Daily Paleo Art Month: Thylacosmilus
Living in Argentina, South America between 10 and 3 million years ago, Thylacosmilus wasn’t a sabre-toothed cat but a sabre-toothed sparassodont, a type of carnivorous mammal that formed a sister group to the marsupials. Thylacosmilus was about the size of a modern jaguar, about 1.2m long (3.9ft), making it one of the largest known predators of all metatherians.
Sabre-teeth evolved completely independently in several different groups of mammals, suggesting that they were part of a very successful hunting strategy for those animals. Thylacosmilus is thought to have immobilized its prey with powerful forelimbs, then used precise deep bites into soft tissue to make the killing blows.