Grand Canyon National Park: SaberToothed Cat By Aaron Johnson, Joel Anderson, 2022


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Saber-toothed cats (Smilodon fatalis), also known as the saber-toothed tigers, are some of the most iconic ice age animals. Their oversized canine teeth could reach up to seven to eight inches (17-20 centimeters) long. These big cats lived during the Pleistocene epoch, appearing in the fossil record about 800,000 years ago. Although they are not the only saber-toothed carnivore to live during that period, they are certainly the best-known. Saber-toothed cats may be known as tigers or lions, but names can be deceiving. These cats are actually not directly related to modern tigers or lions. Rather, they were a unique group of animals, standing up to three feet (1 m) tall at the shoulder, 5.5 feet (1.7 m) in length, and up to 750 pounds (340 kg) in weight. The fossil record yields evidence that saber-toothed cats once inhabited the caves and crags of the area we now call the Grand Canyon. Anderson Design Group illustrators hand-rendered this prehistoric scene to show what this region may have looked like a long time ago. Order your own illustration of the mighty canyon cat as a canvas, print, or metal sign, postcard or note card.

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