Evolution Of Saber-toothed Cats
A saber-toothed cat is an extinct group of predatory mammals that are characterized by long, curved saber-shaped canine teeth. They are not related to modern day cats (Felidae), many are classified into different families of Feliformia, such as Barbourofelidae and Nimravidae. saber-toothed cats can be viewed as examples of convergent evolution. That is when a species is not closely related, but has similar traits.
The first saber-tooths to appear were non-mammalian synapsids, such as the gorgonopsids. They were one of the first groups of animals within synapsida to have saber teeth.
Some nimravids physically resemble saber-toothed cats, but they were not closely related. Their canines were not as a flat like true saber-tooth cats, but more conical . They were not closely related, but they evolved a similar form as them. The ancestors of nimravids and cats split from a common ancestor in the middle Eocene about 50 million years ago.
WMNH paleontologists research the Pleistocene time period. The saber-tooth cats that we find is called Homotherium. Compared to other saber-toothed cats like Smilodon, they had shorter canines and were smaller in size.