Saber-toothed tiger skeleton up for auction

Last updated at 15:48
Sabretooth tiger skeletonFabrice Coffrini/AFP
The skeletal remains are said to be over 37 million years old

The bones of a 37-million-year-old Sabre-tooth tiger are going up for auction.

The Saber-tooth tiger, or the Smilodon, was a mammal known for its distinctive pair of long, razor sharp canine teeth.

It's one of the most iconic prehistoric animals, and existed during the last ice age - 12,000 years ago.

The remains of one of these tigers was found in South Dakota, in America, last year.

Now they're going up for auction, and because the fossils are such a rare find, they're expected to be sold for over £65,000!

What is a fossil?

Fossils are the remains or traces of plants and animals that lived long ago, and they give scientists clues about the past.

Most fossils are found in earth that was once underwater. They usually formed from the hard parts—such as shells or bones—of living things.

After a living thing died, it sank to the bottom of the sea. Then layers of earth and the remains of other living things built up on top of it.

Over time, these layers turned into rock and eventually, part or all of the living thing's hard parts also turned into rock. The fossil is the shape of these hard parts in the rock.

Sabretooth tiger skeletonFabrice Coffrini/AFP
It's one of the most iconic prehistoric animals, and existed during the last ice age - 12,000 years ago

The bones of this Sabre-tooth are from something called the Nimravidae family, a type of cat-like mammal.

They lived in North America, Europe, and Asia 42-20 million years ago. They lasted for about 22 million years.

Not ALL of the bones from this tiger were found, so auctioneer Bernard Piguet said the "missing bones were remade with a 3D printer".

An artists illustration of what a Sabre-tooth could have looked likeGetty Images
An artists illustration of what a Sabre-tooth could have looked like

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