Q: How do you sex a Smilodon? (A: Very carefully)
A very lion-like Smilodon, from Ernest Ingersoll’s The Life of Animals (1907).
For decades after its discovery the saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis was depicted as little more than a lion with a short tail and long fangs. Given its size and habits as a large carnivore the connection appeared to make sense, but recent studies have suggested that Smilodon was quite different from the “king of the beasts.” Not only did Smilodon have a face that probably would have looked a bit saggy when compared to modern lions, but a new study published in the Journal of Zoology suggests that male and female Smilodon fatalis did not differ that much from each other.
In order to