Greetings from T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach South Carolina.
Let me take you back for a little history lesson…way back…way, way back, 25 million years ago back, that’s when scientists believe that the first Saber Tooth Tigers appeared on the earth.
Although it can be debated about whether or not it was actually 25 million years, there is no dispute that these prehistoric tigers actually existed. From the bones that have been recovered by paleontologists, it’s known that the largest Saber Tooth Tigers, officially known as Smilodons, weighed as much as a half-ton and had tusk-like canine teeth that averaged 7 inches and could grow as long as 12 inches. The body shape of these animals more closely resembled modern-day bears than large cats, and were considered a feared carnivore.
Because the large canines were prone to breaking, Saber Tooth Tigers most likely hunted from trees and rocks, waiting for their prey to pass by and then pouncing from above puncturing their saber teeth into the necks of the victims. It is also thought that these animals lived in packs like a lion pride as opposed to today’s tigers that are solitary hunters.
Since the Smilodon last walked the earth some 10,000 years ago, it is impossible to know what their coats actually looked like, but it is commonly assumed that they physically resembled our modern-day lions more than tigers.
The one common denominator between today’s big cats and the Smilodon is that the Saber Tooth Tiger was probably hunted into extinction by humans, although not for the greedy superficial reason that today’s tigers are being slaughtered.
If you want to learn more about big cats like lions and tigers, come and visit us at T.I.G.E.R.S. in Myrtle Beach. – By Dan Defreest