The Ultimate Saber-Tooth Cat Quiz
The saber-tooth cat is really an intriguing mixture of carnivores. Although we often refer to this now extinct animal as the saber-toothed tiger, it was really a combination of lion, tiger and bear. Take our quiz and learn about the distinctive features of a saber-tooth cat that made it strikingly similar to so many different animals.start quiz
Question 2 of 21
What is a saber-tooth cat's scientific name?
... The scientific name for the saber-tooth cat is Smilodon fatalis. During the prehistoric eras, there were many long-teethed carnivores roaming the earth; the saber-tooth cat is just one of them.
Question 3 of 21
When did the saber-tooth cat become extinct?
... The saber-tooth cat became extinct at the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago.
Question 4 of 21
How long could an adult saber-tooth cat's canine tooth extend to?
... saber-tooth cats had two canine teeth that extended well past their bottom jaws. In an adult saber-tooth cat, their teeth could be up to 7 inches long, about as long as an average man's hand from his wrist to the end of his middle finger.
Question 5 of 21
What was the rate of growth of an adolescent saber-tooth cat's canines?
... Like most mammals, the saber-tooth cat lost its baby teeth before entering adolescence. Their adult teeth would grow at a rate of eight millimeters a month for over 18 months to reach full length.
Question 6 of 21
How wide could the saber-tooth cat open its mouth?
... The saber-tooth cat could open its mouth to an angle of 120 degrees. This enabled the cats to take huge bites of soft flesh, usually at the throat or abdomen of their prey.
Question 7 of 21
What was the average height of a saber-tooth cat?
... From shoulder to ground, the average height of the saber-tooth cat was three feet (one meter). The average height of a modern day lion is about four feet (1.2 meters).
Question 8 of 21
What was a saber-tooth cat's average weight?
... A saber-tooth cat's average weight was about 750 pounds (300 kilograms). Compare that to the modern day lion's average weight, which is about 500 pounds.
Question 9 of 21
What body part was a saber-tooth cat missing, making it less agile than today's big cats?
... The saber-tooth cat did not have a long tail to help it keep its balance. As a result, it was less agile than most modern day big cats.
Question 10 of 21
What type of fur would a saber-tooth cat most likely have had?
... Although there is no fossilized evidence of a saber-tooth cat's fur, paleontologists suggest that they most likely would have had the dappled fur of a cheetah or a bobcat. This would have helped them blend into existing vegetation.
Question 11 of 21
What did saber-tooth cat's prey most likely die of?
... Because of their bulky size and their long teeth, saber-tooth cats knocked down their prey and bit into their neck or abdomen to kill them. Their prey most likely died from blood loss.
Question 12 of 21
What sound did the saber-tooth cat make?
... The saber-tooth cat's hyoid bone, the bone in the front of its throat, was shaped like that of the modern day lion. This led scientist to conclude that it most likely had a voice box that allowed it to roar like a lion.
Question 13 of 21
In terms of their social behavior, what were saber-tooth cat's like?
... Some scientists theorize that the cats had some form of social structure. They base this on evidence of fossils with healed injuries, which means other cats would have provided an injured cat with food until it could recover -- a solitary hunter would have died of starvation if injured.
Question 14 of 21
Where were most saber-tooth cat fossils found?
... Most saber-tooth cat fossils were found in the La Brea tar pits in California. The cats didn't necessarily get stuck in the tar, they accumulated there over 25,000 years.
Question 15 of 21
What caused the saber-tooth cat's extinction?
... saber-tooth cats most likely became extinct from starvation, when their food source, large mammals, died out. They were too bulky and slow to prey on smaller mammals.
Question 16 of 21
What was the oldest genus of saber-tooth cats?
... The oldest genus of saber-tooth cats, the Paramchairodus, lived some 9 million years ago.
Question 17 of 21
What was the average length of a saber-tooth cat?
... The average length of a saber-tooth cat was five feet, five inches (1.6 meters).
Question 18 of 21
Which genus of saber-tooth cats included humans as its prey?
... The Megantereon genus lived in South Africa about 2.5 million years ago. It included humans among its prey.
Question 19 of 21
What did a saber-tooth cat's canine teeth resemble?
... A saber-tooth cat's teeth resembled curved knives. They were twice as thick from the front to the back as they were from side to side.
Question 20 of 21
What are a walrus's canine teeth called?
... A walrus's teeth are called tusks and are rounder and flatter than those of the saber-tooth cat.
Question 21 of 21
What was the name of a mammal who lived at the time of the saber-tooth cat?
... Mammoths, mastodons and ground sloths are the names of some of the mammals who lived at the time of the saber-tooth cat.