Thylacosmilus resembled saber-toothed cats, but they’re not related
Thylacosmilus Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Thylacosmilus atrox
Thylacosmilus Physical Characteristics
180–260 pounds
Thylacosmilus Distribition

Thylacosmilus is a genus of saber- toothed animals that as soon as stayed in South America throughout the Late Miocene and Pliocene dates. Like the saber- toothed cats of The United States and Canada, this animal had famous top dogs that outgrew its mouth. Surprisingly, it was not associated with the saber- toothed cats. As a matter of fact, it had not been a cat in any way. Rather, this killer was much more pertaining to marsupials (pouched animals) such as kangaroos and wombats.

Summary and Dimension

Thylacosmilus was a genus of saber- toothed animals that stayed in South America from completion of the Miocene date right into the Pliocene. The common name Thylacosmilus equates as “bag blade” in English. Thylacosmilus was a sparassodont and not a felid. This implies it was much more very closely pertaining to the marsupials although it looked like the saber- toothed cats literally.

2 major species have actually been called. They are the Thylacosmilus atrox and Thylacosmilus lentis The particular name “ atrox” equates as “harsh” or “horrible.” Thylacosmilus had a large head, reasonably larger than various other components of its body. This has actually made it challenging to approximate the real dimension of this creature. Based upon current research studies, researchers believe they evaluated in between 180- 260 extra pounds (80– 120 kg). Based upon this price quote, this predator was possibly around the exact same dimension as existing- day jaguars and is amongst the biggest meat-eating marsupials ever before located. It had to do with 2 feet high and 4 feet long.

One of the most famous attribute of their substantial head was the lengthy, slim saber- like dogs. The dogs were covered with enamel (as thick as 0.25 millimeters). Little details concerning its incisors and various other teeth is offered as a result of inadequate fossilization. Nevertheless, we understand that animals that have a tendency to create huge saber- like teeth usually have some missing out on or minimized teeth too. Unlike the North American Smilodon, Thylacosmilus had flanges on its reduced jaws which safeguarded the dogs when their mouth was shut.

The humerus and thigh were extremely thick, which is anticipated given that the predator taken care of larger victim contrasted to today’s predators. The framework of their arm or legs recommends that the animal was not adjusted for rate however possibly captured victim by tracking and assailing. Unlike felids, Thylascosmilus did not have retracting claws.

Thylacosmilus skull
The Thylacosmilus had long, slim saber- like dogs, which were covered with thick enamel.

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Diet – What Did the Thylacosmilus Eat?

The animal has actually been called a distinct flesh- consuming creature. It ate grazers (primarily huge notoungulates). The dimension of its head and jaws implied this predator had a considerable bite pressure– adequate to remove huge victim. Because it was not a jogger, it would certainly paralyze its victim prior to supplying deep attacks right into its soft cells.

There are likewise conjectures that this animal was not a relentless killer however a scavenger that just consumed the interior body organs of dead animals. Nevertheless, there’s no definitive proof to verify this.

The even more common concept is that this animal was an ambush killer that can supply a shock kill by jumping below trees or concealing in the plant life. Their dogs were long sufficient to bring upon deep injuries and cut arteries, bring about the victim’s fatality in an issue of mins. Thylacosmilus is usually portrayed as a single seeker. Nevertheless, like several contemporary cats, they possibly pursued in teams.

Environment – When and Where Thylacosmilus Lived

Thylacosmilus stayed in South America in between the Late Miocene and the Very early Pliocene dates. It more than likely favored savanna and sparsely forested locations where it can catch its victim much more quickly contrasted to even more open places. In addition, the opportunities of the species dealing with hostile competitors were greater outdoors areas.

Hazards and Predators

The best danger to the Thylacosmilus was the phorusrhacids (terror birds). They were savage and hostile victim seekers. Although they really did not take advantage of the Thylacosmilus, they took on them for food. Thylacosmilus went to a drawback due to the fact that it was primarily an ambush killer. This required the animal to adhere to locations with trees and plant life cover, while the terror birds were complimentary to remove victim anywhere.

Discoveries and Fossils – Where It Was Found

The very first fossils of Thylacosmilus were located in 1926 by the Marshall Area paleontological explorations. The exploration was made in the Ituzaingo Development of Corral Quemado in the Catamarca District of north Argentina. Elmer S. Riggs, an American paleontologist, called the fossil in 1933.

The sampling consisted of cranial bones with the teeth of the appropriate jaws totally maintained. The left pooch and pieces of the jaws were likewise maintained, together with a couple of article- cranial bones. Riggs released a complete summary of the animal in 1934 based upon a contrast with various other animal predators that lived around the exact same time.

Fossils of the 2nd species, Thylacosmilus lenti s were located quickly later and accumulated by American paleontologist Robert C. Thorne. In 1972, professionals wrapped up that both fossils came from a solitary genus.

Various other fragmentary fossils have actually been located in Late Miocene and Very early Pliocene developments throughout Argentina. Several of them consist of Cerro Azul, Montehermosan Brochero, and Monte Hermoso Formations.

Termination – When Did the Thylacosmilus Pass Away Out?

In the past, researchers thought Thylacosmilus went extinct throughout the Pliocene (concerning 3.6 to 2.58 Million years ago) because of competitors with the Smilodon after the Terrific American Interchange. Nevertheless, much more current research studies reveal that this is incorrect.

While competitors possibly added to the decrease of this genus of marsupial predators, it really did not consist of competitors with the saber- tooth cats. Still, this does not eliminate the competitors with various other species as a feasible source of their termination. Environment adjustment was possibly the greatest variable that caused their decrease. The Thylacosmilus’ house array ended up being drier, and plant life started to go away. This influenced the victim population, leaving insufficient for the marsupial to endure on when faced with expanding competitors.

Similar Animals to the Thylacosmilus

Similar animals to the Thylacosmilus consist of:

  • Smilodon – Widely referred to as saber- toothed cats, Smilodon is an extinct genus of huge cats that stayed in the Americas throughout the Pleistocene Date. It was durable, with lengthy dogs and well- created forelimbs. Although Smilodon and Thylacosmilus look similar, they’re unrelated.
  • Borhyaena – This was a huge killer with a large head that stayed in South America in between 17.5 and 15.5 million years earlier. The Borhyaena is extremely similar to existing- day hyenas.
  • Thylacine – This is an extinct meat-eating marsupial that stayed in Australia up until just recently. It is likewise referred to as the Tasmanian wolf or Tasmanian cat.


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