Smilodon Goes on Display

Just a normal day at Everything Dinosaur, sort the mail, email answers out to school children who have sent in dinosaur themed questions to our team, quick update on IT developments on the website and finding a place to display our Smilodon fatalis skull.  The skull is quite delicate and it has taken a lot of work to get it sorted, but it is finished along with its huge, foam-filled transport box so that if needed, it can be taken to schools as part of our teaching about evolution and prehistoric animals in schools.

Smilodon fatalis

Taking a “Snap” of a Smilodon (S. fatalis)

Big-toothed predator
Big-toothed predator.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

An Impressive Set of Jaws

The gape of the jaw is most impressive, these predators could open their mouths far wider than a lion or any other modern day “Big Cat”.  To read more about the jaws of members of the Machairodontinae and their very special adaptations: Open Wide! The Attack Strategy of Smilodon.

Palaeontologists estimate that the Smilodon genus had four species; there is conjecture whether Smilodon floridus and Smilodon californicus are true species or sub-species of Smilodon fatalis.  Many thousands of Smilodon fossils are known, the tar pits at Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles have produced a lot of fossil material relating to the Smilodon genus (mainly S. californicus).

Still a Little Wobbly – Anterior View of Smilodon

The business end of Smilodon.
The business end of Smilodon.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

We shall take the guidance provided by the scientists at La Brea Tar Pits, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, which incidentally is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and suggest that this is Smilodon fatalis californicus a sub-species of Smilodon fatalis.

Smilodon fatalis was a sizeable beast, this skull alone measures more than thirty centimetres in length.  Smilodon fatalis stood over one metre high at the shoulder, not as big as the South American S. populator but considerably larger than Smilodon gracilis.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of prehistoric animal models: Models of Prehistoric Mammals.