Smilodon (Saber Tooth Tiger)

Walter Colvin

Showlow, United States

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Artist's Description

3d art render of a large smilodon, Made with bryce 3d, post work with photoshop,
Best Viewed large.

This image is not Historically accurate.

Smilodon were among the largest felids ever to live; the heaviest specimens of the massively built carnivore S. populator may have exceeded 500 kg (1,100 lb).

Smilodon weighed approximately 55 to 500 kg (120 to 1,100 lb), depending on species. It had a short tail, powerful legs, muscular neck and long canines. Smilodon was more robustly built than any modern cat, comparable to a bear. The lumbar region of the back was proportionally short, and the lower limbs were shortened relative to the upper limbs in comparison with modern pantherine cats, suggesting that Smilodon was not a very fast runner.

The largest species, the South American S. populator, had higher shoulders than hips and a back that sloped downwards, superficially recalling the shape of a hyaena, in contrast to the level-backed appearance of S. fatalis, which was more like that of modern cats. However, while its front limbs were relatively long, their proportions were extremely robust and the forearm was shorter relative to the upper arm bone than in modern big cats, and proportionally even shorter than in S. fatalis. This indicates that these front limbs were designed for power rather than fast running, and S. populator would have had immense strength in its forequarters.

Smilodon became extinct around 10,000 BC, a time which saw the extinction of many other large herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

Prehistoric humans, who reached North America at the end of the Ice age, are often viewed as responsible for this extinction wave. Others have suggested that the end of the ice age caused the extinction. As the ice age ended there would have been shrinking environments and changing vegetation patterns. Extensive grasslands, with different types of grasses, and isolated forests replaced healthy mixes of forests and grasslands. The summer and winter both became more extreme and North America began to dry out or began to be covered in snow, thus denying food sources for mammoths and in turn Smilodon.

Artwork Comments

  • canonman99
  • Walter Colvin
  • Steven  Agius
  • Walter Colvin
  • David  Humphrey
  • Walter Colvin
  • JRGarland
  • Walter Colvin
  • JacquiK
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  • Barb Miller
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  • Keith Reesor
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