What If Saber-Toothed Tigers Didn’t Go Extinct?
Saber-toothed tigers, also known as smilodonsroamed north and south America for quite sometime, along with wooly mammoths. According to fossil evidence, they have beenpresent for 1. 8 million years ago. But around 12 thousand years ago, during theQuaternary extinction, The saber-toothed tigerwent extinct along with many other animalspresent during the ice age. But what if saber-toothed tigers had managedto survive the mass extinction that took placeat the end of the ice age, and had lived onuntil modern day?That’s exactly what we’re going to talkabout, right now on life’s biggest questions. Hello and welcome back to Life’s BiggestQuestions, the channel that imagines the impossible. I’m Charlotte Dobre. Don’t forget to give this video a thumbsup and let us know in the comments below aquestion you have always wanted to know theanswer to. Saber-toothed tigers are an extinct speciesof large cat that lived during the ice age,or Pleistocene epoch. In fact, they were not actually tigers, theywere an entirely different species of bigcat. In their time, Sabre-toothed tigers were oneof the largest carnivores living in NorthAmerica. They were about 5 feet long and weighed 440pounds. They had short limbs and had the build ofa bear. They snacked on large mammals, like elephants,rhinos, and others. Perhaps the coolest thing about saber-toothedtigers is their teeth. But saber-toothed tigers definitely got theshort end of the stick when it came to evolutionaryadvantages. Sure, their huge canines were up to 8 incheslong, but that doesn’t mean they were effectiveat killing prey. Sabre’s huge teeth, as scary looking asthey were, were surprisingly brittle and theybroke really easily. Often times, their canines were completelyripped off during combat. To make matters worse, their jaws were notall that powerful either. Even though they could open their mouths quitewide, to an angle of 90 degrees, their biteswere not that effective. They were actually a lot less powerful thanthe jaws of felines of the same size. Sabre’s big canine teeth got in the wayof biting down with much force. So as cool looking as those canines were,they actually were pretty pointless from anevolutionary standpoint. When a saber-toothed tiger was killing prey,it stabbed its victims with its canines inthe neck, stepped back, and waited for thevictim to bleed to death. It is fair to assume that if the saber-toothedtiger lived on and hadn’t gone extinct,natural selection would have made it so thatonly saber-toothed tigers with smaller canineswould have continued on. You don’t necessarily need huge caninesin order to kill prey, but if bigger canineswere broken off easily, saber-toothed tigerswouldn’t have been able to eat anythingand would have died off. Saber-toothed tigers were competing with humans. It was one of the reasons why they went extinct. Combine that with the changing climate atthe end of the ice age, and it was extremelydifficult for them to find food. If saber-toothed tigers hadn’t gone extinct,that competition for food would have stillbeen present. It’s likely that they would have had to travelaway from where humans had settled in orderto find prey. They may have traveled farther north, followingherds of large mammals to the Arctic or northernCanada. Either that or they would have had to changetheir eating habits. Perhaps they would have resorted to eatinghumans instead of large mammals. Humans were still prevalent, large mammalswere not. Saber-toothed tigers hunted in packs, it couldhave been possible for them to ambush a huntingparty of humans. That being said, humans became the dominantpredator. Humans would have used the fur of saber-toothedtigers for clothing, and perhaps eaten theirmeat. If they had not gone extinct, that doesn’tmean they wouldn’t be rare and exotic. They would have been revered by royalty. We would have seen them featured in royalportraits of kings and queens. In the modern era, saber-toothed tigers wouldbe protected by animal conservationists. But truth be told, if the saber-toothed tigerhadn’t gone extinct, not much would change. There are other species of large cats in NorthAmerica, like cougars. Life may have been different for ancient aboriginals,who lived in forests, but it’s likely thatbecause humans were the ones who were responsiblefor their extinction, saber-toothed tigerswould have tried to avoid humans completely,living out their existence in remote, colderareas of the globe. For now, I’m Charlotte Dobre and you’vebeen watching life’s biggest questions. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you checkout our playlist, biggest what-ifs, clickableon the screen right now. Make sure notifications are turned on by clickingthe bell, and we’ll see you in the nextvideo.