For number 30 on my most fascinating animals list is the Sabertooth Tiger.

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Sabertooth Tigers or ‘Smilodons’ as they were called back in the era long ago called the Pleistocene Epoch (55.8 million to 11,700 years ago) dominated the lands of North America. They were ferocious predators of the land. They had 2 razor sharp, 12-inch-long, curved canines which even remained outside of the mouth when closed because of the sheer size of them, the teeth were also very fragile and often broke if they were used incorrectly during hunting, they would never grow back. They could run 45-50mph and accelerate to top speed in just 3 seconds! A sabertooth tiger weighs 160-400kg and standing on all four legs would average around 1.2 metres tall! That’s taller than some humans!

smilodon-size

Sabertooth tigers had a very unique way of hunting, one of the main ways they used to hunt was pouncing out of trees to surprise the prey! After pouncing out of the tree they would sink their large canines into the neck of their victims, after the attack had occurred, they would take a step back and wait for their prey to bleed to death and enjoy their feast! Sabertooth tigers would hunt animals as small as a sloth to even fully grown mammoths because their hunting method was so effective! Sabertooth cats often roamed in packs as it was a safer way to take down animals like the mammoth and it was far easier as a team to take their prey down than it was to travel North America solo. Sabertooth tigers also hunted humans often!

Below is a video of how a Sabertooth may hunt it’s prey and also a picture displaying how it could go horribly, horribly wrong.

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Although a ferocious beast of their time, Sabertooth tigers became extinct towards the end of the ice age, which ended about 11,700 years ago. Palaeontologists have long assumed that sabertooth tigers died out because they no longer had enough food. One theory suggests that humans were hunting them for over 1000 years for their hide and for food. Whereas another theory suggests that it was too cold for humans to hunt them, but when the climate began to warm, humans hunted them and they became extinct within an astonishing 100 years after walking the earth for 2 million years!

stone-age-man-and-saber-tooth-cat

Awesome Rating – 8/10 – They could take down MAMMOTHS!

Danger Rating: 10/10 – You would not want to cross one of these guys.

Speed Rating: 6/10 – What they lacked in speed they made up for with power!

That is why they are ranked on my top 30 fascinating animals list!

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Until next time!

Sam – Witterit.com