saber tooth tiger diet

What did Saber Tooth Tigers Eat – Saber Tooth Tiger Diet

Saber Tooth Tiger was a ferocious animal with two large saber shaped teeth. It had a strong bulky body which was perfectly shaped for an ambush predator. A strong and bulky body indicates that it must have hunted large sized prey. We have done complete research on the Saber Tooth Tiger and here we are going to discuss What did Saber Tooth Tigers Eat. We have also listed down the complete list of animals that were probably part of the saber tooth tiger diet.

What did Saber Tooth Tigers Eat

  • Saber Tooth Tiger (Smilodon) belongs to the family of cats and we know that cats are carnivores (meat eater), so Saber Tooth Tiger was a meat eater too. It hunted other animals to eat their meat just like lion and tigers.
  • It had short legs which suggests that it was an ambush predator (which attack surprisingly). Short legs mean limited running speed so it was hard for it to chase and catch its prey so ambush was its only option.
  • Its probable hunting method might be to stab its prey with its saber teeth and wait till the prey bleeds to death.
  • Fossils suggests that saber tooth tiger was at the top of the food chain and so it might have hunted and eaten whatever it was able to catch.
  • However, fossil studies suggests that saber tooth tiger might have hunted large herbivores like bison, antelope, horses, mastodons etc which used to live in the same period.
saber tooth tiger diet
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How do we know What did Saber Tooth Tigers Eat

  • A team of researchers studied the fossils of saber tooth tiger and other predators of the same time period.
  • They studied their dental record and compared their carbon isotope to those of the herbivores fossils (this process is called carbon dating).
  • This enabled them to calculate not only thier time of existence but also what did the saber tooth tiger eat.
  • The wear patterns on their teeth suggested the type of meat or bones they used to chew and this further suggested the animal they used to hunt.

Saber Tooth Tiger Diet

  • Fossil studies suggests that saber tooth tiger specially hunted animals that were large in size, had thick skins and muscles. Following is the list of animals that were part of the saber tooth tiger diet:
    • Bison (American Buffalo)
    • Musk-oxen
    • Ground sloths
    • American Camels
    • Prong Oxen
    • Tapirs
    • Antelope
    • Prehistoric Horses (hipparionine horses)
    • Mastodon (extinct hairy elephants)
  • Beside the above list saber tooth tiger would also go for scavenging on caribou, peccaries, llamas, capybaras and elk killed by other small predators like bear cats, mountain lions, jaguars, hyenas and grizzly bears.

Did Saber Tooth Tiger Ate Humans

  • Fossils found inSchöningen, Germany, suggests that around 300,000 years ago Humans and Saber Tooth Tigers confronted each other.
  • However, there no such evidence that suggests that saber tooth tiger ate humans.
  • The fossils of the saber tooth tiger were found along with tell-tale wooden spears which suggests that humans were well equipped to defend themselves and might have killed the saber tooth tiger. So there is very little to no chance that saber tooth tiger might have eaten humans.
  • Recent fossil studies in Africa suggests that other species of saber tooth cats might have killed and ate humans.

Learn More About the Saber Tooth Tiger:

What did Saber Tooth Tigers Eat Video


Murad Ali Khan is a researcher, writer & editor, who believes in generating quality content. He leads an awesome team of high school students, teachers & IT graduates who helps him in creating & maintaining educational Websites & Apps.
When not tinkering on the web, Murad enjoys going on hikes, read Latest Science News, plays tennis & hangs out with his friends.

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