Saber cat Toe Smilodon gracilis Blancan, late Pliocene to early Pleistocene, about 2.5 million years old
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A saber-toothed cat is any member of various extinct groups of predatory mammals. They were characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth. The large maxillary canine teeth extended from the mouth. Known as mammal-like reptiles, they were one of the first groups of animals to experience specialization of teeth and many had long canines. In addition, some cats had two pairs of upper canines with two jutting down from each side. However, most probably had one pair of upper extreme canines.
Saber-toothed cats have been found worldwide from the Eocene epoch to the end of the Pleistocene epoch. They existed for about 42 million years. The first late saber-tooth instance is a group of animals ancestral to mammals but not yet mammals.
One of the best known genera is Smilodon. This species of which are popularly referred as a “saber-toothed tiger.” Saber-toothed cats were generally know to be more robust than today’s cats with a bear-like build. Saber cats were believed to be excellent hunters; hunting animals such as sloths, mammoths, and other large prey. Evidence from the numbers found at La Brea Tar Pits suggests that, like modern lions, they were social carnivore.