Extinct Animal

Saber Tooth Tiger

Background Information

The saber tooth tiger was a very fierce predator. It weighted about 450 pounds and some grew to a length of 15 feet. There are over one hundred species and sub-species but the smilodons was the biggest of the saber tooth tigers. A hypothesis suggests that tiger's saber teeth were used to deliver a fatal ripping wound to the belly or throat of a prey animal. Saber tooth carnivores may not have tried to grapple with prey. More likely, they delivered one crippling stab wound and then waited for the prey to die. Scientists say that saber tooth tigers probably ate mammoths, antelope, deer, and buffalo. Scientists also think that some saber tooth tigers could have lived in grassy or woody habitats, but others could have lived in icy lands. They lived in many places in Asia and Europe but some tiger remains have been found in the La Brea tar pits in California.

How they became extinct.

Smilodon became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene around 10,000 BC. This was a time which saw the extinction of many other large herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Prehistoric humans, who reached North America at the same time and are known to have hunted many of the species that disappeared at this period in time, are often viewed as responsible for this extinction wave. Others have suggested that it was the end of the ice age which cause the extinction.