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Smilodon Claw and Tooth measures 8.5 inches long. Smilodon Claw and Tooth is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in USA. Cast of Los Angeles County Museum of Art license.
Smilodon or Smilodon fatalis is a genus of the extinct machairodont subfamily of the felids. It is one of the best known saber-toothed predators and most famous prehistoric mammals. Although commonly known as the saber-toothed tiger, it was not closely related to the tiger or other modern cats.
Smilodon lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya – 10,000 years ago). The genus was named in 1842 based on fossils from Brazil. Three species are recognized today: S. gracilis, S. fatalis, and S. populator.
The two latter species were probably descended from S. gracilis, which itself probably evolved from Megantereon. The hundreds of specimens obtained from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles constitute the largest collection of Smilodon fossils.
Overall, Smilodon was more robustly built than any extant cat, with particularly well-developed forelimbs and exceptionally long upper canine teeth.
Its jaw had a bigger gape than that of modern cats, and its upper canines were slender and fragile, being adapted for precision killing. S. gracilis was the smallest species at 55 to 100 kg (120 to 220 lb) in weight. S. fatalis had a weight of 160 to 280 kg (350 to 620 lb) and height of 100 cm (39 in).
Both of these species are mainly known from North America, but remains from South America have also been attributed to them. S. populator from South America was the largest species, at 220 to 436 kg (485 to 961 lb) in weight and 120 cm (47 in) in height, and was among the largest known felids.
The coat pattern of Smilodon is unknown, but it has been artistically restored with plain or spotted patterns.
Drinker Cope pointed out that the F. fatalis molar was identical to that of Smilodon, and he proposed the new combination S. fatalis. Most North American finds were scanty until excavations began in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, where hundreds of individuals of S. fatalis have been found since 1875.
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