The average cat: it doesn’t like people. When most people think of a cat, they think of a furry creature that runs away. But the ancient sabertooth cats were quite the opposite. They were often found in groups, and achieved their greatest strength in numbers.
The saberooth cat (Smilodon fatalis, often falsely referred to as a sabertooth tiger) is recognized for its extremely long teeth, which could reach up to seven inches below its lower jaw. They had a ferocious and vicious nature. It walked the lands of modern-day North and South America in the Cenozoic era. Many skeletons of the carnivore have been found in the La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of Los Angeles Sabertooth cats were usually around 4 feet long, and had a short tail similar to a bobcat.
This article states t.hat, according to a study, sabertooth cats would frequently hunt with other cats, which makes sense. “Why approach a situation where you are likely to encounter dangerous competitors without having a few friends along?” said UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Blaire Van Valkenburgh, author of the paper on the study. Controversy surrounded the results because, as I stated in the first paragraph, most cats prefer to go along with their business on their own and at their own leisure.
Another example of a somewhat social cat would be the lion. Lions frequently hunt and gather in groups, called prides. These are very tight circles, and not any lion will be accepted. It is a group of related female lions (called lionesses), and only a few cubs. The male cubs leave the pride after they grow up and go overtake their own pride, where he reproduces with many of the females.
The sabertooth cat (not tiger) was a social creature, despite many characteristics of a cat. But this just shows how evolution can work. Over time, cats have gotten more and more independent. Perhaps this is a testament to other animals. Maybe other social creatures will evolve over time to become solitary. Only time will tell…
What do you think happened that made cats so independent?
Do you think that sabertooth cats were actually very social?
Do you think it’s necessary for animals to be social, or is it just fine to be independent?