new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Smilodon fatalis (reconstruction of the saber-toothed tiger) (Late Pleistocene; California, USA) 1 | by James St. John
Back to photostream

Smilodon fatalis (reconstruction of the saber-toothed tiger) (Late Pleistocene; California, USA) 1

Smilodon fatalis Leidy, 1869 saber-toothed tiger from the Upper Pleistocene of California, USA (signage at Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA).

 

This is the famous, fearsome-looking saber-toothed tiger, Smilodon. Several fossil cats are known with hyper-enlarged canine teeth. These fangs helped the cats bring down large prey animals. Smilodon is known from the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene of the Americas. An especially prolific locality for Smilodon fossils is the La Brea Tar Pits of California’s Los Angeles Basin.

 

Classification: Animalia, Vertebrata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae

 

By the way, some will insist that the traditional term "saber-toothed tiger" is incorrect. Common names do not have scientific significance - they never have. I would recommend that people "chill" when it comes to common names. As an example, many do not call starfish "starfish" anymore, the logic being that they are not fish (which is true). Their common name is now frequently "seastars". Well, they aren't stars, either. "Starfish" is fine - no one thinks they are fish.

 

2,634 views
1 fave
0 comments
Taken on March 21, 2007