What If Saber-Toothed Tigers Didn’t Go Extinct?


Saber-toothed tigers, also known as smilodons
roamed north and south America for quite sometime, along with wooly mammoths. According to fossil evidence, they have been
present for 1. 8 million years ago. But around 12 thousand years ago, during the
Quaternary extinction, The saber-toothed tigerwent extinct along with many other animals
present during the ice age. But what if saber-toothed tigers had managed
to survive the mass extinction that took placeat the end of the ice age, and had lived on
until modern day?That’s exactly what we’re going to talk
about, right now on life’s biggest questions. Hello and welcome back to Life’s Biggest
Questions, the channel that imagines the impossible. I’m Charlotte Dobre. Don’t forget to give this video a thumbs
up and let us know in the comments below aquestion you have always wanted to know the
answer to. Saber-toothed tigers are an extinct species
of large cat that lived during the ice age,or Pleistocene epoch. In fact, they were not actually tigers, they
were an entirely different species of bigcat. In their time, Sabre-toothed tigers were one
of the largest carnivores living in NorthAmerica. They were about 5 feet long and weighed 440
pounds. They had short limbs and had the build of
a bear. They snacked on large mammals, like elephants,
rhinos, and others. Perhaps the coolest thing about saber-toothed
tigers is their teeth. But saber-toothed tigers definitely got the
short end of the stick when it came to evolutionaryadvantages. Sure, their huge canines were up to 8 inches
long, but that doesn’t mean they were effectiveat killing prey. Sabre’s huge teeth, as scary looking as
they were, were surprisingly brittle and theybroke really easily. Often times, their canines were completely
ripped off during combat. To make matters worse, their jaws were not
all that powerful either. Even though they could open their mouths quite
wide, to an angle of 90 degrees, their biteswere not that effective. They were actually a lot less powerful than
the jaws of felines of the same size. Sabre’s big canine teeth got in the way
of 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 the
victim to bleed to death. It is fair to assume that if the saber-toothed
tiger lived on and hadn’t gone extinct,natural selection would have made it so that
only saber-toothed tigers with smaller canineswould have continued on. You don’t necessarily need huge canines
in order to kill prey, but if bigger canineswere broken off easily, saber-toothed tigers
wouldn’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 at
the 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 travel
away from where humans had settled in orderto find prey. They may have traveled farther north, following
herds of large mammals to the Arctic or northernCanada. Either that or they would have had to change
their eating habits. Perhaps they would have resorted to eating
humans instead of large mammals. Humans were still prevalent, large mammals
were not. Saber-toothed tigers hunted in packs, it could
have been possible for them to ambush a huntingparty of humans. That being said, humans became the dominant
predator. Humans would have used the fur of saber-toothed
tigers for clothing, and perhaps eaten theirmeat. If they had not gone extinct, that doesn’t
mean they wouldn’t be rare and exotic. They would have been revered by royalty. We would have seen them featured in royal
portraits of kings and queens. In the modern era, saber-toothed tigers would
be protected by animal conservationists. But truth be told, if the saber-toothed tiger
hadn’t gone extinct, not much would change. There are other species of large cats in North
America, 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 responsible
for 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’ve
been watching life’s biggest questions. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you check
out our playlist, biggest what-ifs, clickableon the screen right now. Make sure notifications are turned on by clicking
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