Tiger with teeth of saber
The smilodon or tiger with teeth of saber is an animal of the family of the Félidés which lived in America between 2,5 million years and 10 thousands of years before our era. Similar to the Lion, it was characterized by its long Canine S higher emerging in front of the jaw lower.
DescriptionThe social behavior and the size of the smilodon brought it closer to the Lion, but it had surely only one short mane and was undoubtedly mottled . Its tail was short and its claws, like the majority of large cat-like, were long and retractile. The smilodon (teeth out of knives) owes its name with its gigantic canines of 18 cm being undoubtedly used to him “to stab” its victims. It weighed 300 kg, measured approximately 2 to 3 meters and could open its mouth until 90°.
Species and relationshipsThe smilodon is Smilodontini, tribe also including/understanding Paramachairodus and Megantereon. There existed 3 species of smilodons:
Smilodon gracilis : smallest of the three species of prehistoric tigers, also oldest. He lived in the United States at the beginning of the Pléistocène;
Smilodon fatalis : size of a lion, it was sociable and lived in the south of the United States during practically all Pleistocene. It includes/understands two subspecies: S. fatalis floridanus (of Florida) and S. fatalis californicus (southern of the USA, to Peru);
Smilodon populator ( S. neogaeus ): the greatest species, it was sociable and lived in the Brazilian basin during the end of Pleistocene.
The smilodon was without any doubt a species living in well hierarchical groups, with the manner of the lion. Traces found on the fossils of Brea show traces of wounds and cures, that proves that the members helped each other.
The smilodon was a terrible hunter, one thinks that it drove out Bison S (young people or patients), horses and Camélidé S. It is known that it was also vulture because much of its fossils were found around other fossils with Brea. It could eat up to 8 kg of meat per day.
The smilodon was not the largest North-American predator of Pleistocene, it was contemporary with Panthera leo atrox (American lion) and Arctodus simus (bear with short face), two larger predatory of the time. Another of its competitors was the giant bird Phorusrhacos, which probably ate what it left like carcass.
Its disappearanceThe assumption most often allowed to explain the disappearance of the smilodon would be the length of its teeth. According to the rule: " Long teeth = Good chasseur" (what was not inevitably the case), the females preferred to couple themselves with the males with the longest teeth, preventing the males with the short teeth from having a descent. This sexual Sélection of the males would have involved a gradual lengthening of the canines of smilodons, until they prevent them from being driven and to eat correctly. Let us smilodons would have died of hunger, not for lack of food but by their incapacity to devour their preys.
A species not completely extinct?
- In the Cartoon film the Age of ice , the character named Diego is a tiger with teeth of saber.
- One of the charts of the play Magic: the assembly represents a tiger with teeth of saber.
- With the editions Lug, Za-Drunk is a tiger with teeth of saber, the most faithful friend of Ka-Zar, in the wild country of the Antarctic.
- In “On the Earth of the Disappeared Monsters”, the fifth episode is devoted to the smilodon.
- In “Prehistoric Park”, Nigel Marven, a zoologist, brings back two smilodons with its park.
- In Wikipédia, the members registered during year 2006 are called tigers with teeth of saber.
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