Period of life: 2.5 MYA
Habitat: Pampas, bushland, forests, prairies
Length: 2.7 m
Smilodon is a well-known species of saber-toothed cats, inhabited North and South America prairies and papmas about 2.5 million years ago. It is often mistaken for saber-toothed cat but that is not right.
This robustly built cat was larger than any modern day lion or Amur tiger. For example, Smilodon Populator genus, lived 1.6 million years ago, reached 1.25 m at a shoulder height and 2.5 m in length and weighed 225-400 kilograms. Its distinguishing characteristic was long 28 cm upper canines horrifying food chain primary consumers. Smilodon was able to open its mouth at 120 degrees and spear a prey with canines using strong neck muscles. Unlike modern days cats suffocating rodents or wolves tearing prey neck and body, Smilodon snapped the throat and clamp it tight killing the prey very quickly.
The second Smilodon genus - fatalis - inhabited Earth 2.5 million years ago and was much lighter and smaller than S. populator. It weighed about 160-280 kg and measured 2.4 metres long. Scientists believe that predators lived in small groups where females hunted. Smilodon hunted horses, bisons, mammoths, mastodonts as well as antelope and Doedicurus.
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