Physical Characteristics


The size of the sabre-tooth cats was first thought to be comparable to that of a lion. Recent studies of the structure of the sabre-tooths have revealed that although similar in structure, the cat stood on powerful short limbs, approximately three feet in height and measured about five and a half feet from head to tail. It is estimated that this predator weighed about 340 kilograms. The tail, unlike most modern cats, was quite short (as seen in this reconstruction), barely measuring a sixth of its body length (Mestel 1993).

Figure.7  Sculpture of Smilodon. Note the short powerful legs.