The sabre-toothed cat or tiger is one of the most well-known prehistoric animals along with giants such as the woolly mammoth.
Sabre-toothed tigers roamed the mid-western United States and parts of both North and South America and were named for the enormous canines which skeletons show, protruded quite far out of their mouths.
It became extinct during the latter stages of the ice age. Despite the name, the sabre-toothed tiger was not actually related to the modern tigers that are found throughout the jungles of Asia.
It is thought that the sabre-toothed tiger would have roamed across the grassland plains and open woodlands throughout both North and South America where individuals would of varied slightly depending on the area which they inhabited.
The sabre-toothed tiger was named for the canines that could grow to more than 7 inches in length and were capable of fatally wounding their prey with one bite.
Sadly, the colour of the sabre-tooth tiger is unknown but it is thought that is would of been of a similar colouration to the modern day lion found in Africa (and which it is not closely related to).
The sabre-toothed tiger also had a powerful, muscular body which meant that it could quickly catch and pounce on it’s prey before using it’s knife-like teeth to cause to the fatal blow.
The sabre-toothed tiger was a carnivorous animal and would of been the most dominant predator within its environment.
Large herbivorous animals such as deer and bison would of been the most common prey of the sabre-toothed tiger along with occasional giant such as a small woolly mammoth should their ranges cross, although their exact diet is unknown.
The sabre-toothed cat would of been the most ferocious and therefore the apex predator within it’s environment so had no natural predators on the American plains.
Humans are thought to be the most likely cause for the demise of this enormous cat and more than 2,000 sabre-toothed tiger skeletons have been found emerged in the famous tar pits close to Los Angeles.
Scientists estimate only about 3,000 wild tigers are left in the entire world.
Tiger territory once stretched from Turkey to the Russian Far East and just a century ago, before the terrible toll of hunting and habitat destruction, 100,000 tigers inhabited the wilds of Asia.
Now their descendants hang on in a tiny fraction of their former range, prowling fragmented pockets of habitat where keeping enough tigers alive to breed is increasingly difficult.
Three of the nine tiger subspecies (Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers) became extinct during the 20th century, leaving only the half dozen living species featured in this gallery.
Recent studies show in just three tiger generations (21 to 27 years) the big cats’ population has shrunk by 50 percent and their range has also been halved.
Shrinking space and rampant poaching for traditional Chinese medicine present a formidable challenge to the future of wild tigers.
About half of all living tigers are Bengal tigers (pictured here), sometimes called Indian tigers because most live in that nation.
Others are in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Myanmar. Given space and prey Panthera tigris tigris can thrive in many types of forests or grasslands, and the Bengal is the only subspecies that also inhabits mangrove forests, in the Sundarbans island group in the Bay of Bengal.
Large spotted cats have preyed on primates for millennia. Even today leopards cause many human deaths in Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
A rosette is a rose-like marking or formation found on the fur and skin of some animals, particularly cats of the family Felidae. Rosettes are used to camouflage the animal, either as a defense mechanism or as a stalking tool.
Predators use their rosettes to simulate the different shifting of shadows and shade, helping the animals to remain hidden from their prey. Rosettes can be grouped in clusters around other spots, or may appear as blotches on the fur.
Rosettes can appear with or without central spots.
Leopard (Smaller and more dense compared to those of a Jaguar and without central spots).