The Chinese New Year – Year of the Tiger
The Chinese New Year, otherwise known as the lunar spring year started yesterday (February 14th). As the Chinese traditional calendar is influenced by both the Gregorian calendar and the lunar cycle, the new year can start anytime between late January and mid February. However, yesterday with the new moon cycle we moved from the Chinese year of the Ox into the new year of the Tiger (Geng Yin).
This is the biggest holiday in the Chinese calendar involving families getting together, parades the exchange of gifts and of course lots of noisy and spectacular fireworks. Naturally, our interest in Chinese calendars has more to do with production schedules in factories these days but as it is the year of the Tiger it is an opportune moment to remind ourselves that the commonly used term for a Smilodon – Sabre-tooth tiger is not accurate.
Sabre-toothed cats are not closely related to modern Tigers, although they are members of the cat family (Felidae). Sabre-toothed cats are members of a sub-family of cats called the Machairondontinae and the Smilodon genus had four species, although there is conjecture whether Smilodon californicus made famous by the fossil finds at La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, is a true species or a sub-species of Smilodon fatalis.
To view a Sabre-toothed tiger model and other figures in the Papo model range: Papo Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Figures.
A Model of a Sabre-toothed Cat (Papo Smilodon Model)
Smilodon has also inspired a range of prehistoric plush and soft toys over the years. It seems that fans of the movie “Ice Age” would like their own soft toy version of a Smilodon.
To view the range of prehistoric plush and soft toys available from Everything Dinosaur: Soft Toy Prehistoric Animals.
Named by the German paleontologist Plieninger in 1846, the moniker of Sabre-Tooth Tiger seems to have become associated with Smilodon through films and television documentaries. We still use the “Tiger” term ourselves from time to time, to help customers find what they are looking for on our website: Everything Dinosaur, however, this term is not scientifically correct.
Wishing you all a happy and lucky Chinese new year. Wishing all our customers and blog readers a very happy and prosperous Chinese new year.