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The Sabertooth Tiger
10.11.2013 11577785209

If there's one thing the Internet has ever successfully managed to accomplish, it's that it has completely distracted the human population of earth from the raw murderous killing power of our planet's most ruthless and cold-blooded killers – cats.  Considering that these heartless feline murder-factories are some of the only creatures in the world that literally kill for fun, snuffing out the life of everything from rabbits to birds not for food or sustenance but simply because they get high and rock boners off the pure unadulterated feeling of sinking their fangs into the neck of an unsuspecting rodent, it's seems like every goddamned time I power up my monitor I'm being visually assaulted by some obnoxiously-adorable little kitty slap-fighting a vacuum cleaner while wearing a set of Mickey Mouse ears.

Do not be deceived by the pro-feline media.   Cats aren't cute – they are HORRIFIC FUCKING KILLING MACHINES.  These ferocious, ultra-wild, neck-chomping mass-killing deathbringers that have survived on this Earth for millions of years thanks solely to their ability to rip open torsos, rend flesh, and de-meat their prey with a relentless assault of teeth, claws, bulging muscles and stealth-like fury, then slink back into the shadows with the sort of silent deadliness that would give even the most hardcore Master Ninja Vampire a crippling case of performance anxiety and a Zoloft prescription.

And no cat on this earth has ever been more terrifyingly hardcore than the Saber-Toothed Tiger.  A prehistoric lion-sized monster cat with serrated teeth the size of Gurkha knives who roamed around Ice Age America killing Elephant-sized Mammoths, gigantic Cave Bears, and badass cavemen by ripping open their torsos with a single bite from their double-bladed otherworldly fangs, laughing its ass off while it's brutalized victim slowly bled to death from the single most painful wound a living organism can receive, and then calmly devouring their still-warm corpses, confident that no scavenger bullshit assholes would dare fuck with their kill.



Apparently, according to most of the research I've performed, it is utterly fucking mandatory to begin any article on the Smilodon Fatalis (Latin for "Deadly Blade-Tooth", perhaps one of the most badass Genus-Species combinations this size of T. Rex) by mentioning that Sabertooth Tigers aren't really related to Tigers but are more like Lions or Panthers or some other fucking random big cat that looks pretty much exactly like a Tiger anyways.  I guess the politically-correct thing these days is to call them Gender-Neutral Non-Denominational Saber-Tooth Cat-Like Mammal-Americans or some bullshit, but I'll just call them Sabertooth Motherfuckers and be done with it because I don't have time for this nonsense. 

True Sabertooths come in a bunch of different flavors and a half-dozen or so species that lived everywhere from Illinois to Argentina (and that doesn't even include Australian Marsupial Lions, which are like mini-sabertooth kangaroo wombats), but generally speaking these gigantic man-eating catbeasts were roughly the size of a modern-day Lion except that they were more compact and about twice as heavy, weighing in at around 600 pounds of pure solid Mammoth-humping muscle.  And oh yeah, IN CASE YOU FORGOT they had horrifying 7-inch fucking dagger teeth the size of butcher knives that were GODDAMNED SERRATED like a saw blade on the back side so they could more effectively rip you a few new ones and maximize the bleeding in whatever poor bastard managed to get his guts violated into sludge by the ever-chomping, ridiculously-oversized fangs of these terrifying Prehistoric Dracula-Cats. 



As is their way, Paleontologists love to bicker incessantly amongst themselves over the stupidest minute details about what the hell these long-extinct beasts used to do in their free time, but for the most part we're sure they were masters of stealth and camouflage, built for strength rather than speed.  Smart, calculating, and agile (not to mention strong as shit), these cats were ambush hunters, meaning they hid in the grass, snuck close to their prey, then lunched out at them at close range, trading the speed and endurance of modern Cheetahs and shit for the sort of hardcore ultra-jacked muscle tone an 8-foot-long gigantic cat would need to have in order to QB sack a fucking horse and bite out its jugular.  

A couple books suggested that these fuckers even actually climbed goddamned trees in the forest and DIVE BOMBED YOUR ASS LIKE BATMAN, and if you can think of anything more pants-crappingly terrifying than an 8-foot-long, 600-pound, 'roided-out Lion with 7-inch serrated teeth Death From Above-ing your face from 10 feet up I'll happily submit a 1,000-word essay on why you have no fucking clue what you're talking about. 



Here's a fun fact:  modern lions kill their prey by suffocation.  They tackle their dinner, wrestle it to the ground, throw their entire weight on the flailing beast, then use their teeth to crush its windpipe and choke the fucking fuckall out of it until it stops moving. 

Well your average Antelope these days gets off easy compared to how the Sabertooth dealt with its potential food.  His teeth weren't for crushing – they were for biting, ripping, and doing other nasty vicious things that were far more slasher-grade bloody. 

Not only that, but the jaw bones and joints of a Sabertooth are twice the width of a lions, meaning that its bite was probably about twice as hard as that of a Lion.  And a Lion's bite is 25 pounds-per-square-inch harder than that of a FUCKING GREAT WHITE SHARK.  A Sabertooth could also open its mouth twice as wide as any other cat – 120 degrees – giving him plenty of opportunity to sink his monster fangs into something delicious.  Like your face.




The theory is that a Sabertooth would lie in wait, then, right when some dumb meat-filled asshole would walk by he'd charge out at high speed, hurling his massive weight into his prey like a Semi Truck plowing into a crowded bus stop, then latch on with his Schwarzenegger-like forearms and murph the bastard into submission.  Holding his target's head still while he unhinged his creepy snake jaw, the Sabertooth would plunge his seven-inch implements of penetrating death into the neck of his foe, then jerk his head violently, gutting the soon-to-be-dead bastard from ear-to-ear, ripping out his jugular, carotid, and windpipe and causing massive bloody trauma all over the place.  With his prey in its death throes all our cat friend needed to do was chill and hold it steady until it bled out.  

For bigger prey like Mammoths, the Sabertooth would skip the neck and go for the soft underbelly, running under the giant rampaging trample-happy beast like Luke Skywalker attacking an AT-AT with a lightsaber and use its fangs to carve that oversize plant-eating dumbass from sternum to groin until its guts came out.



Sometimes hunting alone, sometimes hunting in packs, Sabertooths attacked horses, camels (which apparently lived in North America before the last Ice Age), smaller Mammoths, Toxodons (retarded-looking horsebeasts), and some kind of fucked up giant sloth monster called a Ground Sloth.

Oh yeah, the Ground Sloth, the chief prey of a Sabertooth, looked like this and had four fists full of 10-inch claws:



In some rare cases, there is also evidence of Sabertooths doing battle with large Mammoths, Cave Bears (a prehistoric 1,000-pound brown bear that made Grizzlies look like Teddy Ruxpin), and other predators, including one time these paleontologists found a 5-foot-long, 200-pound Dire Wolf with a broken-off piece of Sabertooth Tiger fang snapped off in its skull and were all like "daaaaaayam".

Skull-biting a Dire Wolf not enough for you?  Assuming that paleontologists are correct about the Sabertooth going extinct around 10,000 BC it's probable that they preyed on humans as well.  As evidence, here's a pic from the epic post-impressionist Roland Emmeric documentary 10,000 BC depicting what such an event might look like:



And before you say that's a bunch of bullshit, no tiger is that big, here's a real-life comparison between some people and a Liger:



Scary shit.

Sabertooths lived in Los Angeles, and a lot of them were dug up in the excavations of the La Brea Tar Pits, but bones have been found everywhere from Illinois to Argentina and Brazil.  The fact that many of these fossils indicate that some Sabertooths survived crippling injuries for an extended time leads us to believe that these dudes worked in packs and took care of their sick and wounded, but Sabertooth bite marks found in the bones of other specimens means that these guys like to kick each other's asses for fun sometimes as well.

Despite being the Kings of the Pangean Forests, Sabertooth Cats ultimately died out some time around 10,000 BC after they ate all the other megafauna and died out due to lack of food and excess of tar pits.  Which is sad for anyone who wanted to have their brain bitten in half by a 7-inch butcher knife of a tooth while walking around Hollywood Hills.

OK FINE ANYWAYS, yes, I am fully aware of the fact that the entire point of the Internet is to have a place for assholes to post cat pictures so CHECK THIS SHIT OUT:















Andersson K, Norman D, Werdelin L (2011) Sabretoothed Carnivores and the Killing of Large Prey. PLoS ONE 6(10): e24971.

Anton, Mauricio.  Sabertooth.  Indiana Univ. Press, 2013.

Kelly, Miles.  1000 Facts About Prehistoric Life.  Miles Kelly, 2010.

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Tags: Animal | Argentina | Brazil | Monster | Prehistoric | Supervillain | United States | Venezuela

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