A pair of sabre-toothed cats walking on grassland

Smilodon

Smilodon, was one of the few sabre-toothed cats that would have encountered humans. Whilst sabre-tooths in Africa and Europe became extinct before our species had evolved, Smilodon survived until the end of the ice age. Three species lived in the Americas over time. The ancestors of the Native Americans might have met two of these, Smilodon fatalis and Smilodon populator. The latter was a heavily built animal, weighing more than a Siberian tiger. Smilodon's ancestor was probably another sabre-tooth species, Megantereon, that lived in Africa, Eurasia and North America.

Scientific name: Smilodon

Rank: Genus

Common names:

  • chisel, knife tooth,
  • Sabre-toothed cats,
  • Sabre-tooths

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Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

What their world was like

Ice age Ice age
The last ice age hasn't ended, the climate has just warmed up a bit causing the ice sheets to retreat. When the ice was more extensive, our climate was very different.

BBC News about Smilodon