- "I wouldn't know: sabers don't feel fear...fear is for prey."
- ―Diego regarding sabre-toothed cats' supposed inability to fear[src]
Saber-tooth tigers, known also as smilodons or sabers, were large predatory mammals that lived during the ice age.
Hunters by nature, Saber-tooth tigers hunted and fed on other animals, from mammoths to ground sloths and even humans. Sabers stalked prey in packs, led by one alpha male, who directed them all in attacks and ambushes. Sabers were equipped with a number of natural weapons, from retractable claws to their most famed weapon, their long, saber-like canine teeth, which they used to seize prey, usually by the throat. Their fangs were rather fragile and could grow up to eight inches long. Sabers sat similarly to present day big cats. Unlike big cats, sabers had very short tails. Coated in short, sleek fur, sabers were often burnt orange or dark brown, though exceptions, such as Shira, a grey saber, existed: male sabers sported short, dark manes that ran down their neck to their back. Sabers were compactly built, with strong legs for running, sharp claws, and an often streamlined build: with these features, sabers were ideal trackers, able to pursue prey well, but faltered at swimming, with one saber, Diego, being an exception to this over time. Saber-toothed cats were seen typically in small groups known as packs, such packs were held together by one alpha male who would preside over the others, making choices for the rest of the pack from how to attack prey to which direction they should take when migrating.
There are also various contrasts between male and female sabers-tooth cats. Males tend to have longer/bigger fangs. Males seem to have a darker colored nose and bare a triangular nose while females seem to have a straight nose and a wider head as seen in this picture.
Though sabers were tough, merciless hunters, they were loyal to their packs or social collectives, considering defection from a pack a hard choice of life. Along with this, sabers carried their own traditions: at Christmas, a saber father would bring his family the fattest gazelle that he could find so that the family might collectively feast upon it. Gazelle seemingly is the hardest meal to catch and the favorite among most sabers.
Among the sabers living during the ice ages was one pack led by a male named Soto, who stalked a tribe of humans in the pursuit of the human leader's son, a baby named Roshan: the pack's lieutenant, a male named Diego, defected from his pack to join a mammoth named Manny and a ground sloth named Sid to form their own herd. Living in forests and valleys, sabers worked together to hunt other animals, from mammoths to gazelles and even humans.
One other saber, a female named Shira, abandoned her own pack and soon joined forces with an ape named Gutt, becoming his first mate, who took to the seas. Shira met Diego and soon after abandoned her life of piracy to join Diego's herd as his mate.
- Ice Age (First appearance)
- Ice Age: The Meltdown
- Ice Age: The Great Escape
- No Time For Nuts
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
- Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas
- Scrat's Continental Crack-up Part 2
- Ice Age: Continental Drift
Known Saber-tooth Tigers
Behind the Scenes
Saber-tooth tigers, unlike many of the creatures shown in the Ice Age films, were true creatures of the ice ages, becoming extinct around the last ice ages, when grasslands expanded due to the melting ice.
Though referred to as tigers in several instances, Saber-tooth Tigers were unrelated to tigers.
Soto, Oscar, Diego and Shira are probably Smilodon fatalis, judging by their size and by where they live (North America).
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