The infamous saber-tooths

Granted, they were much larger than today’s house cats, but in some way the ferocious saber-tooth cats are among the ancestors of today’s pets (or, at any rate, of cats in general). The sabertoothed tiger (Smilodon is the scientific name) lived in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America 35 million years ago. With its huge daggerlike teeth, it could bring down an elephant. Scientists think these cats’ combination of large body and small brain ensured they would not last forever. (An interesting tidbit: before the U.S. president Thomas Jefferson sent the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the American West, it was widely assumed that creatures like saber-toothed tigers still existed in the wilds of America.)
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