Smilodon is better known as the sabre-toothed cat. This large muscular feline had massive dagger-like fangs and is well known from thousands of skeletons excavated from the Rancho La Brea tar pits of California. Smilodon hunted for prey in North and South America before it became extinct about 12 thousand years ago.
The natural seeps of heavy oil at Rancho La Brea formed deep lakes, which were covered with twigs and leaves during the Pleistocene. This treacherous surface trapped unsuspecting animals such as elephants and horses. These struggling mammals attracted predators, including Smilodon fatalis, which found themselves trapped as well. As a result, thousands of Smilodon skeletons have been found preserved in the tar pits.
Smilodon was a strong meat-eating cat best known for its long curved canine teeth. It had longer front legs than hind legs, and had a short tail, which are reflected in our Smilodon toy. It had sharp claws on its hands and feet, and reached 6.5 feet long, about the size of a modern lion.