Wild Cats of the Prehistoric Era

Wild Cats of the Prehistoric Era

"If you thought they were big now, you should have seen them back then."

 Although some people keep them as pets, wild cats are quite scary to most.  They are not something we would ever want to encounter on a day out.  They are strong and silent, with intimidating size, making them an exceptional predator.  If you thought they were big now, you should have seen them back then.  Yes, wild cats were around even when there were dinosaurs.  I have gathered some information on a few, so we can see how they are similar yet different to our wild cats today.  Proof that evolution is so real and amazing.
  1. Xenosmilus.  The Xenosmilus was quite the beast.  Of course, it was a carnivore, and boy it liked to make its victims suffer. Its general technique for eating was to take a bite out of its victim and let it bleed to death before eating it.  Alot more suffering was involved for those who fell prey to it, as opposed to today's cats who simply attack and eat.  The Xenosmilus was anywhere from 400-500 pounds with the same stature of today's lions.  The only difference was that it was more muscular and had a more powerful neck.  Remains for this cat have been found in Florida.  It is unknown when it went extinct.
  2. Giant Jaguar.  The Giant Jaguar was a bit smaller than other cats, as it weighed in at approximately 130 pounds, but could reach weights of up to 300.  It was very similar to today's jaguar, only much larger, stronger and more intimidating.  There were two species of this Jaguar.  One was the Panthera onca augusta, which was in North America.  The other is Panthera onca messembrina.  It is believed that the Giant Jaguar went extinct approximately 11,000 years ago.
  3. Cave Lion.  The Cave Lion was about twice the size of the modern lion, weighing in at approximately 660 pounds.  It was one of the most dangerous predators during the Ice Age.  It is believed that it may have been worshipped by some humans, due to cave paintings and statues that were discovered.  Studies were done by scientists to determine which species the Cave Lion was, because some thought it could be an ancestor of tigers; however, all tests show that this predator was all Lion.
  4. American Lion.  The American Lion is one of the most well known prehistoric cats, as well as one of the all time largest.  It roamed North and South America, and weighed a whopping 1,000 pounds, sometimes more.  It coexisted for years with the Smildon, also known as the Sabertooth Tiger, which leaves us to believe that it was a lone hunter.  This enabled it to prey on different animals than the other animals, making competition scarce.  It is believed that the American Lion went extinct approximately 11,000 years ago.
  5. Smildon (Sabertooth Tiger).  The Smildon is also known as the Sabertooth Tiger.  It is by far the most well known and talked about big cat of the prehistoric era.  This tiger was found in North and South America.  There is another species of this tiger found in South America that was much smaller, so weights varied from 600 pounds all of the way up to 1100 pounds.  It had thick, long limbs as well as sharp claws, perfect for catching prey.  It also had fangs which it is famous for, that were up to 12 inches long, enabling it to kill anything it wanted. It is believed that the Smildon went extinct approximately 30,000 years ago.