sabertooth cat

Encyclopedia Article


A large, bear-sized mammal that lived through the end of the Pleistocene epoch, meaning that it went extinct about ten thousand years ago. Although they resemble cats, especially modern tigers because of their size and appearance, not all sabertooth cats were early members of the feline family, as some sabertooth cats were actually marsupials. They are most notorious for their long, specialized canine teeth, which extended from their mouths even when their mouths were closed. An effective predator, the saber-tooth cats hunted other large mammals, such as mastodons, mammoths, and ground sloths.

Photo Credit: 

"The fossilized skull of a sabertooth cat found in South Dakota" by H. Zell is licensed under CC BY-SA.