saber-toothed cat

variants: or saber-toothed tiger or less commonly saber-tooth cat or saber-tooth tiger

Definition of saber-toothed cat

1 : any of various extinct carnivorous cats (such as genus Smilodon) that were widely distributed in the Oligocene through the Pleistocene of both the Old and New World, are characterized by elongation of the upper canines into curved, piercing or slashing, dagger-like weapons and in enlargement of the gape with corresponding muscular and skeletal changes, and that constitute a distinct felid subfamily (Machairodontinae)
2 : any of various extinct North American, Eurasian, and African catlike carnivores (as of the genera Hoplophoneus and Nimravus of the family Nimravidae) of the Late Eocene to Late Miocene that resemble the typical saber-toothed cats

Examples of saber-toothed cat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If a saber-toothed cat species is not already in the genetic library, for example, the analysis cannot detect that animal. Riley Black, Scientific American, "Story of Mammoth Survival Is in the Soil," 1 Jan. 2021 The explanation for the demise of Ice Age megafauna, including the woolly mammoth, giant sloth and saber-toothed cat, has been debated for decades. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Climate Change, Not Hunting, May Have Doomed the Woolly Rhinoceros," 13 Aug. 2020 Excavations have uncovered bone tools, slaughtered horses and saber-toothed cat teeth. New York Times, "A Short, Pointy, 300,000-Year-Old Clue to Our Ancestors’ Hunting Prowess," 22 Apr. 2020 The park contains one of the world’s most abundant fossil beds, filled with the remains of ancient mammals — including the famed saber-toothed cat. Scott Bay, Travel + Leisure, "Everything You Need to Know About Badlands National Park," 13 Mar. 2020 And the kids also named great white shark, panda, wolf, elephant and saber-toothed cat among their favorites. Washington Post, "January’s Class of KidsPost: Fifth-graders at Barcroft Elementary in Arlington," 12 Jan. 2020 The lucky few can chance upon fossils that can date to the Ice Age and beyond; recent finds include a tooth from an ancient 60-foot great white shark called a megalodon off Santa Cruz, and a saber-toothed cat near Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Tom Stienstra,, "Whale skull washes up in Marin: What’s coming next?," 27 Oct. 2019 The saber-toothed cat, for instance, simply couldn't adapt. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fossilized teeth of Ice Age predators yield clues to why certain species survived," 6 Aug. 2019 Their tracks are preserved in the alkali flats of the valley floor—mammoth, dire wolf, saber-toothed cat, North American camel, and giant ground sloth, all dating back to the last ice age. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "Our Next National Park Could Be in New Mexico," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saber-toothed cat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of saber-toothed cat

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of saber-toothed cat was in 1849

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Last Updated

10 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Saber-toothed cat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for saber-toothed cat

saber-toothed cat

sa·​ber-toothed cat | \ ˈsā-bər-ˌtütht- \

Kids Definition of saber-toothed cat

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