Stunning Smilodon Illustration

Our thanks to Caldey who sent into Everything Dinosaur her latest prehistoric animal illustration.  Caldey decided to produce a drawing of a Smilodon (Sabre-toothed cat) and what a carefully drawn member of the cat family (Felidae), has been produced.  Normally, we receive lots of dinosaur drawings at our offices, our postbag contains pictures of Triceratops, Stegosaurus, sauropods and of course T. rex.  Being sent a Smilodon drawing is quite a rarity.

A Smilodon as Illustrated by Caldey

Smilodon illustration.
Caldey’s illustration of a Smilodon (Sabre-toothed cat).

Picture credit: Caldey

Sabre-tooth Cat “Knife Tooth”

Smilodon is a genus of the extinct Felidae subfamily the Machairodontinae.  These cats were both geographically and temporally widespread (Smilodon is associated with both North and South America), with the very last of them surviving into the Late Pleistocene.

The powerfully built Smilodon is famous for its huge upper canine teeth and palaeontologists have undertaken a great deal of research to determine just how these teeth functioned and how these predators hunted prey.  The genus has been translated from the Greek as “knife tooth”, a reference to those huge canines that in some of our specimens measure more than 18 centimetres in length (Smilodon fatalis).

A Close-up View of the Head and Neck of Caldey’s Sabre-toothed Cat

A Smilodon illustration.
This close up shows the fine detail on the head and neck of the Smilodon drawing.

Picture credit: Caldey

Smilodon Colouration

Although the exact coat colouration of Smilodon is unknown, there has been a recent trend to depict this animal with a mottled or spotted coat.  It is thought that ancestral cats, which were small and confined to forested habitats probably had spotted coats that would have provided more effective camouflage.  However, the colouration of Smilodon remains speculative.

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“Caldey’s drawing show lots of amazing detail and she has taken great care to fill in the background for her big cat.  We are sure that Smilodon feels very much at home in that landscape.”

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