the fossils of the Saber Toothed Tiger that have been found all indicate that the animal was about the size of a lion.  The Smilodon weights about 450 lbs on average, not a lightweight that’s for sure.

The Smilodon exited for quite a long time on Earth, from about 3 million years ago to only 10,000 years ago, that means it is possible that a human was killed by one of these cats.

Although the Saber Toothed Tiger is called a tiger it really does not have any direct relationship to today’s tiger, easily deduced due to the regular tiger’s lack of long fangs.  The Smilodon’s fangs, which are its claim to fame were about 17 cm long and the cat’s jaw could open 65 degrees.

On theory on the use of the Saber Toothed Cats teeth was that the cat would bite the neck of its prey and while one fang would block blood flow to the brain, the other would block the animal’s air supply, making the kill quick and relatively non-violent.   Another theory states that the teeth were used to hold onto prey easily.   Yet another theory states that the teeth were used to create long fatal gashes on the belly or throat of an animal.  The Smilodon would then wait for the animal to die.  Personally I like the first theory, although the last theory seems the most probable.

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