Saber Tooth Tiger Facts | Behavior, Habitat, Diet, Extinction, Species

We have gathered the best Saber tooth tiger facts to let you know all about this amazing animal. Saber tooth tiger (also called Smilodon) is an extinct animal that belongs to the genus Machairodonts. The cat was native to North America and South America.

The saber tooth tiger is thought to have existed about 10,000 years ago during the Pleistocene era. There is more to this amazing animal than you have seen in the Ice Age movie, continue reading to know more about it.

Saber tooth Tiger Facts

Physical Characteristics

  • Like modern day big cats saber-tooth tiger had a strong built but much stockier than modern cats. It had short legs, short ears, and short feet. It had a short tail too. It had sharp claws powerful enough to rip off the flesh of prey.
  • Saber tooth cats were able to reach a height of 3 feet, and weighed around 440 pounds. They had length measuring up to 4.5 feet.
  • S. populator has the longest canine teeth measuring 28 cm (11 in). They stood 100 cm (39 in) tall at the shoulder with the body length of about 175 cm (69 in).
  • S. gracilis is the smallest of Smilodons weighing up to 55 to 100 kg (120 to 220 lb). The average weight of S. fatalis is 160 to 280 kg (350 to 620 lb). The largest Smilodon is S. populator which is 220 to 400 kg (490 to 880 lb) in weight.
  • Its teeth could be as long as 7 inches. Smilodon had to hunt quite vigilantly because their teeth were fragile and could break easily.
  • Smilodons could also open its mouth wide open like a snake—in fact the cat had to keep their canines away while eating.
  • The color of the coat is still unknown and the fossil record is not adequate to reach any conclusion.
  • Unlike modern cats, saber tooth tiger did not possess forward-facing eyes.
  • They had strong legs, mighty jaws and robust neck which gave it a unique look. Saber tooth tigers are often admired for their teeth that could be seen in the saber tooth tiger picture. They had shoulders greater than its hips. The two long canines were not used while preying animals. These two canines are flimsy.


  • Smilodon is a sit-and-wait predator and it only pounces when its prey is close enough.
  • The structure of the bones tells us that saber tooth cat could roar in the same way as present day cats do. They used to fight over mates.
  • The upper canines of the saber tooth tiger are 30 cm (12 inches). The saber tooth cat was neither a subspecies of tiger nor lion.
  • Scientists do not know if saber-tooth cats were social or solitary.
  • Saber tooth tigers died out 10,000 years ago.
  • It was an ambush predator.
  • Smilodons were remarkable jumpers.
saber tooth tiger - saber tooth tiger facts
Saber Tooth Tiger

Saber Tooth Tiger Diet and Ecology

  • They normally fed on deer, buffalo, antelopes, camels, ground sloths, bison, and tapirs. Saber tooth cats also eat mammoths and mastodons. Smilodons had killed quite a few humans but this is not confirmed.
  • Smilodons living in North America preyed on large herbivorous mammals such as camels and bisons. The modern-day American bisons and camels are much smaller than those living in those times. Saber-tooth cats were not only apex predators in North America they were equally successful in South America.
  • Saber-toothed tigers competed with American lion and dire wolf. The prey territory was often overlapped among these animals.
  • The tiger’s diet also consists of ungulates including litopterns  and toxodonts.
  • Smilodons possibly preferred eating only the flesh leaving behind the bones for scavengers.

Learn more:

Geographic Range

  • The saber tooth cat was widespread throughout North America occupying much of the southern part including present California, Texas, and Florida.
  • Scientists have also discovered some fossils in the New Mexico.

Saber Tooth Tiger Habitat

  • They had to live in areas where they could find their prey. They prey on herbivores (plant eating animals). Smilodons preferred to live in closed habitats so that it could ambush its prey while hiding in bushes.
  • The habitat of saber tooth tigers were open grasslands, shrubby areas and pine forests where they could feed on large herbivores.
  • Fossils record suggests that they also lived in icy lands as they lived during the period which was the end of the Dinosaurs and during the Ice Age.

Learn more: Saber Tooth Tiger Habitat 

Saber tooth Tiger Extinction

  • Saber tooth tiger had become extinct around 10,000 B.C. Apart from other causes for their extinction; prehistoric humans would have been supposedly responsible for the absolute extermination of Smilodon.
  • Biologists believe that the arrival of ice age changed the vegetation pattern for these animals and could possibly cause extinction. Saber tooth tigers are not tigers at all; rather they are related to the family of tigers.

Read more: Why did the Saber Tooth Tiger Go Extinct 

Species of Saber Tooth Tiger

  • Smilodon gracilis (2,500,000 – 500,000 years ago), Weight 55 – 100 kg (120 – 220 lb)
  • Smilodon fatalis (1,600,000 – 10,000 years ago), Weight 160 – 280 kg (350 – 620 lb)
  • Smilodon populator (1,000,000 – 10,000 years ago), Weight 360 – 470 kg (790 – 1,000 lb); Length 2.6 meters (100 inches); Shoulder Height 1.40 meters (55 inches)

Read More:

Saber Tooth Tiger Facts – Video

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48 responses to “Saber Tooth Tiger Facts | Behavior, Habitat, Diet, Extinction, Species”

  1. i love sabor tooth tigers when i get older im going to do a report on sabor tooth tigers

    1. muradjanan

      Sure Why not? Do let us know, if we could be of any help in completing that report.

    2. cool bro i agree they r really cool and badass looking and i kind of feel bad for stoneage ppl

  2. I am doing a report on saber tooth tigers. I thought this website might help me. It did. :)

  3. I love the tooth that come out. Thats so amazing.

  4. I am doing saber tooths for a science project do you have any more facts?

    1. muradjanan

      Your request have been added to our to do list. We will soon update this article with more facts about the saber tooth tiger.

  5. I wish the sabor – toothed tiger didn’t go extinct. Now, I can only dream of seeing a real one.

  6. whats the habitat

    1. muradjanan

      Vast grasslands, shrubby areas, icy lands and pine forests where they could find plenty of animals to hunt

      1. Also they lived somewhat in the ice age period.

    2. their nice

  7. this is awesome I was looking for these exact answers!

  8. this is the best website ever

  9. helped me

  10. this is realy good it help me with my speech

  11. awesome

  12. Thanks for the help! Did an essay on them I LOVE SABERTOOTH TIGERS! :D

  13. Lucien
    Is there a life-cycle of a sabre tooth tiger????????????? + I am doing my E.R,P I am 10

  14. I am doing a report on saber toothed tigers

  15. helped me SOOOOOO much!! thanks!

  16. luis perez


  17. Hi, I’m just looking for the author of this page? I need it for a reference. Thanks

    1. muradjanan

      The author of this page is Waleed Khalid. Visit the link below to view the author profile.

  18. This is so good. Before I just thought that sabre tooth tigers were gay and ugly but now I appreciate them as beautiful creatures. Damn extinction!

  19. it helped me too!

  20. it helped me

  21. loving it

  22. This has helped me so much

  23. It really helped me on my project!

  24. I’m doing a report about them my teacher doesn’t pick I do.

  25. this was very much help with my report on saber tooth tigers!!!thank u very much for helping me.

  26. Great really helped me with my project
    Love it!

  27. help me please

  28. good information helped me alot

  29. Helped me so much

  30. loved it

  31. This was a good website. I had to help my friend do a report about the ice age. And he had to do what animals lived during the ice age. So we wondered if sabor-toothed tigers did live during that time. So I tryd this website and it had the answer. This helped a lot!:)

  32. this helped with my report

  33. kristy green

    I was doing a project and this helped me out a lot.

  34. sabre tooth tiger was a fast runner

  35. cool

  36. im doing a report on saber tooth tigers and I cant find their classification

    1. muradjanan

      You can find its classification here: Saber Tooth Tiger

  37. valentina

    i love saber tooth tigers.

  38. Matthew williams

    How could the saber tooth tiger bite another animal? It looks like it’s mouth can’t open far enough. Has anyone ever found a complete skeleton?

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