6 Saber Tooth Tiger Facts for Kids
1. The Saber Tooth Tiger technically was not a tiger. It was actually a species of prehistoric cat. It is actually one of the most famous of the prehistoric animals. It is only a very distant relative of tigers, lions and cheetahs.
2. There were actually over a dozen different types of saber toothed cats. As a matter of fact one of the species of the saber tooth tiger (cats) was only about 150 pounds. Of course that would not make for great press so much of the conversations about saber tooth tigers are relegated to the largest of the species which easily had teeth that were over a foot long and may have weighed up to 2000 pounds.
3. Paleontologists have also determined that the saber tooth tiger’s jaw did not have a lot of pressure behind its bite so they likely hunted much like today’s big cats do. They hid in low bushes and pounced when their prey passed sinking those giant saber teeth into their prey’s neck or other soft tissue.
4. They lived in a pack according to fossilized findings. Some of the fossils that have been found indicate old age with chronic illness was present this has led to the conclusion that they must have been pack animals that helped each other hunt because an old saber tooth would not be able to survive on their own. The knowledge that scientists have about their jaw size and pressure according to the fossils supports the idea that an old saber tooth tigers would not be able to hunt with the assumed pounce and pierce style.
5. Their bodies were not as sleek and muscular as today’s big cats which mean that their hunting was not that savvy. They likely depended on the juveniles in a herd of herbivores for their staple meal. They were very unlikely able to take down the large mammoths that roamed the earth. They very likely also were scavengers and fed on the carcass of dead animals.
6. They were not as fearless as much of the reports have them as. They were large, bulky animals with small jaws and large teeth that probably got in the way a lot of the time. Saber tooth tigers may in fact been nothing more than a very large kitty cat that wanted to simply grab a quick meal that did not take a lot of effort to find and curl up under a tree somewhere.