The saber-tooth tiger was a large mammal of the prehistoric Pleistocene era; it became extinct around 10,000 B.C. The animal, known as the Smilodon, was a member of the genus Machairodonts. The tiger lived in North and South America.
The saber-tooth tiger had a short tail, short legs, short ears and short feet as well as a stocky muscular build commonly found in big cats of today. They grew to 3 feet tall and 4 1/2 feet long; on average, they weighed 440 pounds. Their teeth grew to 7 inches long but broke easily. Due to the fragility of their teeth, the cats had the ability to open their mouths very wide, like a snake. The tiger roared in the same manner as modern big cats and attacked prey by sitting and waiting for it to come near.
The diet of the tiger consisted of animals such as buffalo, bison, antelope, ground sloth and deer. They tended to live in the same lands as their prey. Fossil records show saber-tooth tiger remains in areas such as Florida, California and New Mexico. The end of the Ice Age, hunting by prehistoric man and changes in the vegetation patterns contributed to the eventual extinction of the animal.